Well, the long anticipated and hoped for arrival of AD 2021 is here. Canyon Blog is no virologist, or scientist of any type really, but he did dedicate several years of his life to combating biological weapons proliferation around the world. What’s that have to do with skiing in Little Cottonwood Canyon one might ask? Very little.

But it does go some distance in explaining your correspondent’s assessment skills of procedures in place by Alta and Snowbird as they conduct operations during this most unique ski season to keep us all safe. The first Monday after the holiday seemed to be the perfect opportunity to gauge skier interest and the resorts’ expectations as we finally plow into real snow accumulation and winter conditions.

Both resorts continue to require masks above the nose to board chairlifts or the tram. No one is required to sit with those not in originally in their own party. (Though Canyon Blog has come to utilize the two singles willing to share quad chairs on a regular basis and that seems to be an acceptable social skiers’ norm.) The tram continues to be limited to 25 skiers and Snowbird has restricted ski patrollers from using it to facilitate greater customer flow, so you won’t be seeing those friendly red jackets this season if you “tram” it.

In line there are social distance measures in place to keep the individual queuing lines apart and skiers have proven to be remarkably conscientious, as well as patient, by not encroaching on people in front of them. Who would have thought?

Dining continues to be limited in both numbers of patrons and menu items but that’s hardly the reason you fly to Utah and rent a Canyon Services luxury home. Alta has a trailer for take away orders parked adjacent to The Goldminer’s Daughter so you can grab a quick bite and then alight to the Collins lift virus and hunger free.

All of this is to say that in this skier’s opinion our canyon is well-protected for those of us who need to get our vertical fix on a regular basis. And if you happen upon your correspondent in line and you’re skiing solo? He’ll ride with you. Mask in place of course.