So I had a little run in with the Vail Ski Patrol today and it brought up a major concern to me. (Side note: everything turned out okay and civilities were kept on both sides.)
Background: Today me and some friends, 6 of us total, were skiing Siberian Bowl just before it closed and went to ski orient express. We decided to drop one of the cliffs and in the process we had one member lost a pole and another lost a ski. It snowed a considerable amount today and the powder was around 12"-18" and the lost equipment was buried. It took us about 20 mins to find the buried equipment and in that time frame Ski Patrol had begun their sweep of the bowl. As we skied down a patroller flagged us over began telling us we were all having our passes pulled. When we asked why she said it was for ducking ropes since the bowl was closed. We told her what happened and she insisted that was not possible as she had just traversed under where we claimed to be.( she had not she was in the process of traversing the bottom of the run when she flagged us down). Eventually after some discussion she let us go with out penalty.
This brought up a concern to me about how they were sweeping the bowl. I realize the bowls represent a huge amount of area and that it is not feasible for them to ski every run but it seems like an area where they know high risk activity is taking place should be better swept. I am not even sure she could see where we had been from where she was. we had 6 people in our group, so it's not like it was a single person who would be easy to miss. Also I don't understand why she claimed to have been somewhere she clearly had not been.