Snow on the Mountain: Ski Season Has Arrived!
- Visit North Central
For weeks, you’ve stayed tuned to the weather channel, and looked hopefully at the trails snaking down the sides of Wachusett Mountain.
And finally, there it was — sparkling white snow on the slopes, signaling the start of ski season! Local skiers were exuberant as they flocked to the mountain on the weekend before Thanksgiving. At last, a bit of “normal” injected into this anything-but-normal year! Generations of ski enthusiasts and their families have made Wachusett their favorite local winter destination — and that tradition continues this season.
But as you gather up your gear for a day or evening of outdoor fun, plan for a “2020 version” of the ski experience at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. The Wachusett staff and management have always focused on safety, but with the Covid-19 pandemic in full force throughout New England, “safety” has taken on a new meaning for everyone.
Time to Hit the Slopes!
With its 29 trails, eight lifts and 100 percent snowmaking capacity, this season’s Wachusett will provide the same great skiing that you’ve enjoyed for years. The “new normal” of the pandemic situation, though, includes some changes you should be aware of before heading to the popular Princeton attraction.
After months of reminders, you know about social distancing and face coverings — and the now-familiar rules apply at the ski area. Of course, when you’re on the slopes, “social distancing” is easy. But in areas where maintaining six-foot distancing is difficult, as in loading and unloading chairlifts and in indoor resort facilities, face coverings are a must, so be prepared. And if necessary, team members will limit the number of visitors in any area to maintain distancing.
At the same time, the ski area is proving that fun and safety can go hand-in-hand. When it’s time to take a break, Wachusett has you covered! Although indoor activity is limited, outdoor seating on the giant patio has been expanded, heat lamps will help chase away chills — and O’Brien’s Deck Bar & Grill, along with other grab-and-go vendors, food trucks and beer trucks are ramped up for outdoor service.
Change Is in the Air
Here are a few other changes you’ll see at this popular winter sport spot:
- Lift Tickets need to be purchased online, in advance of your visit. Day tickets are available in four-hour sessions (morning and afternoon), and night tickets in three-hour sessions (early and later).
- Sales of Season Passes will be limited this year.
- Storage for your gear will be limited, too — but you can turn your vehicle into your “personal base lodge” and keep your personal items there while enjoying your time on the trails.
- Shuttle buses will operate at 50% capacity, but the Drop-Off area has been expanded; only drivers are encouraged to use the shuttles.
- All rental orders are being done online, and pickup is at the front of the rental building.
So when those brilliant white trails on the region’s signature landmark start calling your name this winter, remember that even in these challenging times, mountain skiing — and mountains of fun — are just minutes away.