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Plan to hit the slopes? Ski areas are prepared for bitter cold, wind

The artic blast hitting the state doesn’t mean people will stop skiing, and ski areas like Loveland have plans in place to keep people safe.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — At Loveland Ski Area, assistant patrol director Tanner Franti said they’re used to working when the weather gets extremely cold.

“Even in single digits or negative temperatures, we’ll get some winds that will make that wind chill factor approaching 20-30 below sometimes,” Franti said.

With the latest storm on Wednesday and Thursday bringing extremely cold temperatures and high winds to Colorado, Loveland, like a lot of ski areas, had a plan in place to keep operations going and people safe.

“Keep an eye out on your teammates, keep an eye out on the guest," Franti said. "We want to look for the early signs of frostnip."

Credit: 9News

The first part of that plan is to encourage breaks indoors to warm up, and John Sellers with Loveland said the new Loveland Valley lodge, with its mountain views and a roaring fireplace, is a great place to do that.

“We tripled the amount of seating we have, added this beautiful fireplace,” Sellers said. “It’s a great place for people to come in and warm up, especially with the weather we are expecting.”

Outside, employees will be rotated often to warm up and will add extra breaks to their shifts to limit the amount of time they spend in the cold.

“Taking a lot of breaks, a lot of extra rotations and making sure no one is out there for too long and doing what we can to keep everyone safe,” Sellers said.

Credit: 9News

Guests are encouraged to wear several layers and cover all their skin to avoid frostbite. Bring extra gloves and hats for children in case they lose them on the lift. Frostbite starts with the skin turning from a rosy color to white and waxy.

Typically, ski areas won’t close because of cold weather, but high winds, too much snow, and power outages can disrupt operations.

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