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Skiing 20/21 - Changing usual approach?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm not sure it's quite as simple as avoiding enclosed spaces ie. Going to a much quieter, smaller resort with some bubbles, "may" be no riskier than a v. large resort, where you can mostly get around by chairlifts.

There are so many factors to weigh up when assessing risk, that coming to the right decision isn't easy.

Some great input so far - so thanks All, for that.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Old Fartbag, unless you have particular health issues or are well past retirements, surely the risk of skiing down the side of a steep mountain at 50 mph outweighs the risk of dying from Covid? Current death risks seem to be around 0.3-0.5% over the whole population. Given half of deaths are over 85, around 10 or 100 x smaller for the vast majority of skiers.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 15-07-20 16:02; edited 1 time in total
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Always helpful @snowhound, to bring perspective back but unfortunately governments and civil servants do not understand statistics and risk.
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snowhound wrote:
@Old Fartbag, unless you have particular health issues or are well past retirements, surely the risk of skiing down the side of a steep mountain at 50 mph outweighs the risk of dying from Covid? Current death risks seem to be around 0.3-0.5% over the whole population. Given half of deaths are over 85, around 100 or 1000 x smaller for the vast majority of skiers.


Are you sure about that? I would have thought that the number of on-piste deaths per year as a percentage of, say, skier days was very low
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Life is all about relative risk. If I was under 50 ( I am 51....) I’d have no worries at all about coronavirus on a ski lift. For the vast majority catching it is not a death sentence. I think the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford (you’d think all medical would be evidence based....) says it basically doubles the average % of risk whatever your age. 0.01% to 0.02% might be a big % change but not in absolute values. Even up to 60, far more die of cancer (not least in the future given the lack of NHS treatment), etc.
On balance, most people are more likely to die of lots of other things They do every day without thinking about it.
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snowhound wrote:

On balance, most people are more likely to die of lots of other things They do every day without thinking about it.


I think this could be said about every possible cause of death - as there is no single cause that has greater than 50% likeliehood of killing us.
So, not really advancing the debate.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Yes but we dont suddenly stop driving, smoking, drinking alcohol, rock climbing, cycling on roads, eating cr@p food because they increase our risk of dying. We assess whether the risk is worth it personally and decide according ly.
In the end anyone can decide whether they are prepared to sit in a gondola or a mountain cafe with anyone else. Me personally...having played rugby for 30 years, rock climbed, made numerous 4000 m summits, drunk far too much beer for comfort,?and lots of other risky calls, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. Other people’s risk calculations will be different.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@snowhound, I agree completely with your points about each individual's approach to risk appetite. My original question was about your statement that the risk of dying from a ski accident is greater than that of dying from Covid. Just wanted to see how you'd arrived at that conclusion.
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snowhound wrote:
@Old Fartbag, unless you have particular health issues or are well past retirements, surely the risk of skiing down the side of a steep mountain at 50 mph outweighs the risk of dying from Covid? Current death risks seem to be around 0.3-0.5% over the whole population. Given half of deaths are over 85, around 10 or 100 x smaller for the vast majority of skiers.

The trouble with C19, unlike Skiing, is that the risk isn't just mine to take. Lady F has conditions that make her very vulnerable if she gets it.

Personally, I think the older you are and the more health conditions you have (or if living with somebody vulnerable) - the more seriously you have to weigh up the risk - which you touched on in your post.
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this year holidays got cancelled, got a voucher to burn until next year, so didn't have an option of not to book something. Will be driving, not flying, self catered challet. Time will tell.
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@Old Fartbag, fair enough! Glad we agree. Good luck with your decision.
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Booked on SOPiB as usual, will try to get in some skiing beforehand as usual. Not taking silly risks but not panicking either.
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We're planning on going out for 7 weeks this coming season, but that's in our own apartment. There's no way I'd go on a Catered chalet holiday.

We packed up our chalet a few years ago for multiple reasons, market oversaturation driving down retail price, costs and guest expectation going up, market shift to self catering, blah blah blah. As others have said, this pandemic has only sped up what would have happened anyway. When we left a lot of people thought we were quite wierd, but since then a lot of people we knew have put their chalets on the market, and I know of at least 2 families who've sold up and moved away.

There is a recession coming, how bad it will be will depend on the severity of a second wave. A lot of companies will go bust in 2021, but I also think some companies will just not trade or at least massively reduce what they offer on a catered basis, there'll also be a huge shift in to self catered next season for those companies that own their chalets by way of minimising expenditure - a S/C chalet almost sells itself, you just clean it, there's no staff to hire etc.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Way I look at it , I am paying for apartment already & with easyjet offering flights for £25 I may as well go for it, I have 7 trips booked for next season. all the longer ones (7 days+) we are going by car but the 3/4 day weekends are by flight.
I do envy those of you who live south as I would never fly & that vastly reduces any risk, you leave your own house, you travel in your own car & you arrive at your own house. as risk free as you are going to get.
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Jonny996 wrote:
you leave your own house, you travel in your own car & you arrive at your own house. as risk free as you are going to get.


