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misdemeanor to ski in closed areas at ski resorts. - Page 3

post #61 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

 

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.



Do you really need to be beaten over the head with it? You know you're doing something wrong by blatantly ignoring the "closed" sign. You know there is some type of consequence, which could include but may not be limited to losing your pass, having to pay thousands of dollars if you require rescue and being fined. You make the decision to do it anyway. Maybe, you lose. You get fined.

 

It's not brain surgery. Every state has its own laws and fines for different types of activities, and last I checked "there weren't a sign splainin' it" is never a defense.

 

 

post #62 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."

 

Interesting perspective, but it ignores the other side of the coin. From what I've seen of them, ski patrollers and search-and-rescue types aren't really wired to just let you freeze to death in the name of spite. That's why they chose to do a job that involves putting their lives at risk to save others. So, I don't see them just saying "F*** em".

 

Also, since this is closed terrain within resort boundaries as opposed to sidecountry outside of boundaries, it's a little impossible to ignore someone that's in trouble and/or putting others in danger inside the resort.

post #63 of 68

I understand that there needs to be consequences for poaching closed territory within resort boundaries.  For starters, you lose your pass. 

 

However, it is naive to say that there are no other consequences without more state statutes.  If I were to punch someone in the face on resort property, I'm pretty sure they could have me arrested.   They don't need to amend the freakin state constitution to enable me to be arrested for that.   I'd think by the same principle of jurisdiction a resort could have no trespassing signs blocking closed areas enforced legally without the need for further statutes. 

 

Further, should some dope duck an well marked closed area rope and trigger a slide or some other bone headed move harming resort patrons, or cause harm to a patrol sent to rescue them I'm pretty sure that they can be held accountable in court for anything up to negligent homicide/manslaughter. 

 

The problem (other than doofuses) isn't that more legislation is needed.  Why wouldn't posting the fines already existing for criminal trespass on the ropes be sufficient to prevent such behavior? 

post #64 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post  Why wouldn't posting the fines already existing for criminal trespass on the ropes be sufficient to prevent such behavior? 


That would be ridiculous.  They would have to be posted all over the mountain.  One sign, on one tower, per lift.

 

Joe, I am just suggesting a little integrity.  It's a $1000 fine and that is huge by most standards.  Why not get the biggest bang for the buck in terms of deterrence.  It's like the safety bar example.  All they want is for skiers to put the bar down for safety sake, so they let people know.  The communicate the law with integrity.

 

But I'd still like to say that the law does not sit well with me.  But I'm here in NY so what do I know.

post #65 of 68


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post



That would be ridiculous.  They would have to be posted all over the mountain.  One sign, on one tower, per lift.

 

Rules.gif
 

I disagree.  I already know that I am subject to criminal prosecution if I punch someone in the face.  The don't need signs posted on every lift tower to enforce that.  Everyone of adult age knows what trespassing means.  A reasonable skier over the age of 16 can probably be held responsible and accountable should they chose to ignore a no trespassing sign.  A sign hanging on a rope blocking a trail that says nonono2.gif "Area Closed, No Trespassing, Violators will be Prosecuted" would seem sufficient to me.

post #66 of 68

If the law would have any effect, it would be to inform people that the closed signs are not "advisory" but are rigid, legal, and definitive. I see Europeans just waltz out of bounds, because in Europe that is accepted. I see tourists poach, I think because they think the signs are a soft warning. (Do you obey a stop sign in a parking lot, I don't)  I don't know if a law is needed, but now that powder skiing is THE big deal, maybe some clearer signage on the lift towers is in order. Posting more information at every closure is not practical on a large mountain, just too much territory, and much work for patrol already. Every time it snows, all ropes and signs have to be re-set, lifted, de-iced, etc. 

post #67 of 68

Because precedent from state court cases may interpret trespass laws unfavorably in this case, i.e. there isn't a clearly prosecutable offense.  How can you possibly be certain that application of trespass is sufficient under Washington State code without studying the relevant cases that would set precedent?  The application of trespass law is an assumption and a poor one at best.

 

There is great positive benefit to clearly written statutes that avoid things like needing to apply an interpretation of trespass laws that were not designed for restricted access inside a property you are allowed to be on by virtue of your lift pass, especially since the property itself is likely public land and your pass is for the lift, not the property.  It may not be technically possible in some states to trespass on a ski resort if the law isn't clear, because it isn't private land.  Isn't it better to have the statute simply define the violation and consequence when there are clear impacts being addressed?

 

I'd say none of this is of great public importance, except the tourism dollars make resort owners powerful constituents, and I would say that clarity of statutes for the ski industry, which seem mostly to amount to placing all risk and liability on the user in absolute terms (that waiver you sign), is the very reason the industry exists in its current state in this country.  Don't see a lot of resorts being sued despite regular deaths from regular use of their product, do you?  How many other major industries have that kind of protection in the statutes?

 

So why don't we get rid of those laws, too, and leave that up to interpretation of legal principles like 'reliance' and 'negligence' so when Johnny hits a tree not wearing a helmet there is a chance of setting a precedent that will shut down the ski industry entirely in your state.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Why wouldn't posting the fines already existing for criminal trespass on the ropes be sufficient to prevent such behavior? 



 

post #68 of 68


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

Because precedent from state court cases may interpret trespass laws unfavorably in this case, i.e. there isn't a clearly prosecutable offense.  How can you possibly be certain that application of trespass is sufficient under Washington State code without studying the relevant cases that would set precedent?  The application of trespass law is an assumption and a poor one at best.

 

There is great positive benefit to clearly written statutes that avoid things like needing to apply an interpretation of trespass laws that were not designed for restricted access inside a property you are allowed to be on by virtue of your lift pass, especially since the property itself is likely public land and your pass is for the lift, not the property.  It may not be technically possible in some states to trespass on a ski resort if the law isn't clear, because it isn't private land.  Isn't it better to have the statute simply define the violation and consequence when there are clear impacts being addressed?

 


I didn't see any detailed legal analysis on this, but several of the news articles written about the law before it was passed mentioned that it was unclear if you could successfully charge someone with criminal trespass in a case like this, at least in Washington.

 

Quote:
How about if someone skis into a closed area we have a law that says "F*** 'em".

 

In some cases first responders must try to rescue you if they know you need help and they can do so without putting themselves in danger.  If it's too risky for them to come after you, you might be stuck for a while.

 

You are generally on your own if you just go off into the backcountry.  If you enter through a resort's access gates you may be implicitly agreeing to cover rescue costs if they come and bail you out.  If you don't like that, there are plenty of mountains on public land you can climb.

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