A week after Boston received a record snowstorm for October, temperatures have soared into the 70s. Yet even though it might not feel like winter is around the corner, New England ski areas are set to open later this month.
With the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the ski and snowboard season will look fundamentally different in 2020.
Reservations, capacity limits, and other unprecedented requirements will alter the normal wintry picture of a ski area’s day-to-day experience.
Given these circumstances, we asked Boston.com readers if they still plan to head out for skiing and snowboarding in the upcoming season.
Out of 815 responses, 664 (81.5 percent) said ‘yes’ to the 2020-2021 ski season, with 120 (14.7 percent) saying ‘no.’ An additional 31 (3.8 percent) indicated they would, to cite one reader’s response, “wait and see” before making an official decision.
Responses have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
What readers who still intend to ski and snowboard this season had to say.
“Bought my own skis instead of renting (a long time coming, but I prioritized the purchase this year).” —Anonymous
“I have lived in Stowe, VT for over 25 years. It’s part of life here, but the reservation system will certainly be different. Usually if we decide to head up to the mountain for some runs at 9 a.m., we’re on the hill by 9:30. Planning will be key this year, especially when it dumps.” — Anonymous
“I plan to ski just like any other year. If everyone is respectful about masking up, this shouldn’t be a big deal. My only concern is how the various areas will treat single skiers. Many folks, particularly season pass holders and those with a place at a mountain, ski solo a lot. I haven’t heard that addressed anywhere.” —Anonymous
“Night skiing during the week at Blue Hills, Pats Peak and Sunapee on the weekends.” —Anonymous
“I’m planning to turn off the news and live my life. Living in fear of a virus that’s so deadly you need to get tested just to know you have it. Enough is enough.” —Anonymous
Other readers are planning to skip this season.
“I’ve been skiing for over 30 years. I consider myself a die-hard New England skier, having cut my teeth a Wildcat Mountain as [a] teen. It pains me to say that I do not plan on skiing this year.” —Anonymous
“I am going to try cross-country [skiing] and snowshoeing instead. The logistics of downhill is hard enough under normal conditions.” —Anonymous
“Sitting this year out. All the restrictions make it sound more like a job than a fun, relaxing getaway.” —Anonymous
A few readers are still on the fence about whether they will go or not.
“I will stay updated on what the mountains plan and what capacity restrictions look like. If the lines are too long and prices remain the same I will not ski. However if it’s lowered crowds, I would consider going but would also want to see outdoor dining options with heat lamps.” —Anonymous
“I will wait and see how the early season goes. Maybe just a few days skiing in New England instead of spending most of the winter at Alta.” —Anonymous
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