I'm not sure a 2,000 mile round trip by car is actually "as risk free as you are going to get". Particularly not if you load in "in a foreign country on the wrong side of the road at relatively high speed whilst more tired than normal".

The latest I've seen is this: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.02.20143826v2 (caution - non peer reviewed preprint!) suggesting a c. 1 in 1 million COVID mortality risk from flying.

DfT stats https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/834585/reported-road-casualties-annual-report-2018.pdf point to 1 death per 200million miles.

So, for a 2,000 mile drive, your are 10x more likely to die in a car accident than you are to die from COVID you caught on the equivalent plane flight.

I know there's lots of other factors - driving to the airport, risk factors in airport, car journey at other end, ability to leave when you want and drive home in event of another lockdown, catching COVID in the Eurotunnel etc. etc., but in simple terms, driving is not demonstrably safer than flying.

[Despite this, I'm driving out this summer!]
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
at least in the car you have some control over the cleanliness of your fellow passengers, some of the people I have seen on planes simply don't know how to wash.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

suggesting a c. 1 in 1 million COVID mortality risk from flying.


The paper suggests risk of contracting covid-19 from a nearby passenger is 1 in 7,000 and under the middle seat empty policy, that risk falls to about 1 in 14,000. I can understand how they can predict this and am assuming they are modelling it based on a covid-19 person sitting as near as possible to you and best practices being used (hand washing, masks etc.). In which case the risk could be a lot lower than they are predicting. I can't see how they extrapolate this too predicting mortality rate, when we know certain groups have far higher and lower mortality risks after catching the virus.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@boarder2020, they can extrapolate to mortality rate because IFR is an increasingly known quantity. They aren't extrapolating into _your_ mortality rate; they'd need to know your own risk factors. On a population basis, they can use population metrics.

You could take the same risk of infection stats they give, and extrapolate based on known IFR data for your age group, gender and ethnicity, and draw your own conclusion. You could take the same view about type of car you drive etc. to work our your risk per mile driving.

@Jonny996, the risk of dying in a car is entirely unrelated to COVID or passenger cleanliness, it's about crashing, or someone else crashing into you. That massively outweighs the COVID risk.
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I hope the irony of talking about risk of death whilst travelling to a ski holiday is not lost on anyone
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https://www.nsaa.org/media/68045/NSAA-Facts-About-Skiing-Snowboarding-Safety-10-1-12.pdf suggests skiing death rate of 1 per million ski-days.

So whether you fly out and risk COVID, or spend the day skiing, it's the same risk.

Maybe a good excuse to spend the whole season in the alps rather than travelling too and fro? Happy
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My thoughts on next winter. There will be markedly less brits - Brexit and economy related issues. But many brits were catered for by a very specific industry which is in the process of going bust. In general numbers will be down a bit but not a lot. In peak weeks most resorts are maxed out so will be filled by others. The only issue is when do we get our seccond shut/lockdown? Or will the new mask rules prevent this. Form traveling localy, France need the new mask rule, the Italians are wearing them, they realy don't want another lockdown.
If we have another lockdown in Autumn the skis season will be fine, but Christmass or later will be a disatster.
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Layne wrote:
DCG wrote:
My preference would be to avoid cable cars, gondolas, funiculars and other enclosed spaces. Any suggestions as to which resorts would give the greatest km of skiing on just chairs, pomas & T-bars.

I got to thinking about this the other day after someone mentioned it.

The place I go to most often is Paradiski based in Les Coches. I reckon I could get most of the way around the domain without being enclosed. On the La Plagne side it would rule out going up to the glacier in the Bellecote. But I don't do that much anyway. I almost never use Roche De Mio. Use of Grand Rochette would be a small issue but not a killer. On the Les Arcs side the Varet would be a big loss, Aiguille Rouge not something we'd do loads and was closed for a whole week once when I was out there. Transarc could cause some inconvenience. Oh and there is of course the Vanoise Express. I usually buy a Paradiski pass and split the time 50/50 so that would be a major gripe.

I was also thinking La Plagne would be a good call. You can still get to Roche de Mio via the Carella chair, so those pistes remain accessible. But dropping down to Montalbert would be ruled out.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Well, the first challenge for me will be getting out of Australia and into Austria. Not feeling upbeat about the chances.

A mate is a ski instructor who works in the USA during the Aussie off-season. He has doubts about: a) being able to travel there, and b) how the season will be managed.

