Last week’s early snowfall had the Yawgoo Valley Ski Area staff excited, and “Shredder McCoy”, the area’s snowboarding mascot, making an attempt to ride the lightly coated beginner slope. Several staff members sat in the ski lodge watching the driving snow, as it collected on the trails. It seemed to be a very encouraging sign that more snow is on the way, and perhaps the area could open early this season.
Rhode Island’s only ski area is preparing for the 2020-2021 rental and lesson season, but still waiting to hear from the governor on any possible restrictions. Program lessons could be of smaller size, skiers and snowboarders will be spread out as they wait for a lift, and limits might be imposed on riders on the actual lifts. There will be time limited seating in the lodge.
Northern New England ski areas are already anticipating new protocol from the various governors. First...one must make a vehicle reservation to be allowed to park at the ski area. Drivers must give a head count of who is actually going to ride during the day. Then, lift tickets will be issued to only those who were included in the group. These restrictions could vary with the state and ski area.
Big ski areas will be limiting both parking and participants according to their state guidelines. Once the ski area hits the capacity allowed, no one else will be allowed on the slopes.
With all these rules and regulations in place, in order to control the Corona Virus, local riders should consider hitting the Yawgoo Valley trails this winter. Despite the lack of natural snow last winter, we had top to bottom conditions with man made snow for the entire season. Yawgoo Valley has more snow making guns for its size, than any other ski area in New England.
Jean Sullivan, the new ski shop manager, has loaded the store with a huge inventory of ski goggles, hats, gloves, and accessories, and feels that this winter will be very busy. Day trippers are always either forgetting gear, or losing it on the trails, and the ski shop can solve that problem.
In previous cold winters, the ski area has opened before Christmas, with the 5-week group program lessons beginning in earnest, during the first week of January. There has been a real demand for both the group program classes and season passes this fall, with many skiers and snowboarders preferring to stay close to home. The 5-week programs and season passes are completely sold out at this time. There is a lottery still available for the programs, and a waiting list for the season passes, but it is unlikely that there will be openings in either one.
Day passes and both ski and snowboard rentals will be available all season long. The area does not rent helmets, but they are not required on the trails. One big change for this season is that there will no longer be daily group lesson classes for either skiers or snowboarders.
For more information regarding daily rates, and Corona Virus restrictions, check the Yawgoo Valley Ski Area website.