Winter Weekends

What to expect during a winter weekend at Meany Lodge during the 2021 season. This includes our plans for managing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

TomCat Schedule  |  SNO-PARK PERMIT  |  Directions

WINTER WEEKENDS in the age of COVID

 We offer whatever winter sport warms the cockles of your heart, be it downhill or cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or making snowmen & sledding. 

The Day Use Fee covers a simple hot lunch served in open shelters, hot drinks, the ski hill and trails, and use of the rope tows.   Come and see why we Meanyites say:

“Once you have skied Meany, You will never want to ski anywhere else!!”

Please bring your  own skis and outdoor exploration gear.  We have a limited number of snow shoes available to borrow at the Lodge. 

If you would like to sled, please bring helmets for all sledders (all ages must have helmets), and please plan to have an adult at the top and bottom of the sled hill to ensure safety.

Please minimize  the amount of gear you bring. 

Please wear clothes in layers that will keep you warm and comfortable outside from 8:30am till 6pm.

We suggest a change of clothes per person in case you get wet, and that these clothes be in a backpack you can hang on a peg in our shelters.  

Please see Packing for Winter Weekends at Meany for more information on what to bring and how to pack.

New this year - The Ox Cafe

All day long we expect to operate Café d’Ox at the ski Hill. Running, filtered water and two kettles for heating plus supplies of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, paper cups, etc.  Patio InfraRed heater, but only a couple of people at a time – no groups. 

The  Café d’Ox contains two curtained changing areas and has pegs for hanging your back packs (which should contain your spare clothing).

Lunch and Eating Plans

To minimize the risks of COVID transmission, we have planned a stepped set of plans for serving and eating lunch.  We will select the most appropriate plan for the current COVID risk level.  We ask your patience, as we cannot predict which plan will be in operation on any particular day.

    • Best – Lunch served and eaten in the Lodge Dining room, with tables spread apart, forced air ventilation & filtration, furnace for warmth.  Lunch slots assigned to limit the number of people in Dining room at a time.
    • Next – Lunch served in the Zoo - our maintenance building with garage doors open on both ends (think roof with two walls).  We plan to have Infra-Red heating for some warmth, pop-up tables & chairs spread apart.
    • Last – half a dozen pop up tents, picnic benches (not tables) & a fire pit (stacks of split wood already stored in anticipation).

Mask Requirement Reminder

  • Mask/Face covering must cover face, nose, and chin in all areas where masks are required. 
  • Masks must be multi-layer,  at a minimum meeting CDC guidelines. Masks with holes do not meet requirements and are not acceptable. 
  • Masks are required on the tows, in line, and indoor & outdoor public areas. 
  • The only areas masks are not required are while seated and actively eating, or while actively skiing or snowboarding down the mountain. 
  • For the health and safety of staff and guests, you must be seated or stationary while eating. Please do not walk through public spaces while eating or drinking with your mask down.

Bathrooms

There are three bathrooms in the Lodge.  At the entrance to the tunnel you will find a peg with a  wooden tag  for each bathroom.  Please use the bathroom listed on the tag you take, and replace the tag at the tunnel entrance when you're done.  If no tags are available, please wait outside the tunnel.

All bathrooms have brand new high-efficiency fans to keep them ventilated and clorox wipes available to sanitize before you use them (used wipes go in the trash!  our septic system will choke on them).

The rest of the Lodge is off limits.  Please do not sit in front of the wood stove.

DAY USE: DECEMBER – MARCH

To visit Meany for a day, please register for a corresponding activity on our calendar.  Remember, once snow arrives, you must also have a state issued sno-park permit.

GETTING TO MEANY - Safely

First time visitors- this page could save your life, or at least, your weekend. Please keep in mind the following:

  1. You will lose cell coverage as soon as you leave I90.
  2. Mountain passes are dangerous. Travel with emergency supplies (blankets, food, etc) in your car.
  3. Bring tire chains (practice putting them on in your garage, it’s hard to do this for the first time in the cold).
  4. You’ll need to purchase a sno-park permit and will need to time your arrival to TomCat, our very own snow transport.
  5. Google Maps will get you to Meany, but see #’s 1, 2, 3 & 4 above.  Written directions are also available

SNO-PARK PERMITS (AKA YOUR PARKING PASS)

During winter months, the State closes the forest service road to Meany Lodge.  Parking is at the Crystal Springs sno-park and requires a state-issued sno-park permit, which should be purchased BEFORE you arrive. The TomCat driver can sell you an annual permit, although we recommend you purchase permits online or from a vendor such as REI.  Ask for the "Seasonal Non Motorized Permit/Special Groomed Sticker Combo" for which the price should be $80 - $85.

Which permit you should purchase depends on your expected usage, with many finding the annual pass most economical:

  • 2 nights (3 days) or more, purchase both:
    • $40 – Seasonal Non Motorized Permit
    • $40 – Special Groomed Sticker
    • Annual permit is license plate specific
  • Single day:
    • $20 Day Use Sno-Park Pass
    • Day passes are DATE specific and nontransferable.
    • A day pass covers from midnight to midnight, so if you are staying overnight you will need to buy two passes.  One for your day of arrival and one for your day of departure.

Yes, this is confusing.  Please take out your frustrations by writing letters to the state administrators who made it this complicated and not the poor TomCat driver who is trying to explain it.

TOMCAT SCHEDULE

When snow is present, the 3 miles of road to Meany are closed by the state and the only approach is on foot or via  transportation on Meany's TomCat or snowmobiles.   Please be prompt. There is no cell phone coverage, so please don’t try calling to say you’ll be 5 minutes late… 

The trip in to Meany and the trip out will take 30 - 60 minutes depending on conditions, but most people reports it's a great deal of fun!

Transportation Schedule

We will meet at 8:10 am in the overnight parking area of the Crystal Spring Sno-Park. Permits:  Your car will need a State Sno-Park Permit

Have your ski boots on and your skis or snowboard handy - we are asking everyone that is able to tow in so we can stay spread out for the trip in to Meany.   We can accommodate very few riders in the TomCat

This year there will only be one cat ride in, and it leaves at 8:30am.

Please minimize  the gear you bring.  We suggest a change of clothes per person in case you get wet, and that these clothes be in a backpack you can hang on a peg in our shelters.  

We expect to depart the Lodge at 4:30pm and return to the parking lot by 6pm.  There will be a limited number of spots available on a ride out to the parking lot after lunch for those wanting to leave early.

When packing your gear, assume you’re packing for a 3 mile hike with the possibility of getting a free ride.  See our beginners guide for packing for meany, and remember to always pack your stuff in a backpack or duffle bag – loose gear, paper / plastic bags, suitcases and crates / boxes are a recipe for disappointment.

Driving DIRECTIONS

Winter and Spring driving directions (mid-November till May)

Summer and Fall driving directions (May till mid-November)

 

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