Ski Bus Is Back

Students participate for the first time since 2020

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Photo: Vail Resorts

A standard day at Stevens Pass, the mountain that UPrep uses for ski bus.

This year, significantly fewer people signed up for ski bus compared to previous years. Just 30 Upper School students signed up to participate. In 2020, during the last ski bus before the COVID-19 pandemic, 77 Upper School students participated. 

This year’s Upper School ski bus happened on Feb. 22 during University Prep’s mid winter break. This left many students disappointed, including Senior Kellen Davis. He is among the students who participated in the last ski bus, but did not sign up this school year.

 “I was not able to go on ski bus because I had conflicting plans. I wish I could have. I always had fun doing ski bus at UPrep,” Davis said.

Transportation Coordinator Andy Richardson explained the reasoning behind the changes.

“We decided the best option would be to do it by grade level and do it on days we had no school, so we had a longer trip and we could keep cohorts together rather than having a mixed program,” Richardson said. 

“That was partially due to COVID, but also because Stevens Pass is very disorganized this year.” 

The decision for ski bus to be during mid winter break this year was intentional due to the number of Upper Schoolers that typically sign up. 

Typically the percentage of the grade that goes is much higher in 7th and 8th grade,” Richardson said. “It drops off in 9th and 10th.

By 12th grade we have only half a dozen going, so it makes sense to have the biggest group go on the day that is most convenient.”

Middle Schoolers participated during days off of school. 

Despite the low number of Upper School students, the trip was still enjoyable according to 10th grader Kian Baghai. 

“It was a nice return to normalcy. We got a lot of good skiing in and I was able to experience different parts of the mountain with my friends,” Baghai said. 

Richardson is already looking forward to next year. 

“I don’t know if the Friday night program works that well now that UPrep has gotten so big,” Richardson said. 

Due to a growing student body and a lack of time on the mountain, he acknowledges that the school may need to move future ski buses to a Saturday. 

“It’s a possibility, but we have to make sure it doesn’t infringe on athletics,” Richardson said. “We have to make sure whether we go to Crystal, Snoqualmie or Stevens and if the mountain can have that many people arrive on a day.”