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misdemeanor to ski in closed areas at ski resorts. - Page 2

post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemat View Post

I can guarantee you that this law will be abused if it does pass....Just like anything else out there, starts small and next thing you know - we live in ruled society where freedom is limited. (it already is, but every day there are more and more limitations)... 



Not to mention politics.

 

I think the law makers should get back to their jobs.  I hate laws like this even though they make sense.  The law will be applied unevenly, they always are.  Stricter (read meaner) ski patrol will write more citations than reasonable ones.

 

This is just another example of America going down the tubes, the fact that we need a law like this.  It's also a reflection of our sport and where it's headed.  Skiing has changed.

 

Our law makers must be bored or incompetent.

post #32 of 68

Sounds like another "victemless crime" law.  Shame.

post #33 of 68

B.S. it's a "victimless" crime.  The victims of this crime are the ski patrol who have to go into a dangerous, closed area to rescue someone who shouldn't have been there in the first place.

 

The whole reason for this is to protect the area employees.

 

I notice that the loudest naysayers in this thread are all from other states.  None of you need to come to Washington to ski.  We don't have any resorts anyway.  Nobody here  had anything bad to say about the law in the legislature or in the media.  It seems like people are sitting in front of their computers, spiraling up and freaking out. What a non-issue!

post #34 of 68

In bounds closures should be respected.  Go outside the area and do whatever you want.  99% of the time when I see an in-bounds closure there is a pretty good reason for it.  The consequences of the poach extend beyond the poachers.  Patrol may be put at risk and the public in open areas may also be at risk as avalanches that start in closed areas don't stop when they hit a rope.  Avalanches areas are only one reason for a closure.  Race courses, trail maintenance, terrain traps, staffing shortages....  you name it these are all reasons for in-bounds closures.  There really doesn't even have to be a reason.  The resort is basically private property even if it happens to be on public land.  The management does get to say what they want going on there and that includes in area uphill skinning BTW.  Focus your energy on establishing BC access gates and keeping them open.  Then go do what you want outside the area boundaries.

post #35 of 68

this relates to my observation that all the blatant stupid poaching is definitely done by people with day passes. they have little to lose and have little knowledge of why they shouldn't do what they are doing (see TPJ's post). season pass holders can lose an expensive  pass, be banned from the area for a period of time, etc. so the law does give the resorts a little more clout.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

B.S. it's a "victimless" crime.  The victims of this crime are the ski patrol who have to go into a dangerous, closed area to rescue someone who shouldn't have been there in the first place.

 

The whole reason for this is to protect the area employees.

 

I notice that the loudest naysayers in this thread are all from other states.  None of you need to come to Washington to ski.  We don't have any resorts anyway.  Nobody here  had anything bad to say about the law in the legislature or in the media.  It seems like people are sitting in front of their computers, spiraling up and freaking out. What a non-issue!



 

post #36 of 68

Good post by Posaune. I don't understand people saying this is "nanny state". This isn't designed just to protect people from themselves, it's designed to protect other innocent victims from the general stupidity that we see plenty often.

 

In addition to the ski patrollers that are stuck putting their own lives in danger to rescue people from their own stupidity, there are the other skiers that maybe are skiing in open terrain below a closed, avalanche-prone bowl who could also get injured.

 

This seems like a smart law and a pretty big non-issue from the whole "victimless", "government interference" crowd. I could see if this was New York or PA, but it's WA, a place with tons of snow and tons of steep terrain--if stuff is closed, there's probably a good reason for it. So do what you're supposed to and GTFO and the law is a non-issue.

post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

B.S. it's a "victimless" crime.  The victims of this crime are the ski patrol who have to go into a dangerous, closed area to rescue someone who shouldn't have been there in the first place.

 

The whole reason for this is to protect the area employees.

 

I notice that the loudest naysayers in this thread are all from other states.  None of you need to come to Washington to ski.  We don't have any resorts anyway.  Nobody here  had anything bad to say about the law in the legislature or in the media.  It seems like people are sitting in front of their computers, spiraling up and freaking out. What a non-issue!


I also don't see it as a victimless crime.  We had a situation last year in Vt, MRG where there was an injury in an area that was closed and extremely dangerous.  One of the ski patrol got seriously injured making the rescue and is still recovering.  It was a close one for the ski patrol.

