Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

PSA: Mountain Towns are NOT Safe Havens During COVID-19

Sorry folks, this is not a time for a roadtrip. Wikipedia Photo.

There seems to be this strange perception that mountain towns are safe in the wake of the current COVID-19 crisis. Safe to whom? Most of these small communities have limited medical resources, in fact, the town of Jackson, Wyoming only has 10 ventilators. All it takes is one asymptomatic person with the virus to potentially overload an already tiny medical center.

Does this situation sound particularly safe to an immunocompromised 65-year-old who lives here?

RELATED: Stay Stoked - Your Guide to TGR's Best Content

Mountain towns all throughout the U.S. are making the same plea to visitors: Please stay home. Visit Mammoth Lakes recently released a statement asking anyone who wasn’t a primary resident of the area to stay away temporarily. And while these statements might feel blunt to visitors, please understand that they’re hard to make. Small communities are largely driven by tourism. Cutting off this the essential source of revenue equates to a catastrophic loss of hotel, restaurant, and other customer service jobs. We’re already seeing this play out in Jackson with a large portion of the community currently unemployed. Rather than add stress to our already spread thin resources, consider making a donation to our local food bank.

View this post on Instagram

I decided not to post about COVID-19 because, well, my anxiety is through the roof. Folks who know me well know that I’m low-key always thinking about the apocalypse. I blame my young obsession with dystopian novels. But I digress, because I have something important to say. Please stay home. Do not hit the road. I’ve seen a lot of chatter about “now is a great time for a road trip to the desert or national parks!” and the thing is: it isn’t. Yes, hanging out in the sprawling expanse of sandstone and sage sounds like an idyllic way to spend your self-quarantine, but it’s incredibly selfish. The small, rural communities that are the gateways to our favorite outdoor spots are NOT prepared for a spread of this virus. Is your little road trip getaway more important than the health of a community without easy access to health services? Spoiler alert: it’s not. I recently learned that Moab’s hospital has THREE ventilators, intended for transportation to larger hospitals (all about 5 hours away). Is your climbing trip more important than preventing a health crisis in a small town? Unless you’ve been tested negative for coronavirus, you could be carrying it and not even know. Do you want to be responsible for spreading the virus to a vulnerable community? So do the un-fun thing and stay home. I’ve already cancelled speaking engagements, personal trips, filming the pilot episode of a new series I am hosting, and a trip to plan a new podcast. I’m losing income, opportunity, and quite a bit of joy. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s the right thing to do. Do the right thing. Stay home, wash ya damn hands, share resources with neighbors, take breaks from social media, use your time off productively, and take care of your community members who are hurting through all this. And of course, get fresh air when you can do so responsibly. Trails still seem to be a good place to practice social distancing and recharge your burnt out brain. But be so, so conscious of where you could be spreading. Don’t let fear take control, but do think critically and act smartly. It’s all about community y’all, protect yours.

A post shared by Katie Boué (@katieboue) on

Instead of going on an epic road trip right now, use your time at home to plan a vacation when the pandemic settles down. All these communities would love your business—just not right now. 

Here is the little wrinkle I see in these posts. Yes!!! I have scolded AT skinners, climbers & hikers for trying to summit closed ski areas & it is incredibly irresponsible to place EMS & the hospitals at risk for your recreation purposes at the moment. I have chosen not to go myself.

However, I’m equally uncomfortable with “locals” calling out second home owners from Tahoe to Killington for basically living in THEIR houses during this crisis. Many ski towns / areas would not survive without outside, weekend funding - so stop being a local elitist & perhaps just consider everyone in this time.

Last I checked New York was not overburdened with a surplus of ventilators.

Play
READ THE STORY
UPDATE: SAR Finds Body Of Teton Pass Avalanche Victim
Up Next News

UPDATE: SAR Finds Body Of Teton Pass Avalanche Victim

UPDATE: SAR Finds Body Of Teton Pass Avalanche Victim

UPDATE: A rescue on Teton Pass's Taylor Mountain is currently still ongoing by Teton Search and Rescue after a slide was reported yesterday afternoon. TCSAR received a distress call at 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday, after two snowboarders triggered an avalanche on the south side of the mountain at about 2:45 p.m. A partner beacon search was unsuccessful, and TCSAR responded in full force to try and locate the presumably buried victim. The search was called off at dark, and rescuers are resuming

Play
READ THE STORY
Mt. Washington Backcountry Closes Due to Risk and Crowding
Up Next News

Mt. Washington Backcountry Closes Due to Risk and Crowding

Mt. Washington Backcountry Closes Due to Risk and Crowding

After closing access to the Tuckerman Ravine Headwall earlier this week, the Forest Service has made the tough decision to fully close Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines, as well as the Gulf of Slides area to all use. Individuals violating the closure may face a fine of up to $5000 and/or six months imprisonment, according to a press release from the Mt. Washington Avalanche Center. RELATED: Stay Stoked- Your Guide to TGR's Best Content According to the release, "The

Play
READ THE STORY
6.5 Earthquake Near Boise Triggers Multiple Sawtooth Avalanches
Up Next News

6.5 Earthquake Near Boise Triggers Multiple Sawtooth Avalanches

6.5 Earthquake Near Boise Triggers Multiple Sawtooth Avalanches

On Tuesday evening, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake was recorded in Idaho, with an epicenter just north of Stanley in the Sawtooth Range. The earthquake occurred during a period of heavy snowfall and high winds, which had sent the avalanche danger to High. As a result of the quake, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center reported multiple large avalanches, including some from observers in Stanley that could hear them rumbling for up to a minute from town. RELATED: Now is Not the Time to "Try" Backcountry