Re: For what it is worth?

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Re: For what it is worth?

Postby berkshireskier » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:33 am

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Re: For what it is worth?

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:28 am

This'll be my first season without an Alps trip (or two or three) in a decade. :-(

England's ski holiday operators are going to be SOL.
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Re: Re: For what it is worth?

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:09 pm

The dependence upon trams and those 20+ passenger super gondolas in Euro ski resorts is a big problem as long as COVID-19 has extensive community transmission. Even if most of your ski day is in the high alpine on chairs and surface lifts, transport from the resort towns to the ski terrain is usually via one of those big enclosed lifts, normally packed like sardines. Sometimes those lifts are also packed for downloading at the end of the day, as at glacier areas during summer and shoulder season. Here's a recent video from Hintertux making the rounds on Twitter: https://twitter.com/i/status/1318564951397683201

Ski Utah mentioned in yesterday's Zoom meeting that Snowbird's tram will be limited to 25% capacity, but the chairlift infrastructure there makes it fairly easy to avoid the tram. It's not like that in most of the Alps. Jackson comes to mind in having high gondola/tram dependence, but at most North American resorts with tram/gondolas, they are more optional like Snowbird IMHO.
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Re: Re: For what it is worth?

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:55 am

Tony Crocker wrote:The dependence upon trams and those 20+ passenger super gondolas in Euro ski resorts is a big problem as long as COVID-19 has extensive community transmission.

This ^^ is true only if you're frequenting the larger ski areas. Not an issue if you're visiting the hundreds of comparatively smaller ski areas -- the same type that Tony is recommending in the U.S. this winter.
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Re: Re: For what it is worth?

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:35 pm

My impression is that access lifts between the towns and the ski areas in the Alps tend to be gondolas or trams, even at local joints like Pila for example. Those local joints are more likely to rise from low altitude towns and if they don't have a lot of snowmaking, skiers frequently need to download those lifts at the end of the ski day. Base elevation needs to be fairly high be to running chairs from the base IMHO, like Le Tour at the top of the Chamonix Valley. Access to the other Chamonix areas is by tram.

So my question for James is: are some places quiet enough that they won't back up lines like that Hintertux scene running at 25% capacity? Maybe Diavolezza/Lagalb is quiet enough. The only lifts from their bases were trams but they were probably under 25% capacity.

Hopefully by the 2021-22 season we'll be vaccinated and can return to the Alps.
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Re: Re: For what it is worth?

Postby Sbooker » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:51 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:My impression is that access lifts between the towns and the ski areas in the Alps tend to be gondolas or trams, even at local joints like Pila for example. Those local joints are more likely to rise from low altitude towns and if they don't have a lot of snowmaking, skiers frequently need to download those lifts at the end of the ski day. Base elevation needs to be fairly high be to running chairs from the base IMHO, like Le Tour at the top of the Chamonix Valley. Access to the other Chamonix areas is by tram.

So my question for James is: are some places quiet enough that they won't back up lines like that Hintertux scene running at 25% capacity? Maybe Diavolezza/Lagalb is quiet enough. The only lifts from their bases were trams but they were probably under 25% capacity.

Hopefully by the 2021-22 season we'll be vaccinated and can return to the Alps.


Hopefully by the 21/22 we'll be vaccinated and can return to anywhere in the northern hemisphere.
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Re: For what it is worth?

Postby ryu_71 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:43 am

Is anything good in Alps is open now with fair mount of snow on slopes?
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Re: Re: For what it is worth?

Postby ChrisC » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:44 pm

I wonder how the Europeans will behave in lift lines this year? Are they still going to be all over each others skis and bumping elbows?
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Re: Re: For what it is worth?

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:01 am

ChrisC wrote:Are they still going to be all over each others skis and bumping elbows?

This ^^ only happens in lift queues at major resorts. At the comparatively smaller places, people are respectful of personal space.
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Re: Re: For what it is worth?

Postby ChrisC » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:20 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:
ChrisC wrote:Are they still going to be all over each others skis and bumping elbows?

This ^^ only happens in lift queues at major resorts. At the comparatively smaller places, people are respectful of personal space.


I thought it was part of the charm? :wink: O:) That and getting the safety bar repeatedly slammed on my head after 15 seconds on the chairlift. Key reason I wear a helmet there.

