Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Say ‘no’ to sidecountry skiing plan


Lift-access "out of bounds skiing" on Bald Mountain has had a very long history indeed. For everyone who spends a lot of time skiing Baldy, this new proposal of "licensed outriders" guiding and using ski lifts to access backside/side-country terrain once again only benefits a few and takes from all of us that enjoy our days of skiing on Baldy. These same outfitters already have thousands of acres to use under their current permits.

Please contact the Ketchum Ranger District and read their proposal for yourselves. The fact is we have until Dec. 16 to respond to this proposal and there will be no other public input review process, so this is our only chance to have input into something that will affect all of us. Please contact; Joe Miczulski at the Ketchum Ranger District, P.O. Box 2536, Ketchum, ID. 83340 or via email at: comments-intermtn-sawtooth-ketchum.fs.fed.us.

What's the urgency to push this through so quickly? Is it really going to prevent avalanches from occurring. Is really going to make it "safer" as proposed? We'll have questions on how this proposal is going to be implemented and how it will be accepted by those who have been skiing out of bounds for all of these years. Will it be received with open arms? I don't think so. Who will enforce the rules and regulations? We're talking about powder skiing here, it's something we don't get a lot of here in Sun Valley. Think about the "bowls" just before the ski patrol drops the closure rope—how do you think this is going to work in the side-country?

The bottom line is this proposal should be discussed thoroughly before a temporary permit is considered—there are just too many details needed to be worked out. Avalanches will occur again, Mother Nature wins this battle every time and it doesn't matter if you're a professional guide or not. Please comment to the Ketehum Ranger by Dec. 16

Bill Gehrke

Hailey




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