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Skiers, snowboarders and avid outdoors-people, juniors Natalie Arndt and Jewel Chandler hit the slopes each winter season to advance their snow sport skills. As Chandler approaches her tenth year of recreational skiing and Arndt continues to strengthen her snowboarding abilities, the pair explores new techniques, winter sport recommendations and other open air activities. Open Air Adventures will be published bi-monthly and the bloggers can be reached via email.

Stuart Chandler

Last week, China Peak received about three feet of fresh powder. However, due to current circumstances the resort officially shut down for the season last Friday.

Following two months of scarce snowfall and low attendance, the China Peak Mountain Resort temporarily shut down for the season in early March. But as major rainfall swept over the Central Valley, the resort began to see signs hope signal in the form of falling snow. Last week, China Peak received about three feet of fresh powder, tempting local skiers and riders to pull out their gear once again and hit the slopes.

However, just as snow conditions were looking up, the resort faced a new obstacle that was not as easily overcome. Over the past few weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down businesses and schools has led to the closure of almost all ski resorts throughout the nation. Bucking the trend, China Peak managed to keep its lifts running for a couple of epic days last week.

Last Thursday, I (Jewel) had the opportunity to spend some time skiing at China Peak. The snow was the best I experienced at the resort this season, and I even learned how to powder ski.

Coming down the Lakeview run, and seeing a sea of untouched powder laid out across the hill was a feeling that can only be described as amazing. Skiing on powder is the strangest, yet most freeing thing I had ever felt in all my years of skiing. It was almost like I was floating on a cloud.

Photo by Alain Wong on Unsplash

Though all precautionary measures were taken to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the ski resort was still given government orders to cease operations.

As for the safety and health aspects of the resort, I personally did not feel at risk. Social distancing was accomplished through the limited amount of people allowed indoors, and I was able to stay at least six feet away from others at all times.

I anticipated a large crowd of people, as China Peak was one of only two ski resorts open in the State of California at the time. A large turnout seemed inevitable. Yet, to my surprise, crowds were light and I never waited more than a few minutes to get on a ski lift.

Though I didn’t know it would be my last ski day of the season, and looked forward to more days on the snow, I’m glad that I was able to enjoy it the day before the resort shut down (the next day the government ordered China Peak to cease operations). I had an amazing time developing new skills and spending time skiing with friends. It seemed too soon for the season to end. Yet, in light of the current circumstance, I understand it may be the wisest thing to do at this point.

I look forward to learning new techniques next year, and can’t wait to see what the coming season has in store! Remember to find some time to exercise and stay healthy during this time of self-quarantine. Stay tuned for more blogs on health and fitness!

For more articles, check out Superintendent, faculty share updates on school, alternative learning model, or Megan LeBlanc leads student body in campus sports, activities.

Jewel Chandler can be reached via email and Twitter.

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Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

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