It was touch and go for a while as Middlebury College, which owns the Middlebury Snow Bowl and Rikert Nordic Center, cautiously looked at how it would reopen its campus to students this fall. But it’s now decided: The Rikert Nordic Center and the Middlebury Snow Bowl will welcome skiers this winter with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Changes include required online reservations for skiing, equipment rentals, and lessons, as well as lodge access that is limited to restrooms, equipment rental, and grab-and-go food purchases. All of this consistent, of course, with the Vermont state guidelines for ski areas that were released this week.
“We are looking forward to a great ski season,” said Mike Hussey, director of skiing at Middlebury College, which owns and operates the cross country and Alpine skiing venues. “This year will really put the focus on what skiing is all about—being up in the mountains and enjoying the snow and winter.”
Rikert in Ripton will open Dec. 1 and will operate seven days a week while the Snow Bowl will begin the season Dec. 2 and maintain a Wednesday–Sunday schedule.
The price of a season pass at the Snow Bowl will increase after Nov. 15 from $450 for an adult to $550. Day tickets are just $40 on weekdays and $55 on weekends for the Snow Bowl.
Online reservations will be required and, new this year, you will need to sign an uphill travel policy and have a ticket or season pass for any uphill travel. Another big change: the Bailey Falls lift which accesses the eastern trails will not be operate but will be accessible for backcountry skiing. On all other lifts, you will either ride solo or with your family or ski partners.
Below are additional new guidelines about visitors, reservations, and parking for both the Middlebury Snow Bowl and Rikert Nordic Center:
• All visitors must be Vermont residents or individuals who meet the state of Vermont COVID-19 requirements on cross-state travel.
• Online reservations will be required for all visitors, including season pass holders and back-country skiers.
• Staff will check visitors’ reservations at the parking lot entrance. Reservations are required to enter.
• Non-skiing parents who bring their children to ski must make an online Chauffeur Reservation and observe the Vermont state law against idling.