Modifications to Tahoe Via Guiding Operations
Alpenglow Expeditions is committed to doing our part in the mitigation of COVID-19, as well as complying with local and state guidelines. Our reopening plan includes many modifications to how we’ll be conducting guiding operations on the Tahoe Via Ferrata in Squaw Valley. Modifications to how we guide rock climbing on Donner Summit, Lovers Leap, and the High Sierra will be very similar to the actions taken below, however here we’ll focus on what we’re doing to get back to climbing the Tahoe Via Ferrata.
Side Note: Our local operations on the Tahoe National Forest reopened on May 16th, 2020. All rock and ski guiding operations on the Eldorado National Forest and Inyo National Forest are currently on hold and will be re-started once we get official clearance. All international operations are currently suspended through August 2020. We plan to resume international expeditions beginning in September 2020 as conditions allow. Stay tuned!
Office Check-In Process
During this first phase of opening, all climbers will check-in outside of our office to prevent clustering inside. We’re lucky that we have so much space to spread into at The Village at Squaw, and we’ll be using it to our advantage. Upon arrival, climbers will be required to wear gloves and a mask. You’ll notice that the office staff and guides will do the same. We will no longer ask guests to sign their liability waivers on one of our shared iPad kiosks, instead, guests will now be emailed a link in advance to create one less touchpoint.
If climbers do not have their own gloves and masks, Alpenglow Expeditions will provide both for free. We’ve purchased quality cotton gloves dipped in sticky rubber, they’re perfect for a day on the Via Ferrata and will make great souvenirs to be used in gardens and garages at home.
We’re currently hosting our summer guide’s trainings in small groups, and we’re taking this time to implement our guide-specific COVID-19 awareness and precautionary measures. During training, we are educating our guides on our worksite specific plan, which includes a multitude of changes that we have made to the operation. We expect COVID-19 guidelines to continue to change over the course of the summer and we will ramp up internal communications to ensure that all team members are informed about any additional changes to our protocol.
Individual Control Measures and Screening
The health and safety of our clients and staff is of the utmost importance to us. With that in mind, health screenings are now required for all clients prior to joining a tour. One of the most important aspects of the reopening of our economy is to stay home if you are sick. These health screenings will check for COVID-19 symptoms as well as exposure history. If a client doesn’t pass the screening, they will retain full credit for their adventure, good for use anytime after 2 weeks have passed. This same policy applies to all guides and staff. Anyone that doesn’t pass the daily screening will not be allowed to work until cleared by a medical doctor.
Ramping Up Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
At the close of each tour, our team will be washing and disinfecting all used rental items including harness, helmets, lanyards, and shoes. All equipment washing will be done with soap and water per manufacturer’s guidelines. Our entire check-in area including table, tent, and all other touched surfaces will be wiped down each day per CDC guidelines. Because the office will be used by guides and office staff, we will continue cleaning the interior of our offices each and every day as well. Hand sanitizer will be readily available in the office, vehicles and with every guide.
Adhering to Physical Distancing Guidelines
The first phase of re-opening will include strict physical distancing measures. We have chosen to allow private groups only and we will not be offering any open enrollment climbing groups through mid-June. Private groups can choose to climb with their household, family members, or chosen close contacts. We will only schedule one private group of climbers per timeslot, which is a maximum of 6 climbers. Clients, guides, and office staff are required to maintain a 6-foot distance at all times. Members of a private/family/close-contact group are not required to maintain 6-foot distance among themselves if they wish. All clients, guides, and office staff must be prepared to wear gloves and facemasks as directed, including at check-in and rental return. If clients do not have their own gloves and mask, Alpenglow Expeditions will provide them at no cost.
We are so thrilled to get back to exploring outside with you. We’re confident that the measures we are taking will protect our staff and climbers alike and will not significantly take away from the enjoyment and sense of accomplishment that we all get from playing in the mountains. If you have any questions about our precautions, please feel free to contact the office.
Ready to book?
Our reservation system is open and accepting bookings. If you are still feeling uncertain, we’ve relaxed our cancellation policy to make booking worry-free. Book a day out with us and if we can’t be open due to COVID-19, you’ll get a credit to use at a later date or a full refund.