Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Observe Baldy’s slow zones


Before working on Bald Mountain as a member of the mountain department, I paid little attention to the areas designated as slow-skiing zones. Since becoming an employee three years ago, I have learned that the zones are established so that ski school, beginners and families with small children can have an area that is safe to learn and develop their skiing techniques. The designated slow zones on Baldy are Upper and Lower College, the entire Seattle Ridge area with the exception of the Bowls, Lower Warm Springs and Lower River Run. Additionally, slow zones are posted above areas entering the lift and base facilities and onto cat tracks.

The mountain's constant pitch and excellent grooming encourage fast technical skiing. The rest of the mountain is not controlled so you can take advantage of the terrain and ski as fast as your abilities permit.

By far, most local skiers are a joy to meet. They are respectful and courteous and want only to enjoy a great day of skiing. For that small percentage that are not in this category, do a little self analysis and realize that you are not entitled to act irresponsibly and endanger others.

When approached by mountain personnel about skiing too fast in slow zones, don't fly off in a rage like some L.A. freeway driver and yell obscenities or make obscene gestures—simply slow down. We are only trying to create a safe slow zone. We are not criticizing your skiing ability. We will leave that to family and friends.

Finally, if you are involved in a collision, stop and stay on the accident scene until you are sure the other skier is not injured or until the Ski Patrol arrives and takes charge of the incident.

Those of us who live here realize that in order for the area's economy to rebound, we need visitors. We need visitors to return home and tell friends and family what a great place Sun Valley is to visit. A great skiing experience helps to ensure they will want to come back, so please help us out.

John Lowe

Sun Valley




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