Travel readers share their experiences skiing with COVID-19 restrictions

"I am happily surprised to report that I felt as safe there as I do when shopping at local grocery stores."

A skier at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, N.H. in 2017. Paul Hayes for The Boston Globe

We asked New England skiers and snowboarders to share their experiences on local ski mountains this winter season with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

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Skiers shared which mountains they’ve tackled this season, how mask and social distancing policies are being handled, and how they fared in lift lines. Due to reduced capacities at lodges, some skiers reported warming up and eating packed lunches inside their cars. Some mountains have also added outdoor dining, reserved parking, and portable toilets. A few readers noted they haven’t hit the slopes yet. Rob from Reading wrote, “No snow this year and travel restrictions have really put a damper on things.” Billy from Framingham simply said, “I’m too scared to go skiing this winter.”


Skiers planning a trip this season must follow state travel restrictions and all COVID-19 safety measures at the resort.

Ahead, read the experiences of local skiers on the slopes this season, or select a ski resort for a featured reader response in the interactive map below. You can share your own story here.

Massachusetts and Vermont

“[I’ve been on] Wachusett, Killington and Pico trips. I’m usually a day tripper so I’m already used to getting ready at my car. Ticketing was moving towards online anyway, and now you can buy tickets ahead of time and not even deal with a ticket window with a reloaded RFID card. Wachusett has outdoor food service with outdoor tables so you can avoid being inside totally. For a VT trip I usually pack a PB&J, a banana and Gatorade and break midway during the day to each lunch in my car with the heater on for a half hour. Lines are a little longer everywhere due to less mixing of single riders and small groups, avoiding weekends helps with this though. Some lines are a little too dense for my liking but we are all outside so I’ll put up with it. Masks are a must everywhere but are convenient for keeping your face warm. You will get reprimanded if you have yours down. I can see myself still wearing one after the pandemic is over for outdoor activities. Outdoor portable toilets have helped with the bathroom situation if you don’t want to go into the lodge. Parking reservations are new for this year, it’s something else to make sure to do before making a trip.” — Chris from Chicopee


“I’ve skied Mount Snow 3 times. I have a chair and rug in the trunk for booting up in the parking lot. I wear a KN95, keeps my nose warm too. The lift lines at times were closer than 6 feet to other skiers. Lift workers enforced mask wearing. I went in the summit lodge briefly, it has supervised entry, fewer tables well spaced; masks required unless eating or drinking. Overall, it felt safe.” — Dan from Greenfield


“[I went] skiing in Killington, Vermont. Perfect snow conditions and not many skiers. The only downside effect of COVID-19, that you need to make in advance online parking reservation, besides wearing the mask.” — Vladimir Rybalko from West Roxbury

New Hampshire

“Went up to Cannon, the line to pick up your pass was a little longer than normal. Beyond that it was business as usual. We rode with who we drove with, and I think with the extra space on the lifts there is a little more room on the trails. Then when you are done, you just head home! Great experience, thanks Cannon” — John from Boston


“Went to Pat’s Peak in Henniker NH. I think the mountain did a good job of managing the social distancing throughout their facility.. from rental pick up to snack shack and sheltered picnic tables outside. The lift lines were short and fast moving as they’re obviously limiting capacity – we did all rentals and lift tickets online ahead of time.. even the lift operators were reminding skiers to keep their masks up…” — Nick from Medfield

“Yes, went to Ragged Mountain. Skiing was decent, not able to bring your own food into the lodge limits you to eating at your car or buying lunch. I understand but when walking in ski boots, it is limiting. Reduced capacity on the lifts also increases wait time in line, even there isn’t a huge crowd. I will try for more mid-week trips if possible, going forward.” — James from Melrose


“My kids and I skied a few times at Ragged Mountain in Danbury, NH over the winter break. We missed the big pre-Christmas powder dump, but enjoyed getting out and being in the open space! Getting changed and taking breaks in the car isn’t much of a change for us (we tend to avoid lodges anyhow), but the extra space between parties on the lift does eat into lift capacity. It’s been good to get back into a normal ‘crowd’ sport, and most everyone has been respectful of maintaining space and wearing masks. Fingers crossed for more snow!” — Ken from Manchester


“Went to Sunapee Mountain in New Hampshire. Skiing conditions aren’t the best at present, but they’ve done a good job of snowmaking so it wasn’t too bad. In the lift lines, they had ski patrol people walking around ensuring that people were properly masked and, for the most part, everybody was. I am happily surprised to report that I felt as safe there as I do when shopping at local grocery stores.” — Bill from Somerville


“[I went to] Sunday River. They are not bad but the rules around lift lines and not grouping people on the chairs is insane. You don’t need to only put 1 person on a 6 person chair lift. As long as you ski weekdays there will be no issue, but weekend and holidays, it’s not worth it.” — Anonymous


“We were supposed to go to Sunday River but had to quarantine so we had to cancel. One of the COVID rules is that you need to pre-buy your lift tickets. We learned the hard way that if you have to quarantine and can’t make the trip, Sunday River won’t refund the cost. My only word of advice for skiing during these times is to pay close attention to the refund policy BEFORE you book your tickets.” — Gary from Southern Maine

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and grammar.

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