I think they only ' small' / low key places I have skied in Europe are Les Contamines, parts of Megeve, La Grave....and perhaps Murren?
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Re: For what it is worth?

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:49 am

ryu_71 wrote:Is anything good in Alps is open now with fair amount of snow on slopes?

Fraser is generally a good source of this info.
At the moment Switzerland is the only major ski country in the Alps not on COVID lockdown. Mid-November is nearly always too early for "a fair amount of snow on slopes," with occasional outlier exceptions like Wolf Creek this year.

The Alps had some October snow, but as usually occurs it has melted out. So skiing in the Alps is limited to glaciers as it usually is at this time of year.

ChrisC wrote:I wonder how the Europeans will behave in lift lines this year? Are they still going to be all over each others skis and bumping elbows?

This is an inherent issue with trams, which load a lot of people every 15 minutes instead of small groups continuously. And again it comes down to many Euro areas having transport lifts from dry or sketchy base areas up to where the snow is good. This can result in line buildups both at the beginning and end of the day. Often those lifts are trams or the new 20+ person gondolas, compounding the problem.

In shoulder season like now it's virtually guaranteed in the Alps that you will be up and downloading a transport lift to reach the snow.
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Re: Re: For what it is worth?

Postby ChrisC » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:54 pm

I was trying to see what Europe was doing with capacity in their gondolas and cable cars.....Looks like they do not care.

St. Anton
https://www.skiarlberg.at/en/sicher-am- ... -2020-21-1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

In Austria, cable cars are legally classed as public transport; there is currently no legal requirement to reduce passenger capacities. In our skiing region the capacities will not be fully utilised anyway if there are fewer passengers, especially in the aerial cableways lifts. It is not planned to introduce passenger number restrictions, but this may be necessary at short notice and is therefore subject to change without notice.

Zermatt
https://www.matterhornparadise.ch/en/Cu ... guidelines" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON CAPACITY?
There will be no restriction on passenger capacity in the cabins and gondolas.

Flims-Laax
https://www.flimslaax.com/en/covid-19
Lift operations
Conduct in the lifts - Mouth-nose cover
Mouth-nose cover must be worn in all the lifts. This applies from the moment you enter the waiting area, within all indoor areas and transport situations. Hygiene masks, medical face masks, and industrial textile masks/community masks are considered as mouth-nose-coverings as long as they comply with the recommendation of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force.

Scarves, neckerchiefs, and visors do not provide sufficient protection against transmission. Appropriate round scarves for winter sports are available from the beginning of December at the Flims and Laax valley stations in Das Original, as well as in the rental stores on the mountain and in the valley.

ATTENTION: People without mouth-nose cover will not be transported (except for persons with a medical certificate and children under 12 years). Failure to comply may result in ticket revocation. Further information can be found in the terms and conditions.

Safety measures in the lifts
In closed lifts (cable cars, gondolas) the windows should be kept open if possible, for better ventilation. If there are only a few guests, seats should be left vacant. The lifts will run continuously to optimize the flow of guests and reduce waiting times. Please note that cable cars are regularly disinfected by hand.​ Currently, there is no limitation on the number of passengers.

Clever on the move
In the INSIDE LAAX app you can see exactly how many people are queuing at any given lift ensuring that you can cleverly avoid crowded areas.
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Re: For what it is worth?

Postby Marc_C » Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:23 pm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/11/26/european-ski-resorts-reopen-despite-coronavirus/

"In Switzerland, some resorts are already in the process of reopening.

In contrast, the governments of France, Italy and Germany are eyeing an E.U.-wide closure of ski facilities until at least early January — usually one of the busiest periods that includes the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Officials in those three countries fear that if some E.U. member states keep their slopes open, tourists could head there instead and accelerate the spread of the virus."
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Re: For what it is worth?

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:46 am

Normally by the end of November, I've sketched out my one, two, or (in the case of 2017-18 and frequent-flyer miles permitting) three trips to the Alps for the upcoming season.
:x
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Re: Re: For what it is worth?

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:34 pm

James' first trip in 2017-18 was a last minute diversion in December from snow starved Utah to the start of a banner year in the Alps. Accordingly, we also added a second Alps trip that season.

This December James needs to make the trek from Denver to Wolf Creek.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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