California ski resort, Mt Baldy, reopens during coronavirus crisis

Photo credit: Mt Baldy

Mt Baldy ski resort in Southern California reopened with restricted services today after a low key announcement on their website – “With coverage on the mountain about as good as it gets for April, and golf courses reopening around Southern California, we have decided to follow suit and open for ‘Ski & Ride Times’.”

The resort, in a controversial move, is operating under social distancing guidelines and state restrictions, perhaps with a nod to what is to come for Australia and New Zealand resorts should they be in a position to open this southern winter. 

Tubing and rentals are not available, nor is ski school. The resort encouraged experienced advanced and above skier and riders only as there would be no grooming and off piste cream corn conditions. 

Mt Baldy will operate at around 10 percent of usual occupancy, with only season pass holders, and those who purchase a one day lift pass, and asks anyone not feeling well to respect the resort and not go skiing.

Day passes are being sold in “time slots” and must be bought online at an allocated time slot, ten minutes apart. No more than four tickets will be sold for each time slot.

Similar to how a golf course operates Mt Baldy will check-in a maximum of 4 individuals at 10 minute intervals. 1 Day Alpine Ticketed guests will have access to Lift #2 and #3 from that time until closing. In stark contrast to a golf course (150 acres), Mt Baldy Resort (800 acres) has more than 4x the area and will be operating at less than 10% of occupancy under this plan.

Vehicles will be parked a minimum of 20 feet apart and skiers and boarders must wear face coverings. Food options are limited and guests are asked to pack their own lunches instead.

Lifts will operate with skiers and boarders asked to ride by themselves or with the people they quarantine with. 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.