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Utah beats old skier record by 12 per cent

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Aspen bar says no to smoking

ASPEN, Colo. — Slowly, steadily, the non-smoking movement is moving across the ski world. The latest place to erect "no smoking" signs is Aspen’s famous bar, The Red Onion.

"I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I’m going to do it," declared "Wabs" Walbert, the owner. Aspen years ago banned smoking in restaurants, workplaces, and other public places, but exempts bars and taverns. The potential for a blanket ban on smoking in public places in Colorado spurred Walbert to adopt the ban. Business may decline, he said, but it’s worth the risk for the sake of his employees and the restaurant part of the business.

The Aspen Times reports a dwindling number of bars that allow smoking in other than outdoor courtyards or patios. Some bars also have designated smoking rooms.

Meanwhile, Steamboat has an even more far-reaching policy come July. The new law bans burning tobacco in bars, as well as restaurants and workplaces. It also says "no fumarola" in athletic fields and outdoor amphitheaters.

Steamboat’s law requires motels and hotels to have 80 per cent of their rooms smoke free. As well, the council toyed with banning smoking in condominiums rented to the public but decided it would be too hard to enforce, as owners of the condos could use them for smoking.

More difficult yet was the exemption for private clubs. Would paying $1 for membership constitute a private club? No, the council decided. Instead, council members said it must be one whose membership dues or annual fees substantially defray the costs of operation. As such, the VFW bar will continue to be a smoky place.

Avalanche death at A-Basin

ARAPAHOE BASIN, Colo. — A mid-morning wet-snow avalanche on Arapahoe Basin’s famous Pallavicini Trail killed a skier on May 20. It was the first avalanche-caused death of a paying customer on a commercial ski trail in Colorado in 30 years.

It had been abnormally warm in Colorado the day before the slide, and the snow that night at A-Basin, located at an elevation of 10,800 to 13,000 feet, had not frozen. The snowslide occurred at 10:30 a.m. The victim, a 53-year-old skier from Boulder, was not completely covered, allowing ski patrollers to find him quickly, but he was declared dead when removed to the bottom of the mountain.

The last fatal avalanche during operating hours at a ski area was in 1975, at Crested Butte. However, six ski patrollers have died of avalanches since 1980 while doing control work: one at Snowmass in 1981, a second at Copper Mountain in 1983, three at Aspen Highlands in 1984, and then one in 1993 at Crested Butte.

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