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Colorado ski areas and mountain sