By Sean Streicher

FAIRFIELD, Pa. (WJZ) — Nine months after the pandemic froze the 2019/2020 ski season, resorts across North America are back open.

At Liberty Mountain in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, skiers and snowboarders are pumped to once again hit the slopes.

“We decided that being outdoors and skiing was just a great way to keep kids active,” said skier Jenni Hoffman.

“Just being outside and being active and feeling the wind,” said snowboarder Jakob Barke.

“These guys love it. Being cooped in all the time trying to get out and get some exercise is just a great thing to do,” said skier Glen Bogarde.

Like everything else, there are a few differences. Reservations are required and people are asked to only ride the lift with the people you came with.

“If you are not part of a group, we ask that you ride solo or to put two spaces between you to make sure that we do have that social distancing going on,” said Jeff Lifgren, vice president and general manager at Mid-Atlantic Vail Resorts.

Face masks are now mandatory, but those we spoke to don’t seem to mind.

“I’ve been wearing a mask for like 10 years I’ve been snowboarding,” Barke said.

“The mask is actually wonderful, it’s keeping me nice and warm,” Hoffman said.

When you’re on the mountain it’s business as usual whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro.

“I just think this is a great opportunity for people to come out and enjoy the outdoors and see what winter sports have to offer,” Lifgren said.

And for those on the mountain, it was a great escape.

“It’s great, after being stuck inside for like nine months,” Barke said.

If you make your reservations far enough in advance, they will send you your ticket so you can get on the mountain faster.

“They’re having a blast and it’s about health and just being outside on this beautiful day,” Hoffman said.

Sean Streicher