Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Sun Valley eases pass restrictions

Resort plans to keep Bald Mountain open until April 17

Express Staff Writer

Skiers enjoy a sunny spring day at the base of the Warm Springs side of Bald Mountain. Photo by Willy Cook

Sun Valley Co. announced this week that it has lifted its use restrictions on 20-20 and 20-20 Unlimited ski passes through the end of the 2004-2005 ski season.

Skiers and snowboarders holding either of the two 20-20 passes will no longer be made to adhere to restrictions on the dates or how many days per week the passes can be used.

Both 20-20 passes permit 20 days of peak-season skiing and 20 days of combined early- and late-season skiing, but are typically subject to different restrictions on when and how often they can be used.

Date restrictions remain in place for Sun Valley's Early-Late Season Pass, which allows unlimited lift access only during the beginning and end of the ski season. Pass holders will be able to resume using the pass on Sunday, April 3.

Jack Sibbach, Sun Valley director of marketing and public relations, said resort managers are planning to keep parts of Bald Mountain open through Sunday, April 17. Dollar Mountain is tentatively slated to stay open through Sunday, April 3, he said.

Mountain managers are planning to keep the Seattle Ridge area of Bald Mountain open through Sunday, April 10, Sibbach said. All of the resort's projected closing dates are subject to change, depending on the weather, Sibbach noted.

"Hopefully, we can hang in there," he said.

The long-term outlook for skiing was considerably more favorable on Tuesday than it had been in weeks, as several inches of snow started to accumulate in the Sun Valley area.

Although skiing on Bald Mountain has consistently been reported to be excellent all winter, warm weather and a lack of natural snow in recent weeks fostered worries that access to many areas of the mountain would be very limited by April.

On Tuesday morning, Sun Valley reported two inches of fresh snow on Baldy, with additional accumulations forecast throughout the week. The snow base at the summit of Bald Mountain was reported to be 56 inches.

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