Thinking about capacity limits in gondolas... that is all well & good, but what about the queuing? At 1.5m spacing, the queue for the Nassereinbahn would stretch back to the top of Fangbahn.
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@ulmerhutte, as we don’t know what regulations will apply next week, never mind next season - DON’T PANIC!
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snowdave wrote:
https://www.nsaa.org/media/68045/NSAA-Facts-About-Skiing-Snowboarding-Safety-10-1-12.pdf suggests skiing death rate of 1 per million ski-days.
Reasonably similar figures for Brits in Europe, according to a Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/shortcuts/2018/jan/23/from-skiing-to-tombstoning-how-dangerous-are-our-favourite-pastimes

It says that FCO figures show 58 Brits died skiing in Europe, over a 5 year period. So, a little under 12 per year. The article says 1.8million Brits go on ski hols per year, so that's 6.7 deaths per million ski holidays. Assuming an average of 5 days skiing per holiday, that would be 1.3 deaths per million ski-days.
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froomie wrote:
abc wrote:


Those failures and consolidation you speak of will come, but not for 20/21. What WILL happen is every establishment will fight to fill their rooms however they can, probably a lot of last minutes at much low prices.

Those who can't managed the cash flow in 20/21 will fail to operate in 21/22. But the hotels and chalets will still be there, perhaps operated by a new owner.

TO's? They can go. They're on the way out anyway. With online booking make DIY so much easier, there's no longer any point to have any middleman. Only the most service-oriented one will exist, charging higher prices for their service. The shake-up is already happening in the background. The pandemic only accelerates it.

We're in a recession. To say prices will go up in the middle of a recession is ignoring reality. What may come at the end of the recession is a different matter. But not for 20/21, which is what this thread about.


Fair points. Perhaps the consolidation won't be immediate, but seems likely it will come. However, just look at what is happening right now with airfares. Airlines aren't just giving seats away. They are reducing capacity as it's less costly to park planes than run them at a loss. Fares haven't come down, check out BA LHR-GVA for July and August. Down to 2 daily flights in either direction (against 10 normally) and a return economy fare is still £200+.
@froomie, air fare is a different matter altogether. Scheduled (non-chartered) flights have always operate on the principle of charging top money for business travelers and then fill the rest of the plane in whatever price they can get.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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snowhound wrote:
@Old Fartbag, unless you have particular health issues or are well past retirements, surely the risk of skiing down the side of a steep mountain at 50 mph outweighs the risk of dying from Covid?

But the risk of skiing is unchanged, while adding the risk of Covid on top of it.

I don't know how many ski at 50 mph. I don't. As such, I would view the relative risk of Covid higher than you do.

It's the same with other statistics. It's a broad stroke of "numbers", which is largely biased by the risk takers or the reckless. The risk of driving or skiing is quite low to the average sensible driver/skier.

But the risk of Covid is largely to WHERE you choose to go, and WHAT mode of transportation you get there.

I don't go off-piste when the avi risk is 4. I don't drive up the mountain when there's a storm raging. I don't fly when there's an uncontrolled air-spread pandemic. That I think is very much a consistent approach to risk.

Everybody throws the "numbers" around, but you really should pay attention to what those number really means.
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Personally it’s the overall principle of risk v return which decides things for me. I don’t do a precise numbers based assessment weighing up % each time. I do lots of things in life with the element of risk and I do them because I enjoy or benefit from the experience-from drinking a beer, driving, mountain biking, alpine climbs, rock climbing, mountaineering, rugby and....skiing. The extra risk of being on a busy ski lift is (for me) more than worth it. I would probably pull up my snood on a packed gondola but that’s about it.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
China plague is the most infectious new disease the world has seen in living memory.

It has caused half the entire world of humanity to lockdown and shutdown.

Without hard lockdown, infections would now be approaching 1 billion and deaths 10 million -- outstripping even WW2's daily deathrate.

Do not confuse post-lockdown stats with pre-lockdown uncontrolled wildfire spread.

The plague numbers only look "good" because the world is in hibernation...

What's more, the plague is not just about death.

It is also about disability.

Post-virus fatigue and disability are real.

Perhaps as high as 5-20% of confirmed cases.

If your lungs or heart get wrecked by Wuhan Flu, you ain't gonna be skiing 8hrs a day.
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@Whitegold, You need a hug.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Klamm Franzer wrote:
@Whitegold, You need a hug.

Well, he hasn't changed his approach. rolling eyes
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Whitegold wrote:
China plague is the most infectious new disease the world has seen in living memory.

Klamm Franzer wrote:
@Whitegold, You need a hug.

Shocked

rolling eyes
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Klamm Franzer wrote:
@Whitegold, You need a hug.


