Paired with the constraints of COVID-19, the dreary skies and fluctuating weather patterns of this winter in the Midwest make for a dull three months, which halt many outdoor activities. Yet many forget about the highlight of winter pastimes: snow sports.
Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter sports, and they allow participants to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions while enjoying the activity.
Sophomore Caroline Marcus goes skiing annually, and she said that it seems normal this year because people typically spread out and wear masks while they’re skiing. It made her feel safe and allowed her to escape “pandemic life.”
“Because of COVID-19, I’ve been hesitant to try any activity with a lot of people around, but when I went skiing, I felt completely fine…” Marcus said. “I love skiing because it feels almost like you’re floating over the snow, and it allowed me to forget about the world’s craziness for a while.”
Ski resorts have made several changes this year in response to COVID-19.
In Wildwood, Missouri, the Hidden Valley Ski Resort is open and ensures its guests’ safety by limiting its customer capacity, which is determined by reservations made in advance, according to its website. It also requires cashless transactions, and guests are prohibited from riding chairlifts with people outside “their related parties.”
The safety and excitement of skiing brought many EHS students like senior Kyle Smith to Hidden Valley.
“Wrestling season got delayed this year, so I’ve been looking for [safe] ways to stay busy,” Smith said. “I decided to take my little brothers to Hidden Valley one weekend, and although it was a bit slushy, we still had a great time.”
Although the conditions weren’t ideal, Smith said his trip to Hidden Valley was eventful, and he loved the whole experience.
“Skiing is just so versatile. You can carve giant s’ or speed down the hill. You can even hit jumps or try tricks in the terrain park,” Smith said. “Whatever you’re doing, it’s a fun way to stay safe while being around others, and especially [during the pandemic], I would highly recommend it to anyone.”