Play It Safe

There is nothing more exhilarating, more exciting than carving some turns or catching some air on skis or a snowboard in Sun Valley. Add a glorious January sun, bright blue skies, terrific conditions and wide-open top-to-bottom shots and you get the picture — we are in a sweet spot of the winter season. But along with all the fun, comes responsibility and in support of National Safety Month sponsored by the National Ski Areas Association, Sun Valley Ski Patrol again offers a variety of programs designed to help guests stay safe and play safe.

January is safety awareness month on the slopes in Sun Valley

January is safety awareness month on the slopes in Sun Valley

All guests are invited to participate in activities that range from avalanche awareness courses, to snow sports equipment safety checks and events designed just for children. For instance, kids are invited to grab a “Kids Safety Awareness Map” at Dollar Mountain, River Run or the Warm Springs’ ticket windows until January 26. The maps familiarize young skiers and riders with important safety points around the mountains. Completed maps should be returned to the window in exchange for a surprise.

This is a month Sun Valley Ski Patrol looks forward to every year. “The safety of our skiing and riding guests and employees is our first priority,” said Mike Lloyd, Director of Sun Valley Ski Patrol. “We view Safety Month as an opportunity to meet and greet our skiing and riding guests and talk about safety on the slopes. The activities we have planned will offer tips that we hope will help keep people safe when on the mountain.”

Guests meet some integral members of Sun Valley Ski Patrol -- our avalanche dogs -- at the top of the gondola

Guests meet some integral members of Sun Valley Ski Patrol -- our avalanche dogs -- at the top of the gondola

In addition to on-slope safety tips, Ski Patrol will also be out and about in town visiting area schools with avalanche dogs. In addition, patrolers, snowmakers, SnowSports School instructors and members of Guest Services will hold public events to help educate and inform. This week, members of the Snowsports School will also offer Chair Aware tips and buttons to youngsters, helping them understand chair lift safety.

Upper River Run will be the practice ground for beacon clinics on January 22 and 24 at 10 a.m. Grab your beacon and meet at Ski Patrol Headquarters atop Baldy to learn or refresh this vital skill.

But wait, there’s more! The Trucker Sno-Cat will be on display all week at Dollar and the ever-popular Safety Maze is in place on Baldy’s crest.

Come explore the Safety Maze atop Baldy

Come explore the Safety Maze atop Baldy

First and foremost to Patrol’s education component is also “knowing the code.” The National Ski Patrol Responsibility Code is a mountain user’s reference that everyone, from seasoned skiers to absolute beginners, should be familiar with. In case you missed the oversize posters detailing the Code on the Christmas and Challenger chairlifts and at the base of the mountains, here they are:

  • Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or object.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
Jake reminds you to play it safe and have fun

Jake reminds you to play it safe and have fun

Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports is offering discounted equipment inspection and tunes throughout the month of January. Stop in at the base of River Run to have your bindings tested and certified, get skis and snowboards tuned, have your helmet inspected for a proper fit and make sure your boots aren’t too worn down by walking on pavement. All help ensure the safest day possible on the slopes.

And remember that Ski Patrol is there to help. Our Patrol members are some of the most qualified, helpful and friendly people around. They are EMTs, Paramedics; explosives and ropes experts. They love their job and they know our mountains front, back and crosswise. Be sure to say hello to one this week and thank them for all they do. Also give a shout out to Guest Services, the people at the ticket windows and all mountain employees. They are all doing their very best to make sure you are having the time of your life, and staying safe.

–RES

Safety is fun this week in Sun Valley

Safety is fun this week in Sun Valley

 

Yellow Jackets

The Yellow Jackets are here to help

The Yellow Jackets strive to make your day on Baldy the best one ever

If your ski day on Baldy begins on the River Run side of the hill, chances are, the first person you will meet will be a member of Sun Valley’s Guest Services – better known as the Yellow Jackets. This corps of 45 is on site, every day, all over the mountain, with the goal of providing 100 percent guest satisfaction. From the moment you park, to the time you are finished with après ski, they are there to help make your experience in Sun Valley the very best it can be.

“We are basically the goodwill ambassadors for the Resort,” explained Guest Services Supervisor Linda Bowling. “We are all people people. There is nothing we enjoy more than welcoming our guests to the mountain and helping to make sure the day is as great as it should be.” To that end, Yellow Jackets take care of everything from keeping the traffic moving at pick-up and drop-off, to providing wagons to help carry gear from the River Run parking lot to the lifts, to answering any questions about conditions and weather, recommending runs, and much more.

