Wolf Creek Ski Blog

2021/2022 Winter Covid Operating Plan

Wolf Creek Ski Area

2021 – 2022 COVID-19 Operating Plan

  WCSA will be updating all policies based on Local, State, and Federal guidelines. We will ensure all guests receive necessary and prompt communication based on these guidelines, and will implement new regulations as required.



Face coverings are recommended in all indoor public settings, including our restaurants, restrooms, retail and rental locations, buses, and ski school buildings for all guests. All unvaccinated employees are recommended to wear face masks indoors. Face coverings will not be required outdoors, in lift or ticket lines, or on chairlifts, unless required by local public health authorities.



Just like last season, WCSA will continue to use our ionizing machines in all the forced air systems in our lodges, proactively attacking airborne contaminants. We will also be using electrostatic sprayers to disinfect all buildings and bathrooms. We will be limiting the number of guests in public bathrooms at one time and performing hourly deep cleaning and disinfecting.



WCSA will have limited indoor seating in each restaurant. WCSA will not allow guests to use the indoor tables for extended periods of time or use the indoor tables to consume outside food and beverage.



WCSA will accommodate any guests that wish to ride the chairlift alone or with only members of their family. Please ask the lift operators to assist you in this request.



WCSA will be offering private and group lessons. For Wolf Pups, we recommend that guests make a reservation ahead of time as we have limited capacity. Face masks are recommended inside the Lynx Learning Center and Wolf Pup building. Unvaccinated employees are recommended to wear masks in these establishments.



All employees are required to stay home if sick or feeling sick.



Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present. WCSA has implemented protocols to prioritize guest health and safety, but we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed to COVID-19 during your visit. The risk of being exposed or becoming sick due to COVID-19 cannot be eliminated. Every skier and rider share the responsibility for a safe and healthy skiing experience. It is your responsibility to read and comply with all instructions and signage posted at the resort and on the website. Stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Wear a face covering in designated areas. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently.