 

I don't want you to think that I am a naysayer about the law, being from NY State, but it sounds like bad law.  The punishment may fit the crime in some areas, but will there be a "shotgun" approach with all areas be treated the same?  If they are then... one guys opinion, it's bull $h!t.  Was there any incident that caused this law to be written?  Is it "knee-jerk"?

 

I guess what frustrates me the most is the need for all of these baby sitting laws.  Skiing has changed.  The equipment we ski on today allows skiers to ski lines that would not have been considered in the past.  Maybe I don't know enough about the law to comment, but it's too bad that things have come to this.

 

post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

Dav, I'd have thought it was directed at the homeless.



I never thought of that, good point.

 

I am worried about fairness as well.  The brunt of this law will probably fall on the shoulders of the snowboarders.  There should be a provision for tracking.

 

post #39 of 68

Why snowboarders?  Also why does the "fact" that someone thinks they can ski a line give them the right to do so inside a ski area.  There are permanently closed areas at the JHMR that are ski-able by lots of the local talent.  They even open some of them for free skiing events.  Management chooses to keep them closed because of the degree of rescue difficulty, rapid snow loading during operation hours, and the potential for sluffs and slides to hit people in the bowl below.  Some people still poach, but deserve what they get, because there are plenty of area OB that are just as good or better and completely available.

post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

Why snowboarders?  Also why does the "fact" that someone thinks they can ski a line give them the right to do so inside a ski area. 



I don't think that they do have the right to ski dangerous, closed areas.  It's just that more people are going into areas that skiers would have avoided in the past.  More and more people are going into dangerous places and now we are going to have a law with a $1000. fine.  It's just a sign of the times.  In my opinion, it's too bad.

 

And snowboarders... they always get blamed.

post #41 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post


The brunt of this law will probably fall on the shoulders of the snowboarders.

 



I suspect the brunt of this law will fall on those who a) break it, b) get caught, and c) are prosecuted (the resort presses charges).  I am sure that there is a particular demographic that is more likely satisfy (a) and probably even somewhat more likely to satisfy (b), but the notion that a major ski area will automatically resort to (c) simply because of (a) and (b) is unlikely.  My guess is most resorts will continue to take your pass and kick you off the hill just like (if) they do today.  

 

That the resort can put more WARNING!!! on their signs to deter activity that they don't want and have not wanted before this law is probably the biggest outcome.  Whether or not this will deter anybody is an open question, but really, do you see your favorite resort risking gaining a reputation for legally pressing charges rather than just kicking you off the hill?  They get to spend more money to probably get less skier days?

 

I wonder if this law doesn't actually lessen a resort's liability for (not) saving you from yourself if you break what is now the law.  Americans in particular love to assume that laws are written specifically to reduce your freedom rather than limiting a powerful interest's liability when that powerful interest intersects with your dollar - this law simply makes you more liable for your actions than before and the resort more capable of enforcing your liability.  

 

The state does not care if you kill yourself.  If it did, Twinkies would be banned.  The state does care when a multi-billion dollar industry can be subjected to liability for a dangerous tourism business that is essential to its economy, or when it is subjected to increased costs (managing out of bounds areas) that cannot reasonably be charged back to the offending user.  You can either reduce the cost by reducing the activity by increasing the penalty/consequence, or you charge everybody extra on their lift tickets.  Seems to me the resorts would rather increase the penalty to the offenders rather than increasing usage fees for everybody.


Edited by NayBreak - 11/7/11 at 8:01am
post #42 of 68



As far as warnings, there should be a provision in the law that requires posting of the law and fine.  We have signs stating that lowering the safety bar is the law.

 

There are other laws that we could have for our sport.  How about a $1000 fine for hit and run on the hill.  Fairness would be an issue on that law too.

 

 

post #43 of 68

 

Quote:
As far as warnings, there should be a provision in the law that requires posting of the law and fine.

 

The bill doesn't specify that, but it added a new subsection to an existing set of laws about skiing.  There is already a requirement for them to post a sign saying you are not allowed to ski in closed areas, but it is unclear whether they have to post the $1000 fine.

 

Quote:
There are other laws that we could have for our sport.  How about a $1000 fine for hit and run on the hill.  Fairness would be an issue on that law too.

 

Depending on the state you are in, they may already be able to press criminal charges on you for leaving the scene of an accident, particularly if someone was obviously seriously injured.  Washington, in fact, already has a skiing-specific law: "Any person who is involved in a skiing accident and who departs from the scene of the accident without leaving personal identification or otherwise clearly identifying himself or herself before notifying the proper authorities or obtaining assistance, knowing that any other person involved in the accident is in need of medical or other assistance, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

 

(from http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=79A.45&full=true )

 

Quote:
I guess what frustrates me the most is the need for all of these baby sitting laws.

 

And that falls on the shoulders of the people who are going into closed areas.  You should be frustrated with them, not with the ski areas and state legislature trying to do something about it.

 

The argument of 'patrol closes too much terrain' is irrelevant.  If patrol has to go in there and haul your ass out if you get stuck, they have a very good reason to decide what areas are too unsafe for them to risk going into.  If you don't like it, ski somewhere else, or on public land in the backcountry.

post #44 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post



I don't think that they do have the right to ski dangerous, closed areas.  It's just that more people are going into areas that skiers would have avoided in the past.  More and more people are going into dangerous places and now we are going to have a law with a $1000. fine.  It's just a sign of the times.  In my opinion, it's too bad.

 

And snowboarders... they always get blamed.



You're playing both sides of the argument and not making a point either way. On one hand, you admit that skiers don't have the right to ski whatever they want (and that doing so can endanger the ski patrol). Yet, on the other, you seem to think they should be able to do it without any repercussions.

 

Which one is it: either skiers should stay the f*** out of closed terrain within a resort or face whatever consequences are in place or they should be given free rein over the resort with no consequences. The fact that people are doing it doesn't really mean anything. If more people were drag racing on public highways, does that mean that the government should sanction it as another "victimless" crime?

post #45 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post



As far as warnings, there should be a provision in the law that requires posting of the law and fine.  We have signs stating that lowering the safety bar is the law.

 

There are other laws that we could have for our sport.  How about a $1000 fine for hit and run on the hill.  Fairness would be an issue on that law too.

 

 


How exactly would that work? I don't disagree that signs would be helpful, but any resort could have thousands of feet worth of closed boundaries. The best they can do is rope it off and maybe put a couple signs around. It doesn't mean that everyone ducking the rope is going to read the sign though.

 

post #46 of 68

Signs go on the towers in VT.

post #47 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

Signs go on the towers in VT.



I assume that's signs for putting the safety bar down, which make sense on the towers. Signs for going out of bounds wouldn't be very helpful on the lift towers.

post #48 of 68

Why not?  Everyone would see them on the towers.  Leave the existing closed signs on the boundaries.  It would save money and hassle for the area.  You know you're not supposed to go past the closed sign.  The argument that there needs to be specific signage everywhere is spurious.

 

As for safety bars, put them down or don't.  In WY we don't even have safety bars on all the lifts or even every chair on a given lift.  You are expected to not fall off.  How's that for personal responsibility?  

 

BTW we don't generally have safety bar signs on the lift, but we do have area boundary signs on the towers.  Again it is expected that you can read the sign and interpret its meaning.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post



I assume that's signs for putting the safety bar down, which make sense on the towers. Signs for going out of bounds wouldn't be very helpful on the lift towers.



 

post #49 of 68

Why do we need another law, specific to closed or hazardous ski areas?  Couldn't existing laws for say trespassing, or reckless endangerment or disorderly conduct charges be brought against someone instead?

post #50 of 68


 

Quote:

 

BTW we don't generally have safety bar signs on the lift, but we do have area boundary signs on the towers.  Again it is expected that you can read the sign and interpret its meaning.

 

And expectations are often left unfulfilled. People blatantly ignore ropes and signs in front of their face; how is putting it on the lift tower going to be effective? They might as well just leave it the way it is and put a warning on the trail map. That would save money and be just as (in)effective.
 

 

post #51 of 68

Sounds like someone needs a nanny state.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


 

 

And expectations are often left unfulfilled. People blatantly ignore ropes and signs in front of their face; how is putting it on the lift tower going to be effective? They might as well just leave it the way it is and put a warning on the trail map. That would save money and be just as (in)effective.
 

 



 

post #52 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 

 

As for safety bars, put them down or don't.  In WY we don't even have safety bars on all the lifts or even every chair on a given lift.  You are expected to not fall off.  How's that for personal responsibility?  

