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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of Dec 26, 2001 - Jan 1, 2002


Skiers asked to respect speed limitsó 

Be cautious in out-of-bounds areas

Safety Rules

The major provisions of Blaine County Ordinance No. 86:

  • Reckless skiing prohibitedóNo skier shall ski in a reckless or negligent manner.

  • Entering a closed area prohibitedóNo skier shall enter or go upon any closed area.

  • Duties of ski lift passengeróNo passenger shall bounce, stand up or ride a ski lift in a reckless or negligent manner.

  • PenaltiesóAny person who violates any of the provisions of section 4 of this Ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction be sentenced to a fine of not more than $300 or imprisonment in the Blaine County Jail for a period of not more than 6 months or both.

Express Arts Editor

The Sun Valley Ski Patrol is appealing to skiers and snowboarders on Bald Mountain to respect its speed control policies and to use good judgment in skiing or boarding outside the ski area boundaries.

In an effort to maintain the safety of all mountain users, the Ski Patrol and members of the Guest Services department are trying to control the speed of skiers and boarders in the slow skiing areas, said Mike Lloyd, director of the Ski Patrol.

The Ski Patrol and Sun Valley Co. have established five zones where speed control is in effect: mid and lower Warm Springs, Upper and Lower College, the 42nd Street area and Lower River Run, Olympic Lane, Ridge and Narrows, and the runs on Seattle Ridge. All of the slow skiing zones are marked with orange signs to that effect.

"It is a speed issue, not a control issue," Lloyd said. He pointed out that people are under the misconception that if they are in control, they can go as fast as they like in the slow skiing zones. But, Lloyd said, all speeders will be stopped and asked to show their lift tickets. He offered a reminder to the public that mountain users are required to furnish their tickets if asked for them by a mountain employee. Violators are given a warning, and their names are then recorded in a violators book. Subsequent violations can result in the revocation of skiing privileges. He stressed, however, that Ski Patrolís approach to the problem is to educate the public before resorting to disciplinary actions.

Peter Stearns, assistant mountain manager of Bald Mountain, likened the slow skiing areas to school zones. Quite often, he has observed experienced skiers or boarders in the slow skiing areas passing less able skiers at high rates of speed.

"Just donít pass the school bus," Stearns said.

He and Lloyd also pointed out that with all of the snow this year, many people are venturing beyond the ski area boundaries. Skiing beyond the ski area boundaries is not illegal, Lloyd said, but going through a closed area to get out of bounds is. Also, entering a closed run within the ski area from outside the boundaries is illegal.

Lloyd added that terrain outside the boundaries is neither patrolled nor controlled for avalanche danger. Though people may use the lifts to access the areas beyond the resort boundaries, the Sun Valley Co. is not responsible for skiers or boarders once they leave the area, Stearns said.

Lloyd recommended that, if and when people go out of bounds, they use sound judgment, such as:

  • Always travel in pairs, never alone

  • Begin any adventure with plenty of daylight ahead of you

  • Take the appropriate equipment and know how to use it: avalanche beacons, shovels, and probes

  • Make sure someone in the party knows the terrain

  • Practice common backcountry, safe-skiing techniques

  • Take some form of communications with you.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.