The summer of 2020 will see some changes to our procedures, but we’re excited to be able to get back into the mountains with our guests.
Mountain Trip is committed to developing and implementing practices to mitigate the spread and risk of infection with the novel coronavirus to our guides, guests and staff. A big part of our effort involves providing our guests with the information necessary, so you can decide if you are comfortable joining us on a trip. We’re going to need your help before, during and after if we are going to be able to offer programs in the Telluride region and beyond.
Telluride is located in San Miguel County, Colorado, so we must follow county health orders, which have generally been more restrictive than those recommended by state and federal authorities. Please read the San Miguel County Health Orders before you plan your trip to Telluride. Our COVID-19 Response Plan is based on phases of opening for guiding and will undoubtedly change in the coming weeks and months, as we continuing to monitor local, state and federal health guidance as it evolves. We strongly encourage that you read the following before consenting to join us on a trip.
During our first phase of opening up, all of our trip registrations and waivers need to be completed online so there will be no need for you to come to our office. We’re staffing our office at 50% to give us all plenty of room to roam, and will be following local guidelines in terms of wearing appropriate face coverings when we need to be closer than six feet apart. We have incorporated enhanced hand washing protocols for everyone entering our office and stringent cleaning and disinfecting procedures within our office space. We’ll miss you all stopping by, but for now, let’s just talk on the phone and do all of our business online.
Guest and Guide Screening
As with any business operating these days, we cannot completely eliminate the possibility of contracting the novel coronavirus in our operations. What we can do is limit the possibility that someone is unknowingly spreading the disease by implementing measures to limit the chances of spreading it among our groups. We will follow local and state health department guidelines on screening guests and employees to help limit the possibility of coming in contact with someone who is sick. We have implemented procedures to encourage physical distancing, but whenever we must come in closer contact we all need to wear an appropriate mask.
When you sign up for a trip, you’ll receive some information about COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for, based on guidance from health officials. We’ll send you a reminder of the symptoms to keep an eye out for the day before the trip.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
Anyone who exhibits any of these symptoms, has been around anyone who has these symptoms, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 will be asked to call the office. We will gladly give a credit toward a future trip or a full refund to anyone who is concerned that they have been exposed to the novel Coronavirus or is ill. By showing up for the trip, you are representing that you do not knowingly have any of those symptoms, nor have you knowingly been exposed to COVID-19. Our guides are also instructed to monitor themselves for any of these symptoms and will not come to work if they exhibit symptoms or have any reason to believe they might have been exposed.
Cleaning and Hand-washing Procedures
We have implemented enhanced cleaning of all of our equipment, rotating climbing gear we provide out of service for longer than 24 hours before using it again. We’ll follow manufacturers’ guidelines to clean and disinfect our equipment in a manner that does not compromise the integrity of our climbing equipment. We encourage you to bring an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use before, during, and after any trip. Our guides will be washing their hands and/or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer before meeting groups, and at any other time they feel it is appropriate during and after the trip. Our staff will carry extra hand sanitizer, but we strongly recommend you bring your own.
Cloth Face Coverings / Face Masks and Physical Distancing
We need to adhere to our local health officials’ recommendations concerning physical distancing and wearing a face covering. We are encouraging our guides to maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and our guests whenever possible. There will be times that, due to the nature of the activities, your guide will need to be within the recommended 6-foot distancing. On such occasions, we require our guests and guides to have a face covering and to use the mask to cover your nose and mouth. Face masks covering the mouth and nose are recommended in San Miguel county in all shops and stores, or when within 6 feet of someone outside, please follow these recommendations. If you are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons please contact the office to discuss prior to the trip so we can inform the guide.
During the first phase of opening up our local operations, in an effort to limit close contact in enclosed vehicles, we will NOT be providing transportation to and from trailheads. Your guide will be in touch with you to identify a meeting spot, but please be prepared to provide transportation for you and your group in your vehicle.
Private Groups Only
As we begin to open up operations, we will only be offering Private Group trips with members of your family or household. We are happy to accommodate your group, but for the initial phase of opening up, we won’t offer activities that mix guests with anyone other than the staff necessary to run the trip.
New Private Trip Offerings
A lot of folks have found their summer plans dramatically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to help provide options for getting outside we have increased our private trip offerings to include three and five-day Learn to Climb Courses where we can focus on the skills needed to climb rock or get on top of one of Colorado’s famous 14,000 ft peaks. These custom private trips are perfect for families or kids who are looking for more in-depth experience than a typical half-day trip might afford. Call us if you’d like to talk about custom private trips and programs for you and/or your family.
The Alaska season will come and go this year without a Mountain Trip team on Denali for the first time since 1976. We’re sad to miss out on one of our favorite places to climb, and to enjoy the mountains where Mountain Trip was born, but we’ll be back next year! All of our international programs through the first of October are on hold, but we are planning to head south to Aconcagua and Mount Vinson beginning in late November of this year. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the situation and monitor health guidance about international travel, but we will be ready to go when we can. Please get in touch if you are interested in any of our expedition programs and we can discuss trip insurance options that might help you feel more comfortable planning your next big trip.
Amended Cancellation Policy for Expeditions
The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us all that we need to remain optimistic, yet do our best to be as flexible as possible. We are therefore amending our cancellation policies for our expeditions to provide our climbers with added flexibility against unforeseen circumstances that might affect an expedition. It’s difficult to find trip cancellation insurance that will protect your expedition investment from cancellation due to the pandemic, so we have tailored our policy to try to help “mimic” trip insurance in some ways.
*** For all expeditions with a scheduled Team Meeting date prior to July 1, 2021***
If an expedition to Mount Everest, Vinson or Denali is cancelled within 90 days of the Team Meeting date due to External Cancellation factors resulting from the novel coronavirus, Mountain Trip will credit 100% of your paid expedition fees toward a future program with Mountain Trip or refund all monies paid except for the non-refundable administrative fee.
If an expedition to Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Carstensz Pyramid or Elbrus is cancelled within 60 days of the Team Meeting date due to External Cancellation factors resulting from the novel coronavirus, Mountain Trip will credit 100% of your paid expedition fees toward a future program with Mountain Trip or refund all monies paid except for the non-refundable administrative fee.