Published on: December 29, 2020

Skiing and riding in COVID times

LAKE PLACID – As we have seen since last March, COVID-19 has taken its toll on every facet of life, skiing and snowboarding included. Our Olympic Mountain, Whiteface in Upstate New York, recently issued its COVID policies with eyes on everyone’s health and safety.

Snowboarding at Whiteface Mountain in Upstate New York
Snowboarding at Whiteface Mountain

On December 20, Whiteface Mountain and its parent New York agency, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, issued the following:

“Whiteface is sold out Dec. 24 – Jan. 3. We are presently loading tickets for Monday-Friday outside of blackout periods. For now, lift ticket sales for weekends and blackout periods and season passes are presently paused, but we look forward to adding availability as capacity allows. We will continually evaluate the availability of dates as we go through the season. We know you want to visit, and that’s what we want too!”

So like everyone else, let’s put 2020 in our rear view mirror and look ahead to the new year. The Whiteface Mountain statement DOES NOT mean that ticket sales have been halted for the rest of the season. Not the case. Just in prime holiday and weekend travel periods. You must purchase lift tickets, lessons and rentals at the Whiteface website. Consider non-holiday skiing and riding. Personally, we suggest a mid-week trip that’s unencumbered by restricted ticket sales, less people on the hill and easier movement around Lake Placid.

Whiteface has started a campaign titled KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. Here are some key points:

If you are enrolled in ski/ride school, a daily health check is required.

When visiting Whiteface, it is suggested to use your vehicle as a mini-lodge since base lodges have been whittled down to 50 percent capacity. Storage is limited so keep provisions and additional clothing in the parking lot.

Mountain management recommends not spending more than 20 minutes in any indoor space. All food service locations are offering food and beverage to go. You’ll find a Waffle Cabin at the base of the Cloudsplitter Gondola.

Ride with your crew. Skiers that traveled to the mountain together can ride the lifts together.

Mask wearing is required throughout your time at Whiteface. Please bring extra face masks so you can change them if they get wet.

These policies, procedures and recommendations are new to all of us who are accustomed to unfettered enjoyment of these great outdoor sports. If we all understand that we are in the midst of unique and yes, bizarre times, we will be able to make the psychological adjustment that will bring us back to the mountain this season.