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2021 ski season, will it happen?

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 tomsan91 17 Sep 2020

I was quite optimistic around a month ago that skiing in Europe would be a reality in the new year and travel to and from the Alps might not mean a 2 week quarantine either side of a trip. This week however I am very doubtful that this will be the case. I have seen North American resorts are basically season pass holders only and booking systems for lift days are being introduced at your big resorts. Not sure if this is going to be the case over here as most articles are behind paywalls, has anyone seen much on what's going to be the new normal?

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 Sans-Plan 17 Sep 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

I was wondering the same, especially as we have a place in a ski resort that we haven't been able to use this year. 

I have no idea how the bigger areas are going to cobble together a season, if they have to start a booking system in European resorts than that will just kill it, i cant see anybody taking any notice of it, i don't think there will be sufficient revenue to limit to season pass holders only.

Will be interesting to see what comes out of the resorts in the next few months

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 walts4 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Sans-Plan:

Still waiting for information as to when season tickets will be sold & potential opening dates for my particular region here in Monterosa.

The lifts were open during summer so still hopeful, maybe the touring days from the valley will be the way to go?

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 tomsan91 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Sans-Plan:

This is where I am getting nervous for the three weeks we have booked in Austria and France. Unlike in the US there is no large season pass you can buy and travel to lots of different resorts giving you multiple booking opportunities. I guess it's going to be a waiting game. Assuming you drive out to the Alps have you booked crossings already to visit your place?

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 yorkshireman 17 Sep 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

I live in the mountains above Grenoble and we've got 4 local resorts within a 15 minute drive, all small family lift areas apart from Villard-de-Lans which is quite big, where I would normally buy a season pass. They've been running the gondola up to 2000m during the summer their without booking (masks obligatory) so I would presume they would be able to do something similar with skiing. In fact this summer has been busier than normal in terms of visitors and tourists nights spent.

There's no official word yet though either from the mairie or the ski stations. Since we're less than an hour's drive from Grenoble we have a huge amount of spur of the moment and weekend visitors so limiting to season pass/bookings only would hurt - especially after they just paid for the Tour de France to come here and then had it moved from peak holiday season to the middle of September.

It's widely thought that the epicentre of the European outbreak was traced to the ski resort of Ischgl. The international mix, low immune system from knackered, drunk people partying in humid, warm bars every night made it a human petri dish. France is desperate to avoid further damage to its economy, so will likely do what it can to save the ski season but short of closing the bars I don't know how that can realistically work.

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In reply to tomsan91:

My local resort Puy St Vincent are just starting their launch for the season, they are offing a season pass with a guarantee if they have to close they will refund a % for days shut. not see what they are offering for other passes. 

I think it will come down to three issues

travel - this is probably a biggest issue, it could be hard from the UK as they seam very keen on stick with quarantine?

Ski time - over all the skiing and being out side on lifts etc (not shared with strangers - they did this in the summer for mountain biking) should be ok.

bars and restaurants - this could be a problem and i can see the shutting or limiting this in the season.

As some one said above our resorts wont survive on season pass holders alone (I expect numbers for these to drop this year as everyone I know tours and skis in resort and normally gets a season pass, most have said they will just tour this season), so they will be fighting to open as much as possible.

I think if you can travel then there will be options to ski but maybe not much of a night life?

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 Lardy Punter 17 Sep 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

France has many areas that are linked by area passes. Espace Killy is huge. I don’t understand what you mean by Europe not having large area passes. Portes du Soleil is another. Can’t remember more off the top of my head but there are more.  

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 climbercool 17 Sep 2020
In reply to yorkshireman:

. France is desperate to avoid further damage to its economy, so will likely do what it can to save the ski season but short of closing the bars I don't know how that can realistically work.

Than shut the bars, sacrificing the bars for the sake of the whole resort seems like a no-brainer.

skiing and Getting on lifts could potentially be quite safe, everyone is wearing gloves, goggles and has no bare skin showing, the cold temperatures could really help, chair lifts have a continuous strong air flow as they move, gondolas would have to open windows and maybe restrict numbers (but gondolas are a small % of most resorts nowadays.) 

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 tomsan91 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Lardy Punter:

I was comparing and Espace Killy etc. passes to the likes of the Epic and Ikon pass which give you a choice of lots of resorts to ski, e.g. Vail and Whistler on the same pass, If you are in the US now you would book a week in each for the coming season and ski you local hill which might use the epic pass also. If there was a Euro equivalent I would be a little more confident on the resort not turning you away because of max capacity. 

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 Doug 17 Sep 2020
In reply to ecrinscollective:

I bought a season ticket for our local resort (St Léger les Mélèzes) yesterday, it also covers two other nearby ski resorts and all are small resorts. Assumming it snows/the canons work, I assume they will be open as the chairlifts have been open for walkers & cyclists over the summer and except for the Marseille school half term break are usually pretty quiet - last winter I rarely shared a 4 person chairlift with more than one other.

