Ski touring and shop life in the time of Covid-19
March 27th Update
The global fight against the Coronavirus has greatly effected our little world of ski touring. This is a rapidly changing situation and we will try to post updates on our business along with words of wisdom for the ski touring community.
First of all It is important to know that we are taking the state wide "Stay at Home" order very seriously.
Cripple Creek Backcountry will be closed for all shop work, rentals and in store interactions for the length of the state mandated "stay at home" directive. We will still be shipping gear out of our distribution center and responding to phone and email inquiries daily. Stay safe out there.
If you need to be home at your computer dreaming about a new ski setup and the freedom it brings you, we are there for you. If you bought a setup from us in the past and need a little help, we offer our same great customer service on the phone or by email. Even if you just need a friend to talk skiing and happier times pick up the phone.
Although the world of human powered turns has always been an amazing escape for us all, the complicated times call for extra consideration when leaving home for any reason. Check out this great WildSnow article and read the comments from ski touring communities effected around the world.
The Friends of CAIC put together a well thought out statement about going out into the mountains during these troubled times. It is an organization represents safety in our community and we fully support. This letter echos our own thoughts and words of caution.
My thoughts are with you and our backcountry community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout our beautiful state. Words cannot describe my roller coaster of emotion over the past week. Every aspect of life has been impacted by this pandemic, including our time in the mountains.
Governor Jared Polis issued a Stay-At-Home order for all of Colorado on March 25, 2020. According to the order, Coloradans can still participate in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties. This outside time is very important for all of us as we strive to maintain our mental and physical health. However, in an effort to slow the transmission of this virus, we need to stay close to home. Now is not the time to travel to Colorado's mountain communities.
The mountains are a sanctuary for many of us. They are a place where we find solace and refuge. The mountains are a place where we are taught about partnership and that if we work together we can accomplish amazing things. There are times to go deep into the mountains and there are times when we take a step back. Now is a time to take a step back.
We at the Friends of CAIC understand that there is uncertainty surrounding how long this global pandemic will impact our lives. Many of us are uncertain about what tomorrow will bring. Yet there is one thing we can all be certain of - the mountains are not going anywhere.
If you live in the mountains and are choosing to head into the backcountry during this time, a critical thing to remember is that your actions may impact others. It is your job to balance your risk in the backcountry while considering the consequences should you trigger an avalanche. Are you exposing others to risk without their consent? If you or someone in your group gets hurt or worse, what burden does this place on our already strained search and rescue and health care systems? If you are able to access the backcountry, please do so safely and keep our communities and fellow backcountry tribe members in mind when you consider your terrain choices.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center will continue to provide daily weather and avalanche forecasts to support emergency services, increase safety on state and federal highways, and provide good information to help people if they choose to travel in the backcountry.
Once again we are being called on as a community for help. Let's answer that call with resolve and support each other as well as our local communities. Here are some things we can do to help: Stay home, donate food to a local food bank, donate to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund or to another cause you believe in, buy a gift card from your local restaurant or retailer. Many of these local businesses support the Friends of CAIC. Let's do our part and do what we can to return the favor.
Now is the time to be a good partner. Not only for our family and friends but also for our local communities, the State of Colorado, and all of humanity. We are all in this together, and we can get through this together - if we work together.
Friends of CAIC
Above all stay safe out there in the upcoming weeks and we look forward to supporting now as well as in the future.
- Doug Stenclik