Thanks to countless hours spent by volunteers making snow, and the recent heavy snowfall, Bear Mountain Ski Hill will open for the season Monday, December 21, from 12 to 6 p.m.
The warm start to the winter delayed the opening of the ski hill, but with the recent turn in temperatures, it looks like people will be able to get their ski fix in before Christmas as the Bear Mountain executive hoped.
“We will be open this year. We’ll close Christmas Day and New Years Day, but otherwise we’ll be open as long as people comply with the health orders,” said Paul Gevatkoff.
One of the biggest rules that must be followed at Bear Mountain this year is everyone must wear a face mask unless they are skiing down the hill. This includes if they are waiting in line for the chairlift, going up the lift, or inside the chalet. Social distancing markings will be laid out in lift lines and in the chalet and must be followed as well.
“If people can’t wear a mask or facial covering, even if it’s for medical reasons, then they can’t come. We don’t want to jeopardize our operation, we want to open, an don’t want to get to the point where we could potentially be shut down,” Gevatkoff said.
The concession will be open, but masks must be worn in line as well.
Because of the provincial restrictions around events, social gatherings and certain activities, Gevatkoff expects there to be more people using the skill than usual.
“We are expecting more guests than normal, we’ve sold quite a few more seasons passes than normal. It seems like other ski hills have been full every weekend andI don’t think it will be any different here,” Gevatkoff said.
He said the hill hasn’t set any limits yet on how many people the hill will accept in a day, but that they will do so if it becomes apparent a limit is needed.
The hill can always use more volunteers, but a lot of people have been helping out so far and have been putting in hours making snow, putting up signs, and putting up safety fences.
The forecast for the coming weeks looks to be sunny with weathers hovering between minus 2 and 10 degrees Celsius, looking like hitting Bear Mountain will be a perfect Christmas-break sporting opportunity.
For the hill’s detailed COVID-19 Safety Plan, go to bearmtnskihill.com.