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Autumn has just started in BC, but officials at Big White Ski Resort are busy planning for a winter season that will operate differently than any before it.
Several COVID-19 health guidelines will be implemented once the lifts start running that include mandatory masks, social distancing and no singles line.
For the 2021 season, single riders won't have their own line, instead they will be asked to enter the corral with everyone else, all while practicing social distancing of course.
"When you get to the front of the corral staff will ask whether you want to ride by yourself or with another single," explained Micheal J. Ballingall of Big Whtie Ski Resort.
"If you want to ride solo you'll get on that chair lift all by yourself, but if you say yes to a second rider we will put a person on each side of the chair lift."
That means there will never be more than two people who don't know each other on a chair and no single riders will travel with a group of skiers in a social bubble.
"We're making it comfortable and most importantly safe for each group's bubble," said Ballingall.
"If there's a lot of singles the lifts won't run at capacity."
Skiers and boarders will also be asked to wear a mask while waiting in line and riding the chairlifts, however, once cruising down the hill masks won't be necessary.
Those who visit Big White know it as a social mountain, whether it's having a hot chocolate in the village or riding the gondola in the evening.
However, that’s changed due to the pandemic, with skating, tubing and live music in the village being suspended.
"It's different from the mountain we've been promoting for decades, but everything is designed to keep people in their social bubble. It's just not safe to be skating on a rink with 30 people you don't know," said Ballingall.
"We want to run the mountain for skiing from sun up to sun down and then people to return home where it's safe."
To learn more about Big White's COVID-19 guidelines for this season, click here.
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