As we welcome skiers and riders back to the slopes for the 2020-2021 season, we understand that many of you are eager to know just how it is going to look at Echo. The short answer is different. The long answer is that we’re taking our love, passion, and for some, curiosity for snow sports back to its roots by preparing for an entirely outdoor experience.
Please read these guidelines carefully as they are important for protecting the health of our guests and staff while helping us remain open through the current public health crisis.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds it has become apparent that the virus spreads most effectively in crowded, unventilated indoor spaces. This means we are forced to close our Lodge and other indoor facilities.
This isn’t too impactful for skiers and riders looking forward to days of hard-charging laps on the hill, but for those looking to spend some time kicking it in the Lodge or munching on a tasty burger in the restaurant, it’s a big change. Here are some things you can do to prepare, regardless of which group you fall into!
Your 4WD Base Lodge
In light of this, we are asking guests to prepare to use their 4WD vehicle as their “Base Lodge” this season. Imagine your own private ski lodge furnished with comfy seats, a warm heater with a thermostat that answers only to you, and where they play nothing but your favorite tunes as you put your boots on. That actually doesn’t sound so bad!
Dress For Success: A Quick “How To” On Layering
Like 2020, the weather in Colorado can be a bit crazy sometimes! Echo typically enjoys around 300 days of sunshine per year, but sitting on the edge of the Continental Divide at over 10,000 feet elevation, it’s important to be prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you. The secret to staying warm and dry through large swings in temperature, wind speed, and snow is dressing in layers.
Start with a thermal base layer made from wool or synthetic fabric. The purpose of a base layer is to keep your body heat close to your skin and to keep you dry by wicking away moisture from snow or sweat. When preparing for extremely cold conditions (or if you find yourself getting cold easily), it’s okay to double up on base layers but be mindful to put the thickest one on first for best insulation.
Next, add a mid-layer; this is where the bulk of your warmth will come from. Wool or synthetic sweaters, hoodies, and pullovers work great for this, as does a puffy jacket or vest. Add or remove mid-layers to regulate your temperature as conditions change throughout the day.
Complete the look by adding a waterproof outer layer consisting of a ski jacket and pants. This is essential for staying dry and keeping out the (often considerable) wind chill common in mountain environments.
The final piece of the puzzle is your headwear. It is estimated that roughly 10% of your body’s heat is radiated through the head and neck, so consider wearing a beanie, hood, or tubular scarf (as sold by brands like Buff) under your helmet for warmth and sun protection.
In compliance with Clear Creek County and State of Colorado ordinances, all guests must wear a face covering over the mouth and nose at all times it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of social distance. Luckily skiers and snowboarders have been doing this for years! This also means you’ll be required to wear a mask pretty much everywhere at Echo.
For updates on temperature and weather conditions, be sure to visit the Mountain Conditions page on our website before making the trip!
Food & Beverage Options Are Limited... And Difficult To Keep Hot!
Due to the closure of indoor facilities, we are unable to offer indoor dining or bar services this season. Despite not being able to offer an indoor après, The Brothers’ Grille will be serving a limited menu of Grab & Go options to keep you going all day long.
Alternatively, plan ahead and pack some snacks and beverages from home and enjoy them between runs in the comfort of your private lodge! Just don’t bring any outside alcoholic beverages. Those will be confiscated.
Rental Clothing and Equipment Available in Limited Quantities
Many of our guests have never seen snow, let alone own the clothing and equipment to enjoy it. Luckily our full-service rental shop has you covered with all the clean, stylish, and modern clothing and equipment you need for a day on the slopes.
All clothing and equipment is sized to the customer and is rented online through our new system. We’ve moved rentals online in order to guarantee size availability, streamline the collections process, and to eliminate crowding of rental facilities. Prior reservations are essential. We’re working through some quirks in the process, but the online reservation system and our on-mountain pager system will save you a ton of time and hassle so you can hit the slopes faster and easier.
Online Advance Purchase Required
Lift Tickets, Tubing Reservations, and Rentals have all moved online through our website. We don’t require parking reservations or reservations for pass holders at the moment, BUT if you’re planning a day trip, you need to make your purchases online! Tubing reservations are going like hotcakes! The time slots will book up so plan appropriately. Also, be sure to check out our Rescheduling and Cancellation Policies for when plans change. Same-Day Ticket sales aren’t available online so make sure you purchase by 10:00 pm the night before.
The Situation Is Constantly Changing – Stay Up To Date!
Lately, it seems like uncertainty is the only certainty! We will continue to monitor guidance from state and local officials and adjust our operating plan accordingly to continue to ensure a safe and healthy experience at Echo.
We will be posting regular updates to our website and social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So be sure to check regularly as we continue to navigate this rapidly changing situation.
(Black) Diamonds might be forever, but global pandemics are not. This season we will be doing everything we can to ensure that we can all enjoy Echo for many years to come. We kindly ask for your understanding and cooperation.
Now let’s get our reservations locked in, gear rented, 4WD car (ahem... private lodge) stocked up and ready for another great season at Echo Mountain. See you on the hill!