Outdoor Blog Entries

Snow Sports during COVID-19

Posted by Emma F., UREC Outdoor Leader on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 12:00 PM PST

While we are all excited to hit the slopes to ski or snowboard it is important to remember that we are still in a global pandemic. Here are some tips to safely recreate outside while keeping yourself and others safe.

General COVID Safety Measures

Just as you should always wear a helmet on the slopes, now you should also always being a mask. Wearing a mask is important to stop the spread of COVID and can be worn easily beneath your buff or scarf. Pro Tip: bring an extra mask incase yours gets moist or snowy. Our faces are often covered already because of the cold so think of this as an extra protection that can also keep you warm! Additionally bringing hand sanitizer is important for before and after you use the chairlift. Keeping this in your inside pocket is a good way to keep it warm. Physical distancing is also vital to avoid the spread of the virus, so expect lift lines to be spread out and you may be asked to only ride the chairlift with those within your household. Check with the guidelines of your specific resort before hitting the slopes.

Transportation to the Mountains

One of the biggest challenges to skiing/snowboarding can be getting to the mountain. Not everyone is comfortable driving in the snow and ice. It may be convenient to save gas by carpooling but remember: the recycled air inside a vehicle increases the risk of corona virus spread even if you are wearing your mask. It is best to limit carpooling and only drive with members of your household.

Reservations & Online Tickets will be a Theme

In order to limit face-to-face interactions, many resorts will be using online tickets and having people reserve their slope time in order to limit the number of people on the mountain at a time. These reservations will be for a specific day and time so planning ahead is important to ensure you are able to use your tickets. Most resorts are prioritizing reservations to people who have purchased season passes. If you are worried about getting a spot consider purchasing a seasons pass to your favorite resort.

Lodges, Bars, & Restaurants will look Different

Many mountains are asking people to ‘boot up’ in their cars instead of coming inside to put their gear on. Additionally, bars and restaurants will either be take out only or closed entirely depending on the location. Skiers and Boarders are encouraged to bring their own snacks and pack a lunch to avoid needing to go inside to purchase food.

Ski/Board at your Level

Do not take huge risks! Now is not the time to push your limits. Our healthcare system has been overwhelmed with taking care of COVID-19 patients. It is important to recreate within your skill level and not take large risks on the mountain. In the chance that you are injured, it can easily be detrimental to the health care system. This is especially true of smaller hospitals which are usually the closest to the slopes. 

And don’t forget to enjoy being outside! While this season may feel and operate differently than we are used to or would prefer, getting to play outdoors is still an incredible way to de-stress and connect with nature.