SKIBACS is looking forward to running our lesson programs at The Summit at Snoqualmie this 2020/2021 season. In spite of these challenging times, we are committed to serving our SKIBACs membership needs. Things will be a bit different this season, relative to seasons past, in a variety of ways. These are all done principally around protocols due to the COVID-19 situation. All of the peak day skiing/riding programs have been held to 50% of last seasons participation levels. Consequently, we are limiting the number of non-Boeing guest spots available, so that full SKIBACS members may have the best opportunity at using our services. Also, due to the mandate of maintaining social distancing of students and staff, chair loading restrictions, full time mask wearing, we simply could not envision how to provide a safe and quality product for our very youngest students. Subsequently, we suspended our popular ‘Jetsters’ program for this season, and limited age and skill levels in our youth programs to those where students could be counted upon to be more reliably self-sufficient at that ‘right level’ for a ski class. This last one was a difficult call, as we know there are many responsible little skiers out there, but we had to draw a line considering not just a normal or ideal day on the snow, but also how typical age group behaviors and needs shift in stressed situations (cold and windy days, or icy conditions, or misty days, etc. we simply do not have the facility option to go inside and warm up this year).
If it’s any consolation, though, our classes will average smaller sizes than any time in our past. With proper care and some flexibility with our past norms, I’m sure we’ll still be able to benefit from getting outdoors and enjoying the sport we all love!
Enclosed is your confirmation package with important information. Please read this carefully so that you will understand what you will need to make your mountain experience as enjoyable as possible.
If you have any further questions, Please feel free to contact us.
SKIBACS Ski and Snowboard Chairman
First of all, if you or any in your party are NOT feeling well PLEASE STAY HOME!
Please conduct temperature checks before you leave home. Per the CDC temperature guidelines – if you have a temperature over 100.4 F, please stay home! Although many COVID-19 infections have come from people feeling fine (asymptomatic), if you or your child are feeling even a bit under, slight cough, sore throat, etc, then please err on the side of caution and do not risk mixing with others.
If you start to feel ill while in lessons, please tell your instructor. We ask that the student, and whomever they rode up with, remove themselves from the mountain, and to monitor their health closely.
If you have a positive COVID-19 test, please let us know immediately, so that we can conduct contact tracing.
EVERYONE MUST WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES. The ski area, state and county rules are all clear on this point. Nose and mouth are to be covered.
SOCIAL DISTANCING will also be enforced. 6’ separation (a little longer than a typical adult’s ski length) or greater is the norm. Singles will ride by themselves on double chairs, and on the outside seats, two per quad chair. Household members may all ride together, but as a general practice, the ski area is promoting that groups self isolate (again, social distance) where-ever possible.
SKIBACS students must be prepared and able to ride chairs alone. The exception would be the beginner level ‘Parent and Me’ classes, where the parent would be expected to ride the chair with their child.
PLEASE PLAN AHEAD! The ski area is making adjustments from past years practices:
Having a season pass is your best bet to assure being allowed on the mountain for lessons. This is one of the main methods the ski area is using to reduce the number of people on the hill. We strongly recommend this path, as there will be limited number of pre-purchase tickets and on weekends there may be no walk up ticket sales at all.
The main lodges will be at a minimal service level. Think ‘car camping’ as your best frame of reference (gear storage, lunch breaks, etc. there will be no brown bag lunch areas, only limited food service for paying patron’s). There will be added ‘porta-poties’ in parking lots. And the ski area will have hand sanitizing in all its lodge locations.
Please allow plenty of time to drive, park and boot up in your car to be on time for class. It is imperative to be on time as trying to catch up to a class that has already left will be extremely difficult this season.
These protocols will be strictly enforced by SKIBACS as well as The Summit at Snoqualmie. If students do not comply with the above protocols further participation in our programs may be suspended, with loss of any remaining lesson sessions. For additional information as to the ski area policies, please visit their website for a full outline of their COVID protocols as The Summit at Snoqualmie
All students must arrive at the lesson with their own equipment, ready to use. Instructors will show new skiers and riders on how to put on the equipment, but we cannot make equipment adjustment, such as boot to binding fitting adjustments or binding release settings, etc. on the hill, nor with covid-19, directly manipulate your equipment for you. This is the responsibility of the student (more info below and on the last page).
For rentals, there are many rental options around the greater Seattle area. We highly encourage you to purchase a ‘Rental for the Season’ package where you can take your skis home. For more information about packages available at The Summit at Snoqualmie visit their website. Or likewise, see their website for details on the rental season pass. This choice has been our most popular in seasons past for beginners new to the sport (saving purchase for later in the season when sale prices are often best). However, it does add extra steps in your day, in terms of timing, (and this year, the potential of more social interactions).
