Wolf-Creek A ticket scanner wearing a face mask at Wolf Creek in Colorado, Nov. 16, 2020. From how we ride the lifts to where we sleep and what we eat, ski areas are taking steps to minimize crowding and to curb opportunities for the virus to spread.

From how we ride the lifts to where we sleep and what we eat, ski areas are taking steps to minimize crowding and to curb opportunities for the virus to spread.

When you love to snowboard as much as Rocky Freudenberg, the winter season ahead looked rather worrisome. Snow is always a gamble, but maybe less this year, a La Niña year, which could mean more powder-dumping storms for the northern Rockies and Cascades, where Freudenberg lives in Oregon. His worry hinged on the pandemic. Now, for the first time, many ski resorts big and small will require a reservation to ride the lifts — sometimes even if you own a season pass.

So, with COVID-19 concerns high on his mind, Freudenberg, who is 47 and single with flexible work hours, hatched a plan. Instead of buying a season pass to his local ski area, he spent about $1,000 on an Ikon Pass, which gives him seven days or more of lift tickets at each of the pass’s 44 participating resorts in North America and abroad.

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