Guest Services wants you to love Baldy as much as they do

Guest Services wants you to love Baldy as much as they do

On the mountain, guest services can be found in every day lodge and on many trails. They are available to help in any way. “If we see a guest consulting a trail map, we approach them and ask if they need assistance or a suggestion,” Linda said. “Let’s say someone is at the top of Flying Squirrel and wants to head over to Seattle Ridge. Instead of explaining the route to them, we will often ski them over. It’s a great opportunity to show off the mountain, get to know a guest and reach out in a meaningful way.”

“It’s a pretty intuitive job,” agreed Yellow Jacket Alec Barfield. “We are the eyes and ears on the hill. We really enjoy being the first and last people our guests see. We are available to help in any way we can. We even help Ski Patrol when we are needed to assist at accidents or call in possible problems. We’re everywhere!”

Linda said that’s exactly the point. “We are the frontline at the mountain. It’s our goal that a guest feels like he or she has made a connection in Sun Valley. We not only help on Baldy, though. Based on what our guests tell us, we might recommend cross-country at the Sun Valley Nordic Center, visiting Galena Lodge, a Gallery Walk. We let people know about our great restaurants, cultural events, family activities, just about everything.”

Guided ski tours are also part of what is offered by Guest Services. Each day at 11 a.m. the incomparable Allan Patzer, Director of Skiing, leads tours on Baldy that both acquaint guests with the hill and provide a great historical perspective on Sun Valley. Allan is encyclopedic in his knowledge and colorful in his delivery. Interested parties are invited to meet at the Mountain Room View at River Run Lodge daily to enjoy this two-hour adventure that is appropriate for those of intermediate ability and up.

“Guest Services is such a fun job,” Linda said. “We get to welcome people to our little corner of paradise and share everything we love about Sun Valley and the Wood River Valley. It’s nice to go to work every day.”

–RES

Local legend Allan Patzer leads daily tours of the mountain

Local legend Allan Patzer leads daily tours of the mountain

Gail Dwyer's smile says it all -- we are glad you are here

Gail Dwyer's smile says it all -- we are glad you are here

What may we help you with?

What may we help you with?

Be Our Guest

Meet Roger Lloyd, one of Sun Valley's most charming ambassadors

Meet Roger Lloyd, one of Sun Valley's most charming ambassadors

With the busy Presidents’ week holiday right around the corner, Sun Valley Resort is expecting many guests from all over the country and world, arriving to enjoy this season’s amazing skiing and boarding, world renown cross-country, restaurants, shopping and nightlife. The first impression many visitors will get of this magical area is from Roger Lloyd of the Resort’s Guest Services. By the time guests have traveled the 20 minutes from the airport to the Sun Valley Lodge, a true insiders’ look at what makes this area so special will be theirs.

“I love that short drive to Sun Valley,” Roger smiled his signature wide smile. “It’s my opportunity to introduce everyone to Idaho, to Sun Valley. I chat with our guests about everything from recreational opportunities to the Lewis and Clark expedition.” He laughed, “I am full of interesting facts.”

There is almost no one who has come by his interesting facts more honestly than Roger. As a 35-year veteran with the Sun Valley Company, and a 42-year resident of the Wood River Valley, his jobs have included everything from helping to build Baldy and Dollar’s high speed quad chairlifts to lift maintenance to guest services. With brothers Jimmy and Mike (who is director of Sun Valley’s Ski Patrol), the Lloyd brothers boast 100 years with the company.

When Roger Lloyd picks you up at the airport, getting here is half the fun

When Roger Lloyd picks you up at the airport, getting here is half the fun

Even once the airport shuttle pulls into the Lodge porte-cochère and guests embark on what is sure to be a memorable vacation, Roger is always around to help answer questions, make recommendations and simply check in on how things are going. “I love it when people approach me in the Lodge lobby or around the resort and have questions,” he said. “Whenever possible, I also like to walk our guests to their rooms after they check in, so we can keep the conversation going and I can ensure that everything is to their liking.”

The great snow this year is making Roger’s job easy, according to him. “There are so many exciting things going on in Sun Valley right now. From the snow sports, to all the new menu choices at our Resort restaurants and the mountain day lodges, to the culture, shopping and entertainment, I am having no trouble at all recommending activities that I know will be well received.  Ketchum and Hailey are hopping, too.  It’s a great season here.”

When you arrive in Sun Valley, make sure to keep an eye out for Roger. He is one of the area’s greatest ambassadors.

“Whether it’s one of the movers and shakers in town for the Allen & Company conference each summer, a family that is bringing the third generation to Sun Valley, or a first-time visitor, we value each and every guest that comes through our doors and are thrilled to share our history, traditions and community with them,” Roger said.

And his favorite part of his job? “When a guest asks me to recommend a local realtor,” he laughed. “Then I know they will be coming back. And coming back. And coming back.”

–RES