Alps 2020-21

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Alps 2020-21

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:17 pm

Not what I need to hear but I can't really blame them:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... tness-yet/
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Re: Alps 2020-21

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:55 am

I'm agree with James about significant odds against going to the Alps next winter. Argentina for this December's eclipse is not looking so good either. The Alps have a higher dependence upon enclosed and crowded gondolas and trams than North America, which may make reopening ski areas more of a challenge than here. I'd recommend James target Montana/interior Northwest for a 2020 destination trip for maximum ski quality and minimum likely rationing restrictions. His Loveland Pass includes 3 days each at Whitefish, Schweitzer, Silver Mt., Brundage and Bogus Basin. On the way to/from Colorado it includes Powder Mt., Red Lodge and Bridger. If the Canadian border is open it includes Whitewater and Castle Mt.

While Trump deserves much blame for US COVID-19 situation, the #1 failure in the US was the CDC's arrogant attitude in February, developing its own faulty test while refusing to permit any other testing, even those used successfully at the time in Germany and South Korea.

My impression is that the Eurozone is reopening its economies similar to here. What are they doing differently now?

The US looks like two different countries. The Northeast was like Europe with an acute spike in March/April and much lower numbers now. Most of the rest of the US never had the big spike but now has ongoing cases at a similar rate as in spring. Don't assume this is a red/blue state split. Compare CA and NY.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavir ... alifornia/
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/new-york/
Currently NY and CA are seeing similar numbers of new deaths per day but CA is seeing 3x as many new cases per day. CA population is 2x NY.

For obvious reasons I've been monitoring this site for CA and FL for the past 2+ months. Florida's recent spike in new cases is stronger than CA's: similar new cases per day with half the population. Before this month the trajectory of cases and deaths per capita was very similar in CA and FL.

I have a theory about FL and AZ. In most places, people spend more time outdoors when the weather gets warm. I strongly suspect people in AZ and FL spend more time indoors in the summer than in other seasons. We are fortunate to be a 20 minute walk or 10 minute drive from the Gulf here. The midday heat is so intense here that the best time to go to the beach is during the last hour or two before sunset, and the shallow water is probably around 85F then. SoCal beaches are usually chilly near sunset with the thermal breeze blowing onshore over the 65F water. Aside from tropical storms, summer is the least windy season in Florida. There was a lot of wind the week I was here in February.
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Re: Alps 2020-21

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:27 am

Tony Crocker wrote:The Alps have a higher dependence upon enclosed and crowded gondolas and trams than North America, which may make reopening ski areas more of a challenge than here.

The places in the Alps that I frequent usually don't have extensive gondolas or trams. Usually the only enclosed lifts are the gondolas to get me out of the base area and up to the skiable terrain, and I rarely share them with anyone. The main concern is being allowed to visit Europe period. One hopes that a presidential change with the attendant less bonkers leadership would make Euros more amenable to allowing Americans back onto the continent.

Tony Crocker wrote:I'd recommend James target Montana/interior Northwest for a 2020 destination trip for maximum ski quality and minimum likely rationing restrictions. His Loveland Pass includes 3 days each at Whitefish, Schweitzer, Silver Mt., Brundage and Bogus Basin. On the way to/from Colorado it includes Powder Mt., Red Lodge and Bridger. If the Canadian border is open it includes Whitewater and Castle Mt.

If I can't visit the Alps, those interior northwest and/or New Mexico ski areas on the Loveland pass would be fine with me. That said; I have no idea how things will look in ski season with my job vis-à-vis long-distance travel and whether I'll be working out of Denver every month so I'm not ready to buy a pass at this point. Luckily, they've pushed back the purchase deadline to December 1.
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Re: Alps 2020-21

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:16 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Usually the only enclosed lifts are the gondolas to get me out of the base area and up to the skiable terrain

That was my main point, and is the scenario where I usually see the most congestion in the Alps. If lower terrain is unskiable, downloading at the end of the day is even worse.
The main concern is being allowed to visit Europe period. One hopes that a presidential change with the attendant less bonkers leadership would make Euros more amenable to allowing Americans back onto the continent.

I agree there is a political element. Florida quarantined NYC metro visitors during the March/April spike period. It's not an accident that the Northeast states are quarantining Florida and other Sunbelt state visitors now. In retrospect it's clear that the NYC metro spike would have been far less severe if Euro quarantining had been implemented earlier. If James is betting that Euro travel resumes on Inauguration Day 2021, that leaves plenty of ski season!

Mustang has informed us that everyone will be tested next season before being permitted to board the heli or snowcat to the lodge. Social distancing is impossible in the remote cat/heli environment. One could make the same argument about flying in a full plane. If widespread fast testing becomes available, I'd guess the airlines would be among the first to implement it.
http://bestsnow.net
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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Re: Alps 2020-21

Postby berkshireskier » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:33 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
jamesdeluxe wrote:Usually the only enclosed lifts are the gondolas to get me out of the base area and up to the skiable terrain

That was my main point, and is the scenario where I usually see the most congestion in the Alps. If lower terrain is unskiable, downloading at the end of the day is even worse.
The main concern is being allowed to visit Europe period. One hopes that a presidential change with the attendant less bonkers leadership would make Euros more amenable to allowing Americans back onto the continent.

I agree there is a political element. Florida quarantined NYC metro visitors during the March/April spike period. It's not an accident that the Northeast states are quarantining Florida and other Sunbelt state visitors now. In retrospect it's clear that the NYC metro spike would have been far less severe if Euro quarantining had been implemented earlier. If James is betting that Euro travel resumes on Inauguration Day 2021, that leaves plenty of ski season!

Mustang has informed us that everyone will be tested next season before being permitted to board the heli or snowcat to the lodge. Social distancing is impossible in the remote cat/heli environment. One could make the same argument about flying in a full plane. If widespread fast testing becomes available, I'd guess the airlines would be among the first to implement it.


That assumes a high degree of accuracy with any test??
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Re: Alps 2020-21

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:24 pm

berkshireskier wrote:That assumes a high degree of accuracy with any test??

Yes it does, but I see air travel severely crippled until we reach that point, or a vaccine.

Without major progress, I see next ski season as extended road tripping into the hinterlands. I've driven from SoCal to Mustang on one month road trips twice before and I won't be surprised if we're doing that again.
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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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Re: Alps 2020-21

Postby tseeb » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:12 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Mustang has informed us that everyone will be tested next season before being permitted to board the heli or snowcat to the lodge. Social distancing is impossible in the remote cat/heli environment. One could make the same argument about flying in a full plane. If widespread fast testing becomes available, I'd guess the airlines would be among the first to implement it.
Do you have more recent or detailed info than me? The email I received from Mustang said "We are also working hard on procuring adequate COVID-19 test kits for the coming winter. Because a remote backcountry lodge is an insular environment, we are an industry where pre-trip testing will be very applicable. Our hope this winter is to be able to test all guests and staff prior to them entering the lodge. We will keep you updated on this subject over the next few months."

Are they hoping to test all guests and staff and working hard on procuring test kits or will they be able to do it? What does that do to the logistics? Does it mean you no longer will be able to ski at nearby resorts on pickup day? And as others have said there have been problems with tests. So far it looks like next winter will be a good one to not plan on going anywhere that requires a flight or busy gondola.
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