I've also renewed my XC ski pass which covers all of the southern French alps but that's probably less at risk of Covid related restrictions

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 Sans-Plan 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Lardy Punter:

I'm not sure what he means either but France Les 3 Vallées, Swiss Les 4 Vallées and Italian Sella Ronda to name some others which are huge areas spanning many resorts, all of which can be covered under one pass, which also include a lot of little outlying standalone resorts as a bonus area.

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 WVRox 17 Sep 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

But the resorts can do what they like  - unless quarantine is lifted, no Brits will be coming to France this year! And I guess not only lifted, but the threat of being re-imposed eliminated.   

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In reply to tomsan91:

I imagine it will be pretty shit. Lift capacity much reduced, leading to massive (socially distanced) queues. If you could even get to the lifts, as the bus capacity will be much reduced as well. Oh and self isolation and whatever other restrictions there might be. I’m writing off the winter and spring season for any kind of skiing or climbing. Hope the walls stay open!

Edit - what the resorts did this summer has no relevance for the winter because there will be more Covid and more people to deal with in winter.

Post edited at 22:49
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 andyr 18 Sep 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

https://www.france-montagnes.com/covid-19-quel-protocole-cet-hiver-dans-les-stations-de-ski

Lots of mask wearing and handwashing. We've already got a number of bookings so there's confidence out there.

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 Richard Horn 18 Sep 2020
In reply to andyr:

At least when skiing "mask" wearing is not such a difference from the norm, a lot of people cover their faces with a buff to keep out the cold anyway.

We cannot book whilst quarantine in place (or even a significant threat)....

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In reply to tomsan91:

I saw that Crystal are ditching all their chalets as that environment is seen as too risky. Personally, I would only contemplate driving down, self catering and choosing a resort with lots of drags rather than enclosed cable cars / bubbles. I'm lucky that I can go in low season but may well just decide it's too much effort and that's coming from someone who has skied seven weeks or so per year in recent years. Resorts are going to have to be super careful given the experience at Ischgl and the legal cases being mounted against the authorities there.

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In reply to Doug:

To be honest there was a high chance I wasn't going to get a season pass this year anyway, just doing to much touring making it not the deal it was, may regret it if there are lots of powder days and have the easy of getting in to resort for a day or two.

I think the resorts will manage to open in some way, but the local bars etc may struggle if they have restrictions.

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 gezebo 18 Sep 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

At least the reduction in skiing will reduce unnecessary transports and co2 immisions so the climate damage may be reduced. 

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 Doug 18 Sep 2020
In reply to ecrinscollective:

I think I'd have thought twice if I didn't live around a 100m from the nearest lift in a small, quiet resort. Having a season pass means I'll go piste skiing just for a couple of hours (often at lunchtime) which I wouldn't if I had to buy a day/half day pass.

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 Webster 18 Sep 2020
In reply to Sans-Plan:

he means in the states you can get a pass which covers multiple different areas, over a large geographical area. so if resort A has to close because of covid being in a red zone or whatever, you can just go to resort B instead. we all know that there are many vast interlinked ski areas in the alps, but if port du soliel closes, the whole of port du soleil closes. thats his point! i didnt think that was too difficult to grasp?

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 Lardy Punter 18 Sep 2020
In reply to tomsan91:

I didn’t realise the US passes covered much larger areas. 

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 Frank4short 10:00 Sat
In reply to Lardy Punter:

> France has many areas that are linked by area passes. Espace Killy is huge. I don’t understand what you mean by Europe not having large area passes. Portes du Soleil is another. Can’t remember more off the top of my head but there are more.  

Most of the major commercial ski resort in north America are owned by only 2 companies. That means you can buy a ski pass and ski California, Colorado and Canada within days of one another on the same season pass. There's nothing even remotely comparable to that in Europe even if by and large the european super resorts are massive compared to anything in NA. 

Re: peoples' concerns between summer and winter. Even if bars are closed the risk factors are much different. Most of the places i've been in summer the gondolas don't get a fraction as busy as they do in winter. In real terms you'd need to reduce the capacity in gondolas and bubbles something like a tenth of what they normally are the reduce the chance of them becoming super spreading machines. I don't know how resorts will be able to do that and still be economically viable. 

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 caver 10:33 Sat
In reply to gezebo:

> At least the reduction in skiing will reduce unnecessary transports and co2 immisions so the climate damage may be reduced. 

Unless you live in a resort; surely it's necessary transport. Otherwise, how do you get there..

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 Dogwatch 12:09 Sat

If the last six months have taught us anything, surely it is that we cannot have a clue what the situation will be 3-6 months from now. My WAG is that resorts will open but whether they will be operating close enough to normal to be worth the trip from the UK is another matter (and would also depend on how desperate you are to ski). I hope to go to Espace Killy as usual but don't think it is very likely. I certainly don't think there is any urgency to book early.

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 Ciro 12:18 Sat
In reply to WVRox:

> But the resorts can do what they like  - unless quarantine is lifted, no Brits will be coming to France this year! And I guess not only lifted, but the threat of being re-imposed eliminated.   

