The California Mountain Resort Safety Report, prepared by the SnowSport Safety Foundation, found mixed results when it surveyed safety conditions at 25 different resorts.
Representatives of the California Ski Industry Association said safety remains a high priority for a sport with inherent risks. They said the report is likely linked to recent efforts to enact safety regulations at ski resorts by the father of a woman killed in a snowboarding accident in 2006, a position denied by the report’s lead author.
Dick Penniman, chief research officer for the SnowSport Safety Foundation, said the report is only meant as an information resource and that his group is not pushing for new laws or regulations at California ski resorts.
Resorts were surveyed anonymously last winter. The report gives them a numerical grade on safety measures to avoid impacts with structures such as lift towers and snowmaking equipment and on efforts to address hazards on the slopes through trail design and maintenance.
Resort operators are now reading Penniman’s report and could not comment in detail. The industry views the research as likely associated with efforts by Dan Gregorie, whose 24-year-old daughter Jessica was killed in a snowboarding accident at Alpine Meadows in 2006, to establish ski safety regulations.
A bill backed by Gregorie mandating new safety standards at ski resorts was vetoed by Republican former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last October. The bill would have placed unnecessary burdens on resorts, Schwarzenegger said at the time.
Penniman said the safety survey was his idea and that Gregorie played no role in its planning and preparation.
To see how individual Sierra ski resorts ranked view the California Mountain Resort Safety Report SnowSport Safety Foundation report: www.snowsportsafetyfoundation.org. Click on “Research.”