2020 Pre-season Covid-19 Plan

  “PRESEASON” Operating Plan WCSA has developed a “PRESEASON” opening plan that will allow for outdoor recreation without having any amenities, such as rental, food and beverage service, or ski school. This will allow for our guests to enjoy the great outdoors in its simplest form while Local, State, Federal agencies develop additional guidelines. WCSA will then add additional amenities as deemed appropriate. GUEST DISCLAIMER Due to COVID-19, this ski season will be different in some ways, but WCSA is dedicated to continue to provide the best skiing experience possible. We kindly request all guests to keep our community safe by practicing the Five Commitments of Containment:
  • Stay home when sick and get tested: please pre-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to coming to ski. These symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, new loss of smell or taste. Health screenings will be required for ski lessons.
  • Wear a mask: Masks are required in all buildings, bathrooms, while waiting in line for tickets or to ride the lift, while riding in the shuttles, while on the lift, and while participating in ski lessons.
  • Maintain six-feet of physical distance: This includes in buildings, in lift and ticket lines, parking lots, and anywhere else you encounter others while enjoying our 1581 acres of skiable terrain.
  • Minimize group size: please consider only traveling and recreating with your immediate family and avoid crowded places as much as possible
  • Wash hands frequency: we kindly request that guests wash their hands or utilize the hand sanitizer stations before entering buildings
  • WCSA will be operating during the “PRESEASON” without any amenities or accommodations. Please plan appropriately. This includes all lodges, locker rooms, ski school, rental, and sports shop. The shuttles will also not be running.
  • Guests purchasing day tickets must pay for their day tickets online. You can do this online any time, but we stop selling tickets for the next day at 8PM the night before. You will then pick up your tickets at the Ticket Office. If there is inventory, we can sell day tickets at the window the day of.
  • One person or immediate family per chairlift. This may change upon the determination of Local, State, and Federal guidelines.
  • Bring your own bagged lunch and drinks. Until we receive more information on Local, State, and Federal guidelines, WCSA will not have any lodges open. This includes Base Camp, and we also will not have any water fountains available.
  • Guest capacity and social distancing will be managed in the bathrooms and in their First Aid Room (FAR). Therefore, there may be a line with social distancing requirements outside.
  • Social distancing will be required in the parking lots. WCSA will not be allowing any “tailgating” in the parking lots, and we will be parking cars farther apart to maintain the social distancing requirements. Guests without season passes or pre-purchased tickets will be kindly asked to leave during the parking process.
  • WCSA will be using electrostatic sprayers to disinfect all buildings and bathrooms. All bathrooms will be cleaned on an hourly basis.
  • WSCA installed ionizing machines in all the forced air systems in our lodges. These machines are UL listed and produce a large number of ions in the airstream. Once in the room, these ions bond with all particles and accelerate the breakdown of the virus to around a half an hour.
  *Before planning a trip to ski, please consider these new policies as well as everyone’s responsibility in keeping our community safe. We’re all in this together! There may be risk of Local, State, or Federal guidelines and regulations changing which may alter or cancel your visit at WCSA. WCSA will not be offering any refunds due to COVID-19 closures. There is also a risk that if you do get sick while visiting that you will be asked to quarantine for 14 days in the local area and this additional financial cost for the added stay will be your responsibility.   EMPLOYEE GUIDELINES:
  • All employees are required to do the same health pre-screening that we ask our guests to do prior to coming to work
  • All employees must wear a mask at all times and maintain social distancing whenever possible. We will be supplying masks to employees that need them, as well as face shields for employees work closely with the public.
  • Employees will be scheduled to work one station that cannot change on a daily or weekly basis
  • Clock-in times will stagger for larger departments to maintain the building capacity of locker rooms and lodges
  • WCSA has put together safety policies for our employees to follow such as o COVID-19 Safety Plan o WCSA Employee Handbook o COVID-19 Supervisor Reporting Form
    • MindFlash Trainings; WCSA has an extensive online training program for each department as well as mountain-wide trainings that are required for each employee. These trainings for COVID-19 include but are not limited to:
      • Employee Transportation and Car Pool Safety
      • Health Pre-Screening Protocols
      • Proper Hand Washing & Hygiene
      • Proper Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
      • COVID-19 Reporting Standards
      • Proper Mask Wearing & Cleaning
  DEPARTMENT GUIDELINES: All departments will follow the Mountain Wide COVID-19 safety policies, with the addition of these more specific policies for their departments   PATROL POLICIES   All protocols have been reviewed and approved by Physician Advisor/Medical Control Dr. Grant Hurley • Duty stations should be limited as follows:
  • Duty stations will be assigned on a weekly basis and will remain on that station for an entire week
  • Summit – no more than 4 patrollers at a time when possible. o Palace – no more than 2 patrollers at a time when possible.
  • Knife Ridge Out-Post – no more than 2 patrollers at a time when possible.
  • Every response requires the following minimum PPE for patrollers while onhill assessing patients in the lower risk/routine/non‐respiratory patients; gloves, buff or neck gator covering mouth and nose when outdoors, eye protection (approved medical eyeglasses or goggles).
  • Minimal PPE use for patrollers while on‐hill assessing patients in the higher risk/nonroutine/respiratory patients (this would include the coughing patient, CPR, suctioning, or any AGP’s, as well as any positives on the screening protocol); gloves, N95, eye protection (approved medical eyeglasses, goggles, or face shield), and gown.
  • New protocols for responding to COVID-19 patients o Dispatch must acquire as much information as possible including asking if patient has or has recently had fever, cough, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, or COVID‐19 symptoms and relay information to first responder.
  • PPE Required: Properly fitted N‐95 mask, gown, gloves, and approved eyewear or face shield. Patient dons surgical mask if not already wearing one.
  • Isolate the patient. No family members or acquaintance within 6 feet of patient or first responder. If a family member or acquaintance must be present, they must wear a surgical mask.
  • Treat patient per appropriate protocol as out lined in SLV RETAC protocols mentioned above attempting to avoid nebulizer treatment or CPAP.
  • If patient is stable and can seek medical care via POV contact medical control and attempt to release patient POV to hospital, otherwise call ambulance. If an ambulance is called indicated ID (infectious disease) precautions required by EMS crew. This decision is to be made by ALS patroller, senior patroller, or medical control ONLY.
  • On-Hill Procedures:
    • Attempt to do initial assessment from at least 6 feet away to determine potential COVID-19 risk
    • Limit the number of responders to one if possible, or the minimum required to safely provide care
  • Unless medically contraindicated or under 3 years of age, all patients are to utilize source control masking, to be initiated at first contact, preferably simultaneous to initial screening questions. If patient is in the lower risk category in relation to COVID‐19, their own cloth mask or buff/neck gator or bandana would be sufficient. If patient has no such face covering available, we provide a surgical mask. If patient is in a higher risk category, then a surgical mask preferred.
  • First Aid Room (FAR) Procedures:
    • Once in the FAR, surgical masks are required for all patients. o Once in the FAR, N‐95 mask is required for patrollers providing care.
    • Walk‐in patients will be screened prior to entry by FAR attendant to the nature of visit, as well as asking if the patient has or recently had a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, or COVID‐19 symptoms.
    • Patients who have a fever should leave the ski area to receive further medical attention. They will not be permitted to stay in the FAR while the rest of their party continues to ski.
    • Limit the number of family/visitors in the FAR to zero or minimum possible. Patients that require assistance or are not of age may have one guardian with them but all other visitors will need to wait outside. Every patient or acquaintance in the FAR must wear surgical mask.
    • There will be no “hanging out” of patients or their family/friends in the FAR. After a patient has been carefully assessed and treated, they then need to leave and seek further medical treatment. We will be making sure that we express to our guests that there is no available space for resting in the lodges due to limited capacity, and they will be restricted to the outdoor seating spaces or their cars for resting.
    • Altitude sick patients will not be allowed to rest in the FAR unless medically contraindicated or they fall into a high-risk category in consideration to altitude sickness. For the altitude sick patients that do not meet the before mentioned criteria, they will be thoroughly and carefully assessed/treated and advised on prevention, to go to a lower altitude, and where to seek medical attention if symptoms persist.
  WCSA will be updating all policies based on Local, State, and Federal guidelines. We will ensure all guests and employees receive necessary and prompt communication based on these guidelines, and will implement new regulations as required.




