As previously shared, Quebec Ski resorts got the green light to operate this season. However, we didn’t have the full details from the actual hills on how that was going to look like. There have been a few hills that have started to release their plans and guidelines at the hill and I’m here to share what I’ve found so far.
There is a lot of noise and confusion when it comes to the new rules and how the hills are going to manage. As a mom with two little kids who are registered in a snow school program, breaking down the rules in a simple way is super important and helpful.
I’ll be quoting a few of the ski hills COVID-19 operation plans, but I will say not every hill has published their details yet. So this article may be updated as more details are released.
Quebec Ski Hills Share Details of the Ski Season
- Limited Access to Inside
This means your car will become your locker and where you may even go for lunch. Some hills like Les Sommets are offering “heated outdoor rest areas, individual and heated portable toilets will be added outdoors at each of our mountains. Our restaurants will be offering various food counters/stands outdoors.”
Bromont on the other hand, hasn’t published that they are doing outdoor heated seating, but have said: “The number of seats in the chalets will be reduced to maintain the distance. The station complies with government requirements for indoor public spaces. To compensate, outdoor spaces will be developed to provide more rest areas. In the red zone: no service will be offered in the chalets. They will only be used as a refuge to warm up. The period of use will be restricted. Access to sanitary facilities will be possible.”
As mentioned with Bromont, you can safely assume that when the hills falls into a red zone “Day lodges will only be used as shelter for guests to warm up, with limited access time. Food and beverage services will be closed.” – Tremblant.
- Face Coverings Are Mandatory
It’s no surprise that face coverings are mandatory, when going inside, if you’re sharing a chair lift with people (more on that next). However, you don’t need to be wearing a surgical mask, Les Sommets defines this as: “a neck warmer, balaclava, or other tight-fitting clothing covering the nose and mouth.” Mont Tremblant says: “The neck warmer or hood covering the mouth and nose can replace the face coverings while skiing and in the lifts, as per Public Health recommendations.” Based on Mont Tremblants statement, you may still need to have a regular mask for when going indoors like using the bathroom. Good news is, those masks can easily fit into your ski jacket pocket.
- The Chair Lift Experience
I think this questions was a big one for most people. Would you have to share a chair lifer with someone you didn’t know. Sure you can socially distance fairly easily on a hill, but the chair lift which can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes is a long time to sit beside someone. Les Sommets give us the following guidelines for the chair lift: “The use of lifts by members of the same household is preferred, but not obligatory. The distance of 2 meters must be respected in the queues. In the red zone, only members of the same household may share a chair. For people using the lift alone, the distance of 2 meters will be respected in all types of lifts.” Tremblant says something similar: “Loading lift capacity as usual with the exception of the gondola running at 50%, as per Public Health recommendations. Related parties can sit together, unrelated guests may also elect to sit together but it will not be required.”
Essentially you may opt not to sit beside someone you don’t know, but if it’s in a red zone, you won’t be able to. Also, a face covering of some kind will be required.
- Snow School
I think this one is the toughest one to navigate. The summary as per the Quebec Ski Areas Association (ASSQ) guidelines is: if the hill is in the green, yellow or orange zone, ski and snowboard lessons, will go as planned. All students over the age of 3 need to have face coverings. However, if the hill’s location falls into a red zone, the ski lessons are cancelled/postponed until the hill is back in at least a orange zone.
What that means is, if you live in Montreal, and Montreal is a red zone, but your ski school hill is at Bromont which is only in a yellow zone, you can still technically go. It’s important to note that: Interregional travel is not recommended to or from a red or orange zone. However, it is not prohibited.
- Buy Tickets in Advance
This one doesn’t come as such a surprise as we’ve been used to this for a while, however it’s important to note that lift tickets must be purchased online in advance, and there will be limited quantity of sales. So if you know the snow is coming, buy your tickets!
That’s my summary of how Quebec Ski Hills are managing the ski season. It’s super great news that we actually can ski, even if the hill is in a red zone. We aren’t super surprised as to the health measures. Hoping that all the hills will have an excellent year this year.
Thanks for reading,
Editors note: As of October 25th, we were not able to find a detailed winter operations guide for the following hills: Owl’s Head, Sutton, Mont Orford, Mont Blanc, Le Massif, Mont-Sainte-Anne, and Ski Saint Bruno. This is not to say that they won’t have one coming soon, it just explains why I wasn’t able to quote their hills policies in this article.