After 52 years on the Sun Valley Ski Patrol, Rich Bingham is set to retire after this season. A farewell party is being held for him at the River Run Day Lodge on April 18 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm to honor of one of Sun Valley’s most celebrated ski patrollers who spent each winter helping to ensure the mountain was safe and enjoyable for guests.
“Rich has been a vital member of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol team for many years,” stated Mike Davis, Sun Valley Resort’s ski patrol director. “His experience and knowledge were a great contribution to the ski patrol family. We wish him good luck and many more runs on the mountain. We will miss him.”
Bingham joined the highly coveted ski patrol in 1967. Just a few years later, he became the assistant ski patrol director in 1970, a position he held until 2010. Snow safety officer was also his responsibility from 1980-2015. With all of those seasons spent on the mountain, he has skied 156 million vertical feet and over 100,000 miles on Bald Mountain.
In more ski patrol news, Nelson Bennett, otherwise known as the “Father of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol” has been inducted into the National Ski Patrol (NSP) Hall of Fame. Recognized as one of the earliest pioneers in mountain safety and innovation, he established effective communications on the mountain, along with training his staff to do lift evacuations. He also created the “Sun Valley” ski patrol rescue toboggan, which is still widely used today.
Sun Valley is one of only a few ski patrols in the country with two inductees in the NSP Hall of Fame. Rick Hamlin, the national historian for the NSP, presented the plaque to Mike Davis, Sun Valley Ski Patrol’s director, during a special ceremony held last week at the patrol’s headquarters on Bald Mountain.