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Report Examines Safety at California Ski Resorts

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Richard Penniman is with the SnowSport Safety Foundation, which released the report.  He says California ski resorts generally do a good job.  The report focuses on two areas: First, impact mitigation:

Penniman: "Pads and fences and devices that prevent people from contacting lift towers and outbuildings."

Among Tahoe-area ski resorts, Northstar, Tahoe-Donner and Sierra-at-Tahoe ranked strongest in this category.  Second, trail design and maintenance:

Penniman: "If there are hazards like surface hazards or things that people can't see the full extent of, there's ways of marking those hazards and putting up warning signs."

Granlibakken, Heavenly Valley and Sugar Bowl fared best here.

Penniman does point to one consistent safety concern: The pads on lift tower poles are only strong enough to protect against collisions where a skier is going 5-to-7 miles an hour - far slower than the typical 30-to-40 miles an hour.  Also, he says each resort sets its own safety measures - because California doesn't have appropriate laws or regulations.

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