 


 

In the East some states by law require the use of safety bars.  So they  put up a sign telling skiers that it's the law.  At the top they have signs that tell the skiers to raise the safety barth_dunno-1[1].gif

 

If there is a new law then people need to be informed.  Everyone rides the lift so it is a perfect place to put a notice.  How would someone from say... NY, know that the fine is $1000? 
 

 

post #53 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

Sounds like someone needs a nanny state.
 



 



Sounds like someone doesn't like to read.

post #54 of 68

Does it really matter what the fine is?  Everyone knows that the closed sign means don't go past this point.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

In the East some states by law require the use of safety bars.  So they  put up a sign telling skiers that it's the law.  At the top they have signs that tell the skiers to raise the safety barth_dunno-1%5B1%5D.gif

 

If there is a new law then people need to be informed.  Everyone rides the lift so it is a perfect place to put a notice.  How would someone from say... NY, know that the fine is $1000? 
 

 



 

post #55 of 68

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RootDKJ View Post

Why do we need another law, specific to closed or hazardous ski areas?  Couldn't existing laws for say trespassing, or reckless endangerment or disorderly conduct charges be brought against someone instead?


Part of the justification for the new law was that it didn't seem like you could charge someone for criminal trespass under WA state law for entering a closed ski area.  (IANAL, but it was mentioned in several newspaper articles talking about the law before it was passed.)

post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

Does it really matter what the fine is?  Everyone knows that the closed sign means don't go past this point.
 



 



you're losing me here.  If it doesn't mater what the fine is then why have one?  If you don't tell people about the fine then people will just keep doing it, or that's the theory behind the law.  It's a deterrent, but only if you know about it.

post #57 of 68

I'm not losing you... You are lost!  You know you're not supposed to do something and you do it anyway.  If you break a rule you take a hit.  It's only real to you if it's spelled out just how big that hit is.  If you're rich then you don't care at all.  There's a speed limit on the roads.  You know if you get caught exceeding it you will get a fine.  I've never seen the fine posted all over the road.  I don't know what the fine is, but I know I don't want to pay it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post



you're losing me here.  If it doesn't mater what the fine is then why have one?  If you don't tell people about the fine then people will just keep doing it, or that's the theory behind the law.  It's a deterrent, but only if you know about it.



 

post #58 of 68

Yeah, it's not really anyone's job to school you on the law. If you want to break it, you can figure it out yourself. Otherwise, just stay in bounds or go backcountry. What's really the problem there?

post #59 of 68

 

- How about if someone skis into a closed area we have a law that says "F*** 'em".  I recall back in the day skiing side country and nearby peaks behind the lift.  I never expected anyone to come and rescue me.  Hell, most of the time, nobody even knew I was there (no I'm not recommending you do that; ski with a buddy).  I remember making sure I could undo my binding while hanging upside down from an upper branch in a tree-well (Tyrolia 490s were easy to get off, but reaching them while hanging upside required some athletic ability which I had),  but I never asked anyone to look after me or come looking for me if I wasn't home by dark. I guess being responsible for your own actions, asking and giving no quarter is part of the past.  I figured if I broke my legs I could crawl out in a few days, and if I couldn't well that would just be my tough luck.  I was willing to pay the cost of freedom.

 

The fact that some idiot could cause an avalanche and kill someone else is the only justification I can see for this law.

 

While it is true that some runs may be closed for no good reason, e.g. perfectly skiable terrain, with no avalanche danger that they will let you ski if you are a competitor in an event where some promoter is making money or it's bringing in money to the resort somehow, but close it off most of the time.  If it is the resort's land, they have the right to decide what to do with it and if they want to allow skiing on any particular piece of it or not.  If you don't like the way they run the resort, don't go there.

post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post There's a speed limit on the roads.  You know if you get caught exceeding it you will get a fine.  I've never seen the fine posted all over the road.  I don't know what the fine is, but I know I don't want to pay it.

 

 

That's different.  It is well established that speeders get fined in every state in the country.  Furthermore, special fines are disclose by sign.  An example would be the work zone fines for speeding.  The purpose is to get people to slow down, not to collect the fee.  It is not well established that skiers get fined - especially $1000.  Most ski areas do not have this policy and this policy is new for Washington State.  I'm just suggesting that the deterrent would work better if people knew about it.  That is the purpose right, do discourage people from skiing closed areas.

 

To me your point is that it's against the rules, so don't do it.  That is obvious.  The fine is not.


Edited by Paul Jones - 11/8/11 at 5:04am
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