Covid Ski Trip
It was mid December and the height of the second wave of Covid. No one was flying, most people weren’t leaving their communities or traveling, but given that I would be solo and self contained in the van, I opted to hit the road and chase some pow over the holidays. It was a great trip but also very different than trips past.
A few key differences from normal times were..
Not being able to ride lifts with strangers. I usually enjoy skiing alone and meeting folks on the lift, but this year the rules were different. You had to ‘ride the lift with who you carpooled with’. I carpooled solo therefore rode the lift by myself. This meant I did not meet as many folks which is something I really love, chit chatting with strangers, understanding who they are, what they do, and discretely trying to pull out some local intel on where to eat and where to find the secret pow stashes. In addition, the new lift policy also made for incredibly long lines/waits since the lift was running below capacity.
Not being able to warm up in restaurants because inside dining was not permitted in most places. Even if it was, I did not really participate aside from maybe a few exceptions. This was especially challenging during a stretch of a few very very cold nights. It was -10 degrees for three nights in a row in Jackson and I was boxed up in my 1985 Westy with no heat, no insulation, etc. Hanging out in a restaurant/bar before bed usually helps, but not this year.
Finally, the last main difference was the ski resort reservations systems. At many resorts, you had to reserve your ticket ahead of time. The apps sucked. And passes filled up well in advance. This meant that I was sitting at the resort unable to ski because they were fully booked.
In addition to the above, it was just kind of a brutal trip. It was a very strange time and I simply drove too far and wore myself. 3,000 miles in two weeks, solo, thru very intense driving conditions in a 1985 vw with no defroster, heat, or 4×4 was no joke… but I’d probably do it again.
I absolutely love packing up all my gear, laying it out, and loading it up! Surf, ski, and all the toys.
Ventura > Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City > Jackson Hole. Got some great days on the hill and in the back country. Also froze my ass off for several night straight. Photo below is me warming up next to a heater in the van.
After a few days in Jackson, I decided to make the trek to Northern Washington. They had been getting absolutely dumped on and I decided I wanted to check it out. It was an brutal 1,000 mile drive through treacherous conditions. It took a full two days of driving and really burnt me out. I arrived in Washington, skied one day, and headed out as the temps warmed up and the snow got super heavy. I pointed toward Bend, OR where I posted up for a few days and got some really good snow and enjoyed posting up and not driving for a bit. I was able to leave the van right there, take a hot shower, and roll out of bed and be on the lift in a matter of moments. Camping at the hill is the best thing ever.