2020 has been a year dominated by news about COVID-19. This has led to many people wondering if a ski season is even possible when coronavirus is still so prevalent in many parts of the world. Luckily the answer is, yes!
As a company we've already run our first training programs for this year in New Zealand for the southern hemisphere winter season. While there were reduced numbers due to border closures, we were still excited to host a small group of trainees through level one training and into their first job on the ski fields in Queenstown.
What does a ski season look like with COVID-19 restrictions?
The truth is every resort will likely have thier own approach and it may change throughout the season. For example, here in New Zealand, the season started strong with record numbers of people on the mountains.
Unfortunately an increase in COVID cases in the county led to more restrictions so mid-season the number of people allowed in the base buildings went down. However, it also meant that you had space to spread out on the chairlift as you were seated in the group you arrived with. Masks were also required on all buses up the mountain.
Later in the season as the risk of covid-19 went down, things opened up again and once again we could meet new friends on the chairlifts and share large tables in the base buildings. Of course mask use was still encouraged, but not required.
The above story is just one example of how things have played out and may not be exactly the same for the northern hemisphere. But there are a few common things you are likely to encounter this year more than others:
- Mask use encouraged on and off the mountain
- Contact tracing check-ins at restraunts
- Smaller gatherings for Apres Ski
While some of these measures may be an inconvenience, they allow us to have a safer season for all. And most importantly, we can all still get out on the mountains and enjoy the snow together! There were moments when some thought it wouldn't be possible, but YES, the majority of ski resorts are still opening this season and we are very thankful for the opportunity to get out in the snow!
See you up there!