|Good morning, Mt. Baldy!|
|Visibility for days!|
SKIING DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC:
The Ski Area itself....
Honestly, I have to say that between the weather, the snow conditions, the location and the company, these were the three best days of skiing we ever had in our lives. Now for me to say that, we must have been very minimally impacted by COVID restrictions. There were restrictions in place, but they did not seem to have the same oppressive nature experienced in other walks of life.
It was my understanding that they were limiting the number of tickets being sold daily, but you did not have to make a reservation. I bought my tickets about a week in advance.
Probably the biggest accommodation made for COVID came in the form of lift operations. Instead of packing the empty seats with singles and awkwardly putting people who don't know each other on a painful ten minute ride up the mountain, it was no longer permitted to ride with some one you did not know. As the chairs are mostly quads, we were forced into a group of three and a group of two. Two separate household singles could ride together but at opposite ends of the chair. Though the gondola seats 8, you could not ride with someone you didn't know. All this spacing did effectively make the lift lines a bit longer, especially the Saturday the gondola was closed, but it was still nothing like what I used to experience during ski week in California. Face masks were required while in line and this was enforced. I think there was some weak effort at keeping people six feet apart in line, but this was not enforced.
You did not have to wear your mask while skiing or while riding the lift, but quite frankly, when ya get up to a good speed you really do want that thing on or risk freezing your face. You do have to wear it outdoors on the grounds and inside the lodge in the bathrooms and when not seated at your table. Another nice thing is that everyone is just wearing those tube neck gaiters anyway, not those awful blue medical masks, so it's almost just part of your ski gear.
There are far fewer tables in the lodge. There are signs encouraging you to limit your time at the table. You can no longer toss your bag in a corner (now people just toss them outside). No more free cubbies, but there is a very easily accessible bag check ($7 per day). No more water glasses and water cooler. No live music. There is a fairly lively bar scene set up outside with some of the coolest space heaters I have ever seen. You can still eat food brought from home in the lodge and no one bugs you about it.
A big big thank you to Snowcreek Apartments (where we stayed for the third time) who decided adults could be intelligent enough to follow some simple rules and allowed the hot tub to be open! The hot tub was limited to 8 adults and this was self enforced. Two nights we had only one other couple join us, The third night there were 8 adults already there when we got there, so we turned around and went back to the apartment and enjoyed hot showers instead. Go figure!
Another item worth mentioning is that our decision to drive required us to spend the night in Reno Nevada where we went once again for a great INDOOR meal. When we crossed the border into Nevada from California I literally fist pumped. So sick of all the restrictions here. Obviously, both Idaho and Nevada have shown that in fact you can be indoors during a pandemic and not get sick.
AND WHAT'S NEW ON MOUNT BALDY??
Though the past two years had left us believing that Sun Valley, ID was the next best thing to Siberia, this year we actually saw double digit temperatures!! Though the first day hovered at about 20, the second and third days hovered around 30! The first day I didn't make it two hours before shedding a T shirt which I wound up carrying until lunch AND my glove liners, which I never wore again. The second day I braved shedding yet another layer and by the third afternoon, I, dare I say it, shed my fleece sweater as well. You still had to wear a lot of clothes, 4 layers at the minimum instead of 7, but it was nice not feeling so much like a stuffed turkey AND not having numb fingers and toes.
Sunrise Expansion of 380 acres and a new lift:
|Sunrise expansion from|
the Broadway chair
AND NOW FOR MY NEW LITTLE APP-STRAVA!!
About a month ago I was turned on to this cool little app while trying to find a GPS type tracking system for my hikes, walks and rides completed during my daily exercise. The super cool thing about Strava is that can track all sorts of activity, including in line skating, canoeing, swimming, and yes, SKIING. I actually didn't turn it on until the third day. I turned it on in the morning and then separately in the afternoon. Super fun to see that we skied nearly 47 miles and 33,000 vertical feet over the course of the day, though I confess I think that includes the distances covered on the chair lifts. The app also gives you a little map of the mountain that shows all the terrain you have covered. My favorite stat, my top speed of 51 MPH. Yea, some day I am going to live to regret that....
Hey how about we look at some more pictures!!