By an anaconda.
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It has affected my usual approach for next year. I usually plan two trips - a "lad's" trip with my mates (although we are a bit long in the tooth to be described as such!!) and a trip with my kids. The kids trip fell foul of Covid at Easter this year and may be in doubt next year as daughter doing A Levels.

So the lads trip, we usually drive, but sometimes fly and we normally book quite late in the day, but like a resort with some decent Apres, straight off the mountain, and lively-ish generally. Given this may look different this year, we had a very drunken planning zoom one Saturday night when Easyjet were giving flights and ski carriage away to decide what to do.

We felt sticking to driving (we flew last year) was safest, as long as the four of us are well then we are in our own bubble, and to head to a quieter resort with good skiing and self-catering in our own discreet unit.

I'm lucky enough to have been to a friends place in grand Massif in the past with my kids, which I have always discounted as being too laid back for the boys trip, so a quick call and got that booked for our week. Being a friend there is no deposit and no charge if we end up not going.

We decided to pull the trigger on Eurotunnel, as I think their prices are only going to go up and up as the year progresses and it's already at the high end of what I have ever paid before. So that's our different boys trip - Drive to Samoens, stay in our own good value SC chalet and work on the theory we'll be feeding and entertaining ourselves in the evenings. If we find we can eat out and chill in a bar from time to time then a Brucey bonus. We'll buy passes when (if) we get there, so all in all we've risked an outlay of £43 each for the tunnel.

We had planned on a joint families trip at Easter with all the "lad's" families, but that might have to wait for another year. But wait and see on that one.

I'm lucky that I had one ski holiday this year (we went on our first bash!) and I'm pretty confident we'll have a low risk one next year too.
\|A
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Having booked flights to Japan before the covid hit, we're on 'wait and see' mode - flights are fully refundable and nothing else sorted. It'll probably be more about how comfortable we feel doing it even if all travel restrictions are lifted. At present I don't like being close to someone on the pavement never mind in a gondola!

If we don't go to Japan, we've discussed going to Scandinavia somewhere and booking the nicest SC we can find, sauna and hot tub, and hitting the drag lifts. Maybe learn cross country. Would possibly chuck winter tyres on the forester and drive, though would have to break the journey so added risk, and long ferries. Again, wait and see. Either way our 2021 trip was going to be expensive so if we are lucky enough to get one, we'd throw money at it to reduce risk - if it's logistically a nightmare, we may not bother.
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The situation has completed changed our plans Crying or Very sad - we were planning Canada again for Jan and whilst I appreciate we can use insurance and tour operators and credit cards to protect us financially, our thoughts are with "what if we get it whilst we're there" - no chance we'd be allowed to fly home with one of us diagnosed and the other exposed to the risk. We can't afford to be stuck out there until such time that we're recovered (hopefully!) and permitted to fly.

That's why we're planning to drive to Europe - and actually only planning holidays that we can get back from under our own steam for now...
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no changes at all , flights so cheap , ive got 3 trips booked already , 2 of them to Ischgl . I just went with the odds of a 5-1 return . If virus returns i lose flight cost ( maybe £180 across all 3 trips ) if everything proceeds ill probably have saved myself £900 across all 3 trips . Worth a punt in my view
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Our usual is a catered chalet either via a TO or an independant. Usually go for sole occupancy but have shared in the past. The normal procedure is fly from Gatwick and hire/private transfer.

This year, we are looking at self catering options and defo DIY. We want the flexibility to make our own decisions. We are going to drive down. Plan is to get a place that will allow us to spend every evening in, cook some nice dinners and consume some pre-purchased alcohol on the way down. Just trying to minimise the risk as much as possible. We will still stop for drinks during the day, as I believe it's important to support local economies. But we will sit outside if possible and mask up.
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With both of us being teachers my wife and I are constrained to skiing in the busier periods, Xmas/New Year or Easter. Luckily we made a fairly late decision last year to go at Xmas so got 8 days skiing in Austria. Due to Crystal messing us around a few years back we gave up on TOs and bought a motorhome which we drive from NE Scotland to Austria.

That means we have our own self contained transport and accommodation. The only real covid exposure for us would be on the pistes, in the supermarket and in the campsite shower blocks.

Well wait for a while and see how things develop before we decide whether to book a campsite and the tunnel. If the snow season in Scotland comes early for once we might just stay at home.
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We managed to get Feb half term in this year....when most of us were just reading about Covid ‘over there’. Having seen the mess so far (not blaming any government or individuals.....it’s something new) we won’t book anything yet.
What’s just happened around Spain and quarantine only reinforces our view....we just don’t know what’s going to be happening in the next year....especially over winter 20/21.
We normally book with TO.....will do so again if we decide to go....becomes ‘their problem’ as much as ours. But do understand why some book themselves.
Good luck with all your plans.....hope we are all good to go !
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