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  1. Today
  2. @Ocean @Shane and @Gordo, All is okay for me, started a new job just before this mess really broke out, and now all set up working from home now. It's been a bit stressing getting trained remotely, but the extra sleep in time certainly helps out. It's been a total.......well I'll keep it clean here, mess. Sherbrooke seems to be the hotspot now in the Townships, and no plans on heading out. Heck I don't even have gas for the BBQ! Got caught on that one, should have filled up when it ran out last fall! Stay safe everyone!
  3. Last week
  4. So Montreal is a hotspot now, literally the entire area around my neighbourhood, Outremont, Park Ex, Plateau (includes Mile End). Also @Paul Estrie is a hot spot and people are advised now to go neither to Montreal or Estrie. Stay home and stay in your neighbourhood! ❤️ Maybe we'll get lucky and still have some snow in May for some hikes...
  5. As was to be expected, yesterday the ASSQ announced that the ski season in Quebec has officially come to an end for this year. They do mention that barring some exceptional circumstance, all mountains will remain closed until the next season. It is added that summer preparations can start ahead of time to get ready. Hopefully the health situation will improve and not ruin the summer months as well. I just saw in the news that Doug Ford, Ontario premier has ordered all non-essential businesses to close as of 11:59pm Tuesday night. And yesterday, Francois Legault, the Quebec premier, ordered all schools closures extended until May 1st and now all shopping malls to close as of last night. While the end of the ski season is disappointing, and again I never made it out.... it doesn't bother me too much. More concerned about what is going on in the world. Hoping for the best for everyone.
  6. Earlier
  7. Stoked for this! I had a fantastic time at Val Saint-Côme this year and was delighted to learn there is weekend night skiing available when it is freezing rain everywhere further south and everything is closed!
  8. In a shocking move, some former members of the Hermitage Club banded together and bought their ski resort for $8 million! Good for them! https://www.reformer.com/stories/member-group-wins-hermitage-with-8m-bid,600385?
  9. @Shane yes but read the Alterra closure notice vs the Camp Fortune closure notice (the same one posted to MSM's page) - you can clearly see who gets it and who hasn't come around yet. so I propose we "help" any of the remaining hills make the right choice.
  10. In case people were wondering, at 10pm Sunday night, Mont Ste Marie said that after confirming with the ASSQ, they would in fact not open after all.
  11. @Paul @Shane @Gordo all ski areas need to close NOW. And we should be putting pressure on those who haven't done the right thing to do so immediately for the health and safety of all skiers. Clearly Sudermann didn't get the memo, for example. And to be fair Les Sommets didn't either, although from their social media you can clearly see that many of their customers get it! As an example of the problem, I heard today that a group of skiers who were on a recent ski trip to Colorado were all diagnosed positive - and went skiing anyways! It is possible they will be charged for disobeying quarantine, apparently. I would also like to elaborate about the situation. My background before my current role was in pandemic and infectious disease at PHAC. I have intimate familiarity with Canada's pandemic plan, our stockpile, provincial plans in every province and some First Nations communities, in addition to understanding how the public health system works in every single Province and Territory in Canada and the basics around vaccine development, production and distribution. If any of you guys have questions or need any support or good information in helping other friends or family understand the situation (beyond just the ski hill closures!) feel free to ask me as I've followed this since it was starting to be reported in the media back in January. I'll admit to being oversaturated this week in particular but I have LOTS of information to offer that will help people draw the right conclusions. So, let's take a look at Ottawa, where a few days ago there were five cases diagnosed. With every diagnoses we know there are likely to be ample more contacts of the infected individual who become infected themselves, and Dr. Vera Etches of Ottawa Public Health estimated there are up to one thousand undiagnosed and/or asymptomatic cases walking around Ottawa right now. Each 2-3 days, that number can double. And by the way, while we are testing, we are having to triage who gets a test and there are lengthy wait times right now so priority cases will be the individuals with more serious symptoms. Looking at Montreal, yesterday we had 11 cases diagnosed, so imagine about 2000 cases walking around town going about their regular business. You see very quickly how this can become a problem even outdoors when people are lining up together and taking chairlifts and gondolas and even just using the restrooms, because transmission is both aerosol (droplets in the air...not the same at all as airborne, and this is being misreported quite a bit) and the virus can live on surfaces for a minimum of three days (according to research that is currently in peer-review