Skiing comes with restrictions during pandemic

The+ski+club+poses+for+a+picture+before+skiing+down+a+mountain+at+Whitetail+Resort+last+January.

Photo courtesy Hailey Lubliner

The ski club poses for a picture before skiing down a mountain at Whitetail Resort last January.

Flying down a mountain with powder hitting your goggles is the feeling skiers wait for all year, but this winter, Covid-19 has threatened the skiing experience. Students have to decide whether or not they feel comfortable going to mountains this year and resorts have to place strict restrictions in order to keep riders safe.

With one winter storm having already come through the East, it is predicted to be a good year for snowfall and skiing. Despite the weather conditions being satisfactory for skiing, Covid-19 is not. The pandemic has prevented students from going out in public and participating in normal winter activities. Going to a ski resort with strangers can risk the spread of Covid-19 and makes students nervous. However, because skiing is an individual sport and naturally encourages social distancing, it is one of the safest winter activities for students to participate in. Skiing gives students a chance to spend time outside after being in isolation for months. “I plan to ski this year because I need a sense of normality. Additionally, skiing is held outside, so there is less of a risk to getting Covid,” senior Hailey Lubliner said.

I plan to ski this year because I need a sense of normality. Additionally, skiing is held outside, so there is less of a risk to getting Covid”

— Hailey Lubliner

Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, PA, a popular skiing destination for students, has opened its mountains, but placed many restrictions to keep skiers, snowboarders and staff safe. They require face masks to access the mountains and all public places, they have switched to cashless transactions, they have created a reservation system with limited lift passes and they are prioritizing pass holders. “We have re-imagined the on-mountain dining and ski and ride school experience to help keep guests safe,” according to skiwhitetail.com.

Wisp Resort in McHenry, MD, another favorite skiing resort for students, is open as well and has placed similar restrictions as Whitetail Resort. Wisp Resort has implemented a Caring Clean practice that deep-cleans commonly touched surfaces and visited areas. Wisp Resort also encourages riders to move to the side when passing other skiers on trails, wear a face mask at all times and is only allowing chair lifts to be ridden with people who have already interacted and are in the same party. “It is important that every guest understands the Federal, State, Regional, and Resort guidelines and adheres to them at all times – this is our expectation of you so that everyone can enjoy a full winter of fun in the fresh mountain air,” according to wispresort.com.

Students have to be more prepared for their ski trips than in years past. It is suggested that skiers purchase lift passes in advance to ensure they will be able get onto the mountains since resorts are limiting the number of riders allowed at a time. Students should also come with the proper face covering and be prepared to social distance from other riders. “They are limiting the number of people allowed at the resorts, so I am not sure if I will be able to go with all of my friends. As long as I get my reservation in, I should be good,” Lubliner said.