Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Skier almost gets the shaft


By ALLEN BEST - MTN TOWN NEWS SERVICE

PARK CITY, Utah (MTN)-- Deer Valley is built on land that was once used for silver mining. That historical antecedent created an unsettling moment for Bruce Rogers of Hailey, who felt the ground give way under his heels as he paused while skiing in a seldom-visited off-piste area.

"It was thoroughly confusing," the 50-year-old Rogers told The Park Record. "A bit bewildering for a momentary second."

When the Lady Morgan Express lift was built, nobody noticed the mine shaft nearby. Erin Grady, a spokeswoman for Deer Valley, described the mine shaft as being in an "obscure area" and not on a designated ski trail.

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Rogers, an expert skier, dropped to shoulder-level in the snow, and could see a dark hole below. With aid of another skier, he was able to extricate himself and, later on, retrieved his skis, too.

Resort officials say that mining shafts and adits have been discovered occasionally at Deer Valley, although nobody has ever fallen into one. A sinkhole opening appeared last summer after a subterranean excavation collapsed.




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