Wolf Creek Ski Area, in Southern Colorado Celebrates 80 Seasons of Skiing!

Wolf Creek Ski Area in Southern Colorado is celebrating its 80th Anniversary of abundant powder and an atmosphere unique to the family owned and operated ski area!  Since commemorating the 75th season of Wolf Creek in 2014-2015, various milestones, achievements, improvements and upgrades have been accomplished.  The 2014-2015 ski season was one for the books: with Kingsbury Pitcher being inducted to the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame; the installment of Wolf Creek’s eighth chairlift named Elma; an upgrade to the Fun Races with the construction of a Race Hutch and offering a snowboard version of Wolf Pups, named Wolf Riders.  In the five seasons since the 80th anniversary Wolf Creek Ski Area has continued to organically evolve with: the addition of two new lifts; online ski school reservations; a lift ticket specific to ages 65 and older; an espresso bar atop the Continental Divide and the development of the largest exploder system in North America; just to name a few.

Wolf Creek Pass saw it’s 100th year of travel in 2016 with nine million dollars in improvements during 2018-2019.  In 2016, the Pitcher Family celebrated 40 years of operating Wolf Creek.  The family has gone from hand-stamped lift and lesson tickets with metal wickets to a point-of-sale system with barcoded tickets and a computerized system that also allows season pass holders to go directly to the lift.  The point-of-sale system has moved Wolf Creek Ski Area into e-signing season pass contracts and waivers and rental liability forms.  This system only further compliments the sustainable and eco friendly practices the Pitcher’s have implemented during the 45-year stewardship of its U.S. Forest Service Special Use Permit.  Wolf Creek Ski Area has also made it’s mark in the ski industry as the first ski area in the country to operate on 100% solar power during day use and other sustainable energy sources for night use.

Wolf Creek’s 79th season was memorable with over 550 inches of snow and Wolf Creek Ski Area’s second earliest opening in history, October 13th, 2018!  Wolf Creek Ski Area’s Improvements from 2019-2020:

  •         The full service Lynx Learning Center complete with rentals, lessons and tickets for beginner skiers; two new major trails, Orion’s Beltway and Feather Duster; the introduction of the Charity Jane Express and the accompanying terrain
  •          Raven Grill upgrade with sunroom and BBQ smoker

The Pitchers look forward to the anniversaries, milestones, improvements and upgrades to come.  Help commemorate the 80th season with some turns here at Wolf Creek!

View Wolf Creek Ski Area’s 75th Anniversary at Wolf Creek’s YouTube Channel.

Permission to use photo granted it is credited to Christi Bode, courtesy of Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Permission to use photo granted it is credited to Sam Bricker, courtesy of Wolf Creek Ski Area.


February 2020


January 2020!


Holiday Break 2019!



Wolf Creek Ski Area welcomed a storm Christmas Day that left 27 inches followed by another fast and furious storm that dropped significant snowfall. The storms that delivered big snow for Wolf Creek elevated the year-to-date snowfall total to 193 inches!
Clouds and sunshine greeted skiers and boarders visiting for the holiday breaks.
24 hours: 11”
48 hours: 22”
72 hours: 27”
7 day: 54”
Midway Depth: 85”
Year-to-Date: 193”
For more information see http://wolfcreekski.com.
Permission to use photos granted it is credited to Christi Bode, courtesy of Wolf Creek Ski Area.