Park City Blog

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A Pinecone New Year??

Before I write about Pinecone, I need to address something. The recent avalanche accidents in Utah have been a cause of concern for our skiing/riding guests. We have been fielding questions regarding the "safety" of our upper mountain, avalanche prone terrain. One distressed parent I spoke with even asked what type of avalanche gear (beacon, probe, shovel) he should buy for his family because "people are dying everywhere and you patrollers don't know what you're doing." Let me say this:

1) People are NOT "dying everywhere" in avalanches. In fact, since 1980 less than ONE PERCENT of avalanche deaths in the United States occurred "in bounds" at winter resort areas. Resort area Snow safety professionals are very good at their jobs and these accidents are very rare. For a run-down of the snow safety program here at PCMR check out our Snow Safety page on the PCMR website.

2) Can we, the Snow Safety department guarantee you will NEVER be caught in an avalanche at PCMR? No; I'd be foolish to say otherwise. We do our job to the best of our abilities to ensure that our open terrain is enjoyable for the skiing/riding public. But snow and avalanches are tricky dragons and we do have avalanche terrain that is adjacent to even some of our intermediate and beginner runs. Just like any winter resort area, folks who purchase passes and choose to ski/ride PCMR need to accept the Inherent Risks of Skiing/Riding as defined be Utah law (check the link to our website).

Now for the update I promised. The recent storms have allowed us to open almost all our Upper Mountain terrain. The conditions in Jupiter and the East Face have been pretty darned good considering the amount of snow on the ground. As we've picked up another 7 inches in the last 48 hours, things are just getting better. Tomorrow (Sunday December 30) we will TRY to open the last piece of the puzzle, Pinecone Ridge. As always, we do need the weather to cooperate. If the winds and snowfall amounts are higher than forecasted, we'll have our hands full with the open terrain and may not be able to get to Pinecone.  I can promise that we will try hard to get there, throw allot of explosives, and HOPE to give you a nice end of year powder day present!

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