Certainly, having your own equipment is a real time saver, and you can get equipment that matches your anatomy and needs. It’s flexible for going to other ski areas, and one less worry. The caution if you are a beginner, is matching equipment to your needs. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is properly fitted ski boots. Hand me downs, or boots that are too large might feel comfortable when you put them on in the shop, but your feet will swim around inside the boots no matter how tightly you clamp the buckles, with very regrettable consequences slowing down your learning on snow. A feeling like a ‘Firm handshake’ all around your foot is the general guideline. No pain points should exist, but neither should there be room for heals to lift, fore foot to be swim around. All while wearing only ‘one’ pair of ski socks (not cotton). Just say no to skiing in pain.
Also, the wrong skis or board to start off on, can also slow down one’s rate of learning. For example, beginners usually start on skis a bit shorter then add a little length as they progress. Once folks become intermediate, the choice might be to get a bit longer ski or perhaps also a bit wider ski underfoot. This also will adversely affect your skill advancement. Your instructor can help discuss your options generically.
Daily Tickets and Season Passes
To be clear, your lesson price does NOT include the price of the ticket or pass that allows you to use the ski area lifts. This is a separate purchase on your part.
As noted above, The Summit at Snoqualmie will be limiting presales of online daily tickets and there will be no in-person sales of lift tickets.
The ski area policy is that everyone ‘must’ have a ticket to use any of the lifts at the ski area. The most traditional is the day ticket. The rates vary with age, and the time of day one wants to ski. For more information on presale daily ticket prices is available at The Summit at Snoqualmie
However, due to COVID-19 limited numbers of skiers and riders will be allowed on the mountain. Although in the past, we’ve instructed beginners to start with a Magic Carpet ticket, and later a ‘beginner chair only’ lift ticket, these options are now considered ‘risky’ if the ski area maxes out. They are intended to be available via PRESALE on their website. And if you do opt this method, do tell your instructor this is what you are planning, and your instructor will suggest the lift ticket to pre-order for the following weeks lesson.
Season Passes and how do I get one?:
We strongly encourage our students to buy a season passes. At the end of this confirmation letter, is an instruction page provided by the Summit at Snoqualmie. Click on the link provided to get the on line instructions Snoqualmie Pass form for Season Passes FOR SKIBACS STUDENTS. Our rates are the lowest you will find (better than the general public rates on the website for the ski area those are current general market rate our rates are discounted back to the pass prices from the summer. PRICES INCREASE TO FULL PRICE ON DECEMBER 16TH!
If you are an IKON pass holder, you must reserve a spot on the mountain for any given day. For more information visit The Summit at Snoqualmie
*”Parent & Me” session of for Youth 7+ yrs old who are L1 and L2 skiers. The parent must be prepared to ski with and assist with the hands on learning.
Parent and Me
New this year, is our ‘Parent and Me’. This class is for first time beginners and early beginners (someone who may have been on a chair a few times last season, but are not comfortable on all green terrain). This format will require a parent to assist their child, with chair rides, with close contact situations, that normally an instructor would assist with, but due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, an instructor cannot physically assist your child at this time. However, the instructor will be guiding everyone (you are encouraged to try things out with your child) on the activities and tasks that make for solid beginner foundational skier skills. We do request that you take the ‘assist’ role in the lesson, and let our trained professionals guide, and provide the pacing, task selection and feedback levels that we train them to use for best long term success. They will, of course, be happy to explain to you the whats, hows and whys behind their lessons. Do be patient, in that the lesson is to be oriented around a childs perspective (they just want to have fun, and usually don’t want to be slowed down while any lengthy explanations are going on). We’re hoping this new format will be a success in these unusual times.
Household Private (3 pack)
Also new this year is our private lesson ‘3 pack’. This is for 3 consecutive weeks, with the same instructor and your ‘household’ party (so no mixing in with any other strangers, it’s just your gang). The instructor will be conducting a group lesson, and providing guidance to all in your household who are participating. Naturally, the terrain may be limited to the abilities that the least skilled skier/rider may safely ski, but everyone will be provided with suggestions, tips and feedback on their skiing in a group context. Our hoped for goal is for everyone to pick things up a notch, and that your family as a whole may be able to have fun skiing at a bit higher pace or terrain by the times things are a wrap.
Our Regular Class Assignments and First Day
On the first day of class, please go to the sign at the ski school meeting area that corresponds to your class. (i.e Youth L4) The instructor at this sign will provide further information. The ski school meeting area is identified on the attached map. If you feel you have signed up for the wrong level or wish to change (before or after your first class), please feel free to discuss this with the instructor or available ski school supervisor. We will find the class that best fits your needs. Please give yourself plenty of margin to arrive on time the first day, we highly suggest you to arrive at least 30 minutes early.
The signs we use for the first day of lessons, correspond with the skill levels. Beginners never ever ski or ride, go to Level 1 sign.
If you miss the first week there will be different signs, assigned by class numbers (1 to 30+). The numbers are randomly assigned, and have nothing to do with your skill level. Find the Day Supervisor or any instructor and they will be able to get you in the right class.
