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SAR on speed dial
BANFF, Alberta - The fur trappers of the early 19 th century had what some called a "possibles bag." The modern-day equivalent for hikers, climbers, and hunters would certainly include matches, a compass, and a bivouac bag, in case misfortune resulted in an unexpected night out.
But for a decade, search-and-rescue officials have been reporting hikers who carry little more than a cell phone, expecting that they can call for help if they get into a pinch.
George Field, head of alpine safety in Kananaskis County, says that the problem with this thinking is that a cell phone offers little warmth or shelter.
"People need to realize they're not in Canmore or the city," he tells the Rocky Mountain Outlook. "We can't get to them in six to 10 minutes."
Field says he's not advising against packing cell phones. But they shouldn't be the default option, he says.
Wrinkly and too remote
KETCHUM, Idaho - What's the difference between the Ketchum/Sun Valley area and most of the other destination resorts of the West?
First, it's remote. Boise is several hours away, and the great population centres are even farther afield. And second, the demographics have a decidedly grayer tint even than most destination resorts.
At a recent session in Ketchum, consultants Becky Zimmerman of The Design Workshop and Chuck Madison of East West Partners compared the Idaho resort with three other destination resorts: Beaver Creek, Whistler and Northstar at Tahoe.
Madison said the permanent population of younger people in the Ketchum/Sun Valley area has dropped for some time. "That's not particularly good and needs to change," he said. He also said the most successful resorts can be reached more easily and allow great mobility once people arrive.
Zimmerman, who is based in Denver, said she has been to Sun Valley 60 to 70 times in the last decade. "And it's not easy to get to."
On the Idaho Mountain Express website, where the story appeared, bloggers had much to say. Several seemed to wonder why Sun Valley had paid consultants to explain what was so painfully obvious. Others said that the difficulty of access is a virtue for a resort. "One thing I always tell people is that it's hard to get to, and people don't just pass through," said one blogger. "If you are in Sun Valley, it's because you want to be there, and made the effort to get there, and it will never be a Lake Tahoe, or a Jackson or even a Vail. That is one thing I love about the place."
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