Snow safety foreman Sue Anderson leads the morning traverse above the chutes.

Snow safety foreman Sue Anderson leads the morning traverse above the chutes.

Image: Eric Schramm

A note on the on-piste, Covid-19 environment

“We’re asking for understanding and patience from our guests,” says Erkkila. Skiing is a great social distancing activity, given that many interactions can take place at least six feet apart on a ski hill. The prevailing wisdom about pandemic practices is still true at a resort: Wear a mask. Wash hands. Maintain distance while eating. And expect this year’s on-slope experience to be a little different than usual.

Beating the elements

  • Wear layers and dry out soggy apparel.
  • Cover up—protect your eyes with sunglasses or goggles, and wear buffs.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Eat a high-calorie breakfast to help with the cold.

Ski and safety tips (beyond the Skier’s Code)

  • Stay forward on your skis (i.e., flex those boots) to ski better and avoid injuries.
  • Don’t get stuck looking down at your ski tips. Keep your eyes up, always looking downhill for objects and people.
  • Take a lesson.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Turn down the volume on your earbuds.
  • Never say, “This is my last run.”
  • For those headed to the backcountry: Get educated before you go, know how to use rescue equipment, use caution, ski with others, and trust your gut.
  • Use your head. “I’m a big believer in helmets, but the most important piece of safety equipment is what you have between your ears,” says Chris Erkkila.
  • Control your speed, and give the skiers around you a good buffer.
  • Don’t ski by yourself.
  • Make sure your child has your phone number memorized (that way, ski patrol can easily reconnect separated families).
  • Don’t be afraid to try to make things easy. Make sure your gear is comfortable, and build extra time into plans to avoid the stress of having to rush to ski school drop-off or a lunch reservation.
  • Fess up to infractions. Yes, there will be consequences, but as Erkkila says, “The more you’re honest and up-front, the better the experience is going to go.”
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