process). So you just can't have people socializing - at all. My advice: Stay Home. If your employer has not made arrangements for you to work from home yet and you have the capability, do not wait for permission - beg for forgiveness. Unless your role is an essential service to your employer, you need to protect yourself and your family from exposures. Office exposures are in the top list of how people are becoming infected. If you need to go out to a store for any reason, try and go during off peak hours, to smaller stores. Stay out of CostCo and Superstore etc. Do not go to bars and restaurants. Do not even get takeout and especially do not get delivery (it should be obvious that the service industry has always come to work sick because they don't have sick days, and that delivery people interact with a high volume of people). Definitely do not go to a movie theatre. If they haven't closed in your area do not support them in staying open by not going. Social distancing unfortunately also means no hanging out with friends. You can't confirm you have never been exposed in your day to day activities, and neither can they. Two weeks isn't a long time to pass not socializing and in two weeks we may succeed in flattening the curve. Do expect however that in the next three weeks following the march breaks, numbers will jump frighteningly high here (hell our current diagnosed cases is frightening to me!), and more so in the US. I do not think we will be keeping the border open to US citizens for very much longer. We are currently three weeks behind Italy in terms of numbers so this week especially is the most important week to stay home!! If you have friends or family who are continuing to go about their lives, educate them and/or shame them until they understand they need to stay home. My friends in San Francisco and Reno began a three week lockdown tonight, and NYC is next. Let's all behave so that our civic leaders don't need to make it to this draconian next step. Most importantly: don't panic. If you haven't already, quietly prepare (no panic shopping!) and then enjoy a few weeks as a recluse. I am going to wait a few weeks for things to calm down and do some local, covert hiking. If you do the same, please do not go to another region to do that. Stay in your region/province. I am sad to see the lift-serviced skison go. I still need to figure out how many days I actually skied but it is probably 80 something. I have a huge backlog of trip reports to contribute so will focus on that in my spare time in the coming weeks after I can wean myself off the 24 hours news cycle horror show. Let's all smother this virus by not giving it a means to spread - so we can all happily whoosh into the next season.
  12. Just minutes ago, Mount Norquay - Banff has just announced on their Facebook page they are suspending operations. Now the closures are starting out West. Mont Farlagne in Edmunston, NB has also posted their closure as well today, along with Sugarloaf Provincial Park in Atholville, NB. Marble Mountain, NL is now also closed. So friends this is the end of the season as we know it!
  13. As of today March 16th, Nova Scotia ski areas are now closing. Cape Smokey, Ski Ben Eoin, Ski Martock, and Wentworth have announced their closures for the season.
  14. Kinda crazy. Why wouldn’t they just say the hill is open for touring while everything else is closed.
  15. Mont Ste Marie aims to be defiant and open anyways tomorrow with both Quads (Vanier and Cheval Blanc). The lodge will be closed but washrooms open. Here is the Facebook post below. I don't agree with this as the whole idea is to keep people home and safe and avoid contact. They state "SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT OPEN TOMORROW! We are taking extraordinary measures to ensure safety and will open Vanier and Cheval Lifts only and loading 2 per chair. The lodge will be closed except for the lower level only for washrooms and lift tickets. Bring your own food and drink for outside and tailgating." I'm eager to see in the morning if they actually open. I'm sure extraordinary measures means paying a very big fine or some sort of repercussion for defying the government's orders. The comments on the facebook post are pretty negative. Some range from "Never skiing there again after this" , "Bought a pass, never again", and so forth. https://www.facebook.com/MontSteMarie/photos/a.295609143795003/2978959795459911/?type=3&theater
  16. Quebec is not the only Province to close their ski areas. Even though there is only one area in PEI, the Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park at Brookvale has announced that their season has come to and end as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Just a matter of time before all the other Maritime ski areas close as well?
  17. St. Louis Moonstone is closing today. I think the ski season is done.
  18. @Shane Calabogie Peaks may still be open Monday if your feeling adventurous.
  19. Quebec ski areas have been ordered to close as of 4pm today for an indefinite period. Sad day. The situation seems to be ramping up as far as reported positive cases. I hope everyone is safe, stays healthy and recovers fully and quickly if they become affected. Sad for me as well as I have yet to ski this season. Was hoping to get out during March Break but health and safety is more important than skiing.
  20. Well I think the Quebec Government is about to shut everything down. https://postmedia.us.janrainsso.com/static/server.html?origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmontrealgazette.com%2Fnews%2Fquebec%2Fcovid-19-quebec-orders-bars-and-theatres-to-close-restaurants-to-limit-customers
  21. So today was an interesting day, but let's begin the story on Wednesday, when Skiology posted a poll asking if COVID-19 would affect the rest of our season. Of those responding, 5% thought yes, everyone else said no. Thursday morning, Catamount and Berkshire East were the first to go, with many other resorts announcing "safety measures", followed by a VERY quick about-face by Jay Peak after Canada advised Canadians to not travel outside the country and to self-quarantine on return from *any* travel. Everyone else announced "safety measures" such as cleaning, "social distancing" by not packing chairlifts and gondolas, and so on. However, those of us familiar with the already lengthy Tremblant lines understand very quickly that this measure is not social distancing. In less than 24 hours, Vail Resorts did an about face and announced the closure of ALL its North American Resorts for one week to consider the situation - but we don't expect them to reopen. Consequently, Whistler-Blackcomb is DONE. Within about two hours, Alterra one-upped Vail by announcing the closure of all fifteen of its resorts effective immediately, and indefinitely - including Tremblant. That's right, Tremblant is DONE. In short order, the Governor of Colorado issued an executive order closing ALL resorts in Colorado (which is what we think tipped Vail and Alterra's hand). Just around midnight EST, POWDR Corp jumped onboard announcing the closures of its resorts, including Killington and Pico "for a week" but it seems very unlikely that they will reopen.. Tonight the lifties at Saint-Sauveur said they don't know what's going to happen yet but we can expect an announcement of some kind from Les Sommets tomorrow apparently. I expect RCR (MSA, Stoneham, Massif) will also fall in line very soon because no one wants to look bad among the other industry leaders. We speculate that potentially ALL Quebec resorts might announce closure by end of day tomorrow....potentially. I am thinking they might waffle for a week or do a "temporary" closure. Why is this happening? The goal of social distancing is to prevent spread. We don't have a huge problem here in Canada yet, and we don't want one. With many US resorts closing, you can guess that untested, asymptomatic Americans will cross the border looking for pow and bring along with them the stupid virus. (In the US, if you weren't aware yet, they are not testing, even as of this week people are being denied across several states according to first person accounts). That being, the smart move of the ASSQ would be to get ahead of that and not give Americans and other would be travellers a choice, thus supporting the safety of the staff and communities of our local resorts. These changes may come as a shock to many. But there have been many little cues along the way, such as the case of the chalet outbreak in France last month caused by a traveller from Singapore, the fourteen cases in the US that travelled to a resort in Italy together (three in critical condition in California, last I heard), the closure of the entire ski industry in Italy, and now France and Switzerland. There are now COVID-19 outbreaks in some of the ski towns in Utah and Colorado that likely triggered this decision, and you can guess who brought it there. I'll admit, although I foresaw last month many changes coming for other reasons, I really didn't think we'd be ending the season this way, but here we are. What's next? Skinning and splitboarding is an option for some, or hiking like I do where you can get away from it. This is obviously going to be devastating to resorts and local economies and all the resort workers, and they are not alone in the economic devastation that's coming. Today Cuomo said to expect changes for the next 8-9 months. In Canada we are ahead of the curve - we know this as we only have one death, we are early in our timeline. So for that I encourage everyone to support the measures we are seeing put in place, and then take them even further in your personal lives and interactions because imo our government is not yet taking it far enough. We need to rethink every little interaction in our day to day lives. I've been cautiously whooshing since my parents returned from Singapore Feb 2, and my partner and I have made the decision to no longer go to restaurants and bars (think of all the money we'll save!). I skipped the CostCo shitshow, because I started planning when our CPHO Theresa Tam said to do so many weeks back. We still have some time here in Canada to consciously adapt and restructure our lives so that if lockdown becomes necessary, we stand ready to support health and well being of our frontline health care workers. I wish you all the best in adjusting to the new normal, and hope we are all successful in avoiding exposure to COVID-19. #iostoacasa #staythefuckhome
  22. Here is a Global list of closed resorts for reference. This list will most likely to expand soon enough. https://snowbrains.com/list-of-all-ski-resorts-closed-due-to-coronavirus/ Update: You can add Magic Mountain, VT and Mad River Glen, VT to the list.
  23. @Shane that includes the biggest resort in North America, Whistler Blackcomb. Fortune was pretty quiet for a Saturday but I never went over to the valley. Ski lessons were still going.
  24. Just in... Alterra and Vail are shutting down all of their mountains for atleast a week if not longer effective tomorrow morning. These two groups own the biggest resorts in North America. I wouldn’t be surprised if many others follow their lead and close as well. Skiing for the most part is still open elsewhere but that may rapidly change. I would suggest that all who would like to ski before the end of the season should do so soon as the end may come very quickly due to the current crisis.
  25. How were the crowds out on the slopes today? From photos I have seen in social media, it seems like the flow is much less than usual for a Saturday. With alot of mountains often closing around last week of March or first week of April, I wouldn't be surprised if the skier flow is low that they cut their losses and end early. Hopefully that isn't the case, but as the situation continues to evolve it could happen. Not withstanding, the exception for ski mountains to stay open in Quebec could come to an end as well at some point. For such an industry where the margins are tight especially for smaller mountains, this can put many in a precarious position, with lower revenue and a potentially shortened ski season. March Break is an important part of the business revenue stream after all. Hope for the best... for the love of snow and skiing!
  26. Well Camp Fortune is still open and the spring conditions are great.
  27. Here’s more info about why Jay Peak is closing. Mainly because of Canadians have restricted access.
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