With COVID-19 protocols in place, skiers and snowboarders took to the hill for the official opening day at Mount Washington Alpine Resort Friday.
Opening day for the Island resort was set for Dec. 4 and thanks to significant snowfall in the area, the mountain was able to open on time.
“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning,” explained Dean Prentice, general manager of Mount Washington Alpine Resort. “As COVID came in … it’s exciting to finally get open and (to see) all of the planning put into place into execution.”
He noted Friday it’s particularly satisfying to see happy faces on the ski hill.
“There’s lots of pent up energy to go outside and recreate and we’re really fortunate to get open on time.”
Like all of the ski hills within the province, Prentice explained there are guidelines for safe recreation while at the resort. He is encouraging visitors to use their vehicles as a ‘base lodge’ to warm up, get ready, eat lunch and keep equipment and supplies in, as there will be no day locker rentals available.
Facemasks are required inside and outside, and there are reduced capacity limits and allowances for specific traffic flow at the restaurants.
“This hasn’t been a singular effort … there’s been numerous committees to deal with various aspects on how we would operate and policies and procedures as an industry. So there’s a lot of consistency throughout all of the ski hills in British Columbia as far as the mandatory masks, distancing protocols, lineup protocols, keeping bags in vehicles,” he said.
Washrooms throughout the resort will remain open, however, capacity limits are in place. Because of that, Prentice added there are porta-potties in the parking lot (both the regular and Sunrise) and additional ones are set to be at the Nordic Lodge next week.
Currently, the snow base at the top of Whiskey Jack is about 75cm.
For more information and the list of COVID-19 protocols, visit mountwashington.ca.