Costco Connection: Happy Trails – Travel Detective Peter Greenberg

Although last year’s winter season started off dramatically and unpredictably, ski resorts have adapted to the brave new world of COVID-19 and are making plans this season to get you up and down again. the mountains – with cashless transactions, responsible social distancing, masks and design changes – and have a great skiing experience.

Here are some of my favorite ski resorts and experiences for the coming season. (As with anything else traveling these days, those plans are subject to change. Be sure to check it out.)

Colorado
The historic mining town of Breckenridge has become a household name for skiers of all skill levels, boasting five peaks, 2,908 skiable acres, 187 trails and the tallest chairlift in North America. The number of lift tickets available has been reduced to allow for social distancing, but it also means there are no crowds on the lifts or on the slopes.

The Freedom Superchair chairlift will debut this season, which will offer tip-to-tip access and even more options.

Last season, the Town of Breckenridge expanded access to its already extensive groomed trail network to allow guests to experience the great outdoors while maintaining social distancing. The good news is these routes are here to stay, which means an additional 3 miles of tobogganing, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing on top of the 60 miles of existing trails.

My après-ski recommendation: Aurum Food & Wine, located a short drive from the mountain. Make a reservation for an early dinner when it’s still happy hour and get half the restaurant’s snack menu, which includes Korean fried chicken with gochujang sauce and the French onion burger.

New Hampshire
Cranmore Mountain Resort in New Hampshire’s White Mountains offers a classic, relaxed approach to skiing. It has 56 ski and snowboard trails, as well as a tube adventure park.

Cranmore is also open for night skiing with reduced rates.

While après-ski options were put on hold last season, Cranmore plans to bring back its nightlife, which means Cranapalooza, a ‘block party’ event that takes place every Saturday from Christmas to early March.

Utah
For ski purists, there’s Alta Ski Area, a ski resort about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City in Little Cottonwood Canyon, with 2,614 acres of powder.

A word of advice: parking here is on a first come, first served basis, and reservations will be required on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Vermont
Located in the heart of the state in Mad River Valley, Sugarbush Resort is one of New England’s largest ski areas, with over 4,000 total acres and 111 trails, including 484 trail acres and 28 forested acres. additional and a hinterland basin.

The errands range from easy to expert, and if you need to hire equipment you can do it online, where you’ll schedule a pickup time, or in person on your day of departure. If you want to explore the mountain trails in a slower, more leisurely way, just minutes from the resort, head to the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm for some great snow treks.

To the north
If you can cross the border, Whistler Blackcomb, BC has 8,171 acres of skiable terrain spread between its two mountains.

Unlike last season, Whistler is not expected to have a ticket reservation system this season. All transactions will be cashless. Ski lifts, ski lifts and cable cars will be set up for physical distancing.

The ridge-to-ridge gondola, which joins the mountains, held records as the longest continuous lift system and the highest gondola of its kind (436 meters, or 1,430 feet, above the valley floor ) for almost a decade.

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