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F 01310, Peter and Dorothy Riehl Collection, Jeanne Rodger Lane Center for Regional History.

The Sun Valley Ski Patrol has been a part of the Sun Valley story since the resort opened its doors in 1936. The image here shows a training drill from 1953 where the members of the ski patrol are practicing what they would do in the event of a plane crash. The seven visible members are being pulled across the snow by a snowcat ladened with various pieces of equipment. This drill included scaling a mountain and then possibly bringing down the plane crash victims.

The Sun Valley Ski Patrol has been a leader in the industry. Members of the patrol trained the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division during World War II, and one of the original directors, Nelson Bennett, would help to revolutionize the industry with his invention of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol Rescue Toboggan. The toboggan would become widely used by other ski patrols across the country, and the technology continues to be used to this day.

Today’s ski patrol features over 65 highly trained members, human and canine, who work to keep recreationists at Sun Valley out of harm’s way. To name just a few of their duties, the Sun Valley Ski Patrol conducts avalanche mitigation, emergency medical and rescue services and lift evacuation. Today, the ski patrol continues to provide world class service and safety to all who enjoy the mountains around Sun Valley.

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