Social Distancing Log
Documenting every day during Covid-19 shutdown starting March 15th.
The governor of Colorado announced last night at 7pm that all ski resorts in the state are closed indefinitely. Tourists are still in town and they are everywhere. The Mall is full of people and families are skiing on the beginner hill either hiking back up or doing bus laps.
I decide to go for my first day of split boarding. Surrounded by dozens of people doing the same, I run into Dash. He is 89 years old and hiking up the mountain with his snowboard in order to get another day under his legs. While we’re chatting I make sure I keep safe distance between us and I even cover my face with my buff out of precaution, terrified that I could in some way transfer a virus that I might have and not be aware of to him. The thought of it haunts me for days.
Brandon, Jordan and I go for a snowmobile ride up Independence pass for sunrise. We joke about keeping our tripods 6 feet apart while shooting. I stop by the grocery store on my way back, the town is still full of people and supplies are plenty to find. My head hurts all day since I woke up at 4am and I’m imagining I have a fever. The thermometer proves me wrong. I’m fine.
Steve and I go for a sunset hike up Snowmass. He’s hiking with snowshoes and carrying his boot and ski on his backpack. I try to be a good friend and I keep my risers down the whole way. I’m dying by the end of it and Steve is hiking way faster than me. Boss. I tell him about how much anxiety I’ve been having and he says I need to calm down. All the bars and restaurants are now closed.
Toby and I go snowmobiling with Seth and Amy. We were hanging out together the night before everything got shut down so we figured we’re in it together. We ride up backside of Aspen mountain, everyone is having fun but I feel a lot of tightness in my chest. We decide to go home. I’m fine.
It’s a powder day. We’re going skinning up Snowmass. They just announced groups larger than 5 are forbidden. I get in an argument with my best friend about not taking the situation seriously. She says it’s just the flu and it makes me furious. Am I taking it TOO seriously?
I join Toby and Dave on a walk around the neighborhood. Everyone respects 6 foot social distancing and not gathering in big groups.
Dave and I are on a schedule where we go skinning every other day. Today, the mountain is so busy. We get up to Gwynn’s but there’s quite a few people up there, everyone in their own little groups.
Toby and I go snowmobiling up to Maroon Bells. We drive past Buttermilk on our way and the mountain seems quite busy with people uphilling. Somebody built an igloo at the Bells, social distancing at its finest.
I read an article about a guy who started having symptoms 9 days after he was exposed to somebody with the virus. My throat immediately started hurting. Anxiety is a hell of a thing. We didn’t go skinning today. But I grabbed my camera and went for a walk around the village. It’s so eerily empty. And not in a way like it’s empty during off season. The tables are still out at the restaurants, the lights above the ice rink are on and the steam coming off the heated pavement in Base Village makes it looks so much more apocalyptic.
Dave and I went for a short skin. The enthusiasm is starting to wear off and I’m not even bringing my camera today. Starting today at 5pm, our county is implementing “shelter in place” meaning all non essential businesses to be closed and traveling out of the county is not recommended.
It was Dave’s turn to go to the grocery store today. He says options are limited. I went for a quick run to the Top of the village, since all the trails are covered in snow and there’s no cars on the road anyways. That road is hell of a steep. I realized I can run through the parking lots to make my run longer and less steep. I must have spent ridiculous amount of hours in front of my computer today.
At 8am this morning, the entire State of Colorado was issued a Stay at home order. Dave and I went for another day of skinning, made it up to Up 4 Pizza covering about 3200ft of vertical. I have to admit when I bought that splitboard the last thing I thought is that it would come in handy in case of a global pandemic. We barely saw any other people. A few people still hiking in the park. Today, USA surpassed China as the country with most Covid-19 cases in the world.
I bought a puzzle of a place we were supposed to visit this spring. It’s snowing and the village is quite empty.
Plenty of people still hiking up the mountain, kids and adults sledding, and dogs running around everywhere. Another powder day.
I went for another run on the roads and through parking lots, since trails are still snowy. I’m considering training for a marathon.
Still no toilet paper.
If someone had told me a month ago that I’d be getting to Snowmass’s high terrain powered by my legs I definitely would not have believed them. Today we covered just over 3600 ft of vertical for the best day of riding yet – equipped with our backcountry gear for safety, we got to take some amazing “quaranturns” in the powder.