Some won't, but none sounds OTT. As someone working who works from home, I'm pretty much quarantining anyway... two weeks official quarantine would make little difference.

The only reason I wouldn't be going is to avoid spreading the virus, and that threat is independent of government dictates on what is safe.

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In reply to Frank4short:

> Most of the major commercial ski resort in north America are owned by only 2 companies. That means you can buy a ski pass and ski California, Colorado and Canada within days of one another on the same season pass. There's nothing even remotely comparable to that in Europe even if by and large the european super resorts are massive compared to anything in NA. 

https://www.skistar.com/en/skipass/all-season-pass/  it's close but doesn't have the combined acreage of all the USA venues. 

They will be open for business though as there are few gondolas, most accommodation is self catering cabins and the number of beds to ski lift ratio is good so queues are very small. 

Time will tell of course.  

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 Frank4short 09:46 Sun
In reply to summo:

> https://www.skistar.com/en/skipass/all-season-pass/  it's close but doesn't have the combined acreage of all the USA venues. 

It's really not, a handful of scandinavian ski hills with one resort in austria is not comparable to: 
 

Epic Pass:

  1. Vail,
  2. Beaver Creek,
  3. Whistler Blackcomb,
  4. Breckenridge,
  5. Park City,
  6. Keystone, Heavenly,
  7. Northstar,
  8. Kirkwood,
  9. Stowe,
  10. Crested Butte,
  11. Okemo,
  12. Mount Sunapee,
  13. Stevens Pass,
  14. Wilmot,
  15. Afton Alps,
  16. Mt. Brighton, 
  17. Mount Snow,
  18. Attitash,
  19. Wildcat,
  20. Crotched Mountain,
  21. Hunter,
  22. Liberty,
  23. Roundtop,
  24. Whitetail,
  25. Jack Frost,
  26. Alpine Valley,
  27. Big Boulder,
  28. Boston Mills,
  29. Brandy Mills,
  30. Brandywine,
  31. Mad River,
  32. Hidden Valley,
  33. Snow Creek, and
  34. Paoli Peaks for the 2020-21 season,

as well as Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek in Australia for the 2021 ski season.

Ikon pass:

here are 44 destinations available on the Ikon Pass and the Ikon Base Pass.

California: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort (Bear Mountain, Snow Summit)
Colorado: Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Eldora Mountain Resort
Maine: Sugarloaf, Sunday River
Michigan: Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands
Montana: Big Sky Resort
New Hampshire: Loon Mountain
New Mexico: Taos Ski Valley
New York: Windham Mountain
Oregon: Mt. Bachelor
Utah: Deer Valley Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, Brighton Resort
Vermont: Stratton, Sugarbush Resort, Killington - Pico
Washington: Crystal Mountain, The Summit at Snoqualmie
West Virginia: Snowshoe
Wyoming: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Alberta, Canada: SkiBig3 (Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay)
Ontario, Canada: Blue Mountain
Quebec, Canada: Tremblant
British Columbia, Canada: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, RED Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures
Switzerland: Zermatt Matterhorn
Australia: Thredbo, Mt Buller
New Zealand: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Hutt
Japan: Niseko United
Chile: Valle Nevado

Plus the  NA passes cover such an enormous geographical area it means that if you're prepared to be flexible with your destination choice you can always get good snow somewhere. 

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In reply to Frank4short:

How much is the season pass? It's roughly the equiv of £600 for the admittedly limited in comparison Scandinavian one. 

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 tomsan91 15:03 Sun
In reply to summo:

Got my epic pass for £750 last season and skied whistler for 4 weeks. I was going to use it for another week in the Val Thornes, but covid put a stop to that! 

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In reply to tomsan91:

> Got my epic pass for £750 last season and skied whistler for 4 weeks. I was going to use it for another week in the Val Thornes, but covid put a stop to that! 

That's pretty good. Need to ski the equivalent of 3 weeks to break even with skistar one. 

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In reply to tomsan91:

Spent this weekend zipping down Cardrona on tele gear. As lifts count as public transport, mask wearing was compulsory on the lifts and most of us were leaving our masks on while skiing (it's comfy enough, and warmer anyway). Most of the lifties would not load you through until mouth and nose are covered. Few idiots seen. Plenty of peer pressure to wear masks. But then that's NZ all over.

Given the lack of overseas visitors we had a very pleasant weekend (quiet slopes, great weather, fresh snow, no totally out of control drunk Aussies on snowboards) so I suspect if you are in the same country you could have quite a nice season, and if not, then maybe less so. Or it could get really busy at the Lecht...

b

edit:  removed typo, and added casual racism

Post edited at 04:59
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 Kean 09:52 Mon
In reply to tomsan91:

This is the note from Dolomiti Superski's website...https://www.dolomitisuperski.com/lp-2019-20/LP_Covid/Covid-20-21_EN

But cases are rising ominously here in Italy too so it's anybody's guess.

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