Parents with Children in lessons: Be sure to introduce yourself to your child’s instructor first before leaving. We will be gathering contact information from you in case we need to get ahold of you during the lesson. Also, we need you to pick-up your child promptly at the end of the two hour, fifteen minute long lesson. We will not ‘release’ younger children to ski on their own. Be sure to ask the instructor the class number for the following week your child may not remember, and all the instructors sort of wear the same parka and look the same.
One final thing. We strive for a fun experience for all, in a group lesson setting. Safety is also of a prime concern to us. If a student is not following the directions of the instructor, or disrupting the experience of the other students in the class, we reserve the right to cancel the remaining lessons for that student, and will issue a pro-rated refund for remaining lessons.
Dear Snow Sport Enthusiast:
Discount Ski Pass Information
Best Practices for Winter Sports
Your receipt was your confirmation when you registered electronically.
Please contact SKIBACS at email@example.com or (206) 400-7542 if you did not receive it.
Cancellation of Lessons
The weather conditions in the mountains may force us to cancel class. If we have enough advanced notice we will try to post lesson cancellations recorded on the SKIBACS receptionist line, 206-400-7542 or sign up to receive SMS notices on your mobile phone. Please call before leaving, even if the weather looks good down in town. Cancelled classes will be made up the week following our last normally scheduled class. Also, do not ‘assume’ classes are cancelled, if it is raining and storming in town. Often, it may be coming down as snow at the mountain, and we love skiing while it’s snowing. Again, simply call beforehand or sign up to use our SMS system. At times, the road closes, or conditions change too close to the lesson start time for us to get notice out. We apologize in advance for not being able to notify you in these cases, but be forewarned that this is a mountain sport, and that unfortunate circumstance comes with the territory.
This is a great, easy to use service, where we can send the quickest status for lesson changes to your cell phone. See the information box on the bottom of our home page to sign up. www.skibacs.org
To be clear, SKIBACS operates out of Summit at Snoqualmie CENTRAL.
Snoqualmie ski area is actually several ski areas that are apart from each other. Each year, some folks go to the wrong area, usually Summit, West. So if you see a gas station nearby, or a hotel, those are over by Summit, West. Keep driving south/east on the Route 906 access road for another mile or so, and you’ll come up on Central.
Look for CENTRAL sign.
Maps & Directions:
Summit Central is located on Snoqualmie Pass. Take Exit 53 off of I-90; turn west (right) to a “T” intersection, then turn south (left).
Best Practices for Winter Sports Activities in the Mountains:
General Clothing Principles
Weather in the mountains changes quickly, so always be prepared. Keep in mind that the weather can range from below zero to very warm, from sunshine to snow or rain, thus dressing in layers allows the best flexibility. Cotton clothing should be avoided, and in no case should anyone wear cotton gloves, hats or socks.
Yes, this is the Pacific Northwest and we’ll ski/ride even if it’s a light rain.
Base Layer: thermal, long sleeved underwear; fabrics that wick sweat away from the body is best.
Insulating Layer: turtleneck or sweater with lofting properties like wool or polypro fleece.
Outer Layer: wind- and rain-proof pants and parka (consider carrying an additional cheap rain slicker if it’s really soggy).
Extremities: water resistant gloves or mittens, wool hat and socks, well-fitting goggles and a face mask!
Bring: Sun-block and sunglasses.
Parents – the little ones lose heat much faster than adults, therefore well-covered extremities (head and hands – NO cotton gloves) are essential to keeping them warm overall. Generally, layering is the key for everyone.
We expect students to come to class with properly selected and adjusted equipment. Your instructor will teach students, particularly beginners, how to put on the skis and snowboards. However, your instructor will not be equipped to make adjustments to your equipment. This is particularly true of binding adjustments. If you have a persistent problem, your instructor will send you to the area shop. The shop will probably charge a modest fee. If your skis or snowboard have not been tuned (bases waxed or edges sharpened) for a long while, this can, depending on the conditions, seriously hamper your success on snow. Please make an effort to visit a shop to have this taken care of. It can also be a good time to have your bindings properly checked and adjusted if you have not done so recently.
Snowboarders – please be sure to check that you have a leash (all boards must have a board runaway preventive device) with you board and/or boots. Also, a stomp pad (a small piece of rubber glued onto the board right in front of the back binding) is a necessity. Do not leave the shop without one mounted to your board.
Some studies have correlated a reduction in number and severity of wrist injuries while snowboarding with wearing wrist guards. Although not required for lessons, it’s left to the individual to decide upon this level of protection.
Parents – we allow children to use ski poles in our lessons, although the instructor may have the poles set aside at certain times so that the children do not improperly rely on them.
Helmets – we encourage the use of helmets. Although not a requirement for lesson, falls and collisions are a reality of our mountain sport, and reducing the chances of a concussion is an unarguably good thing. Besides, ski/snowboard helmets take the place of ski hats, keeping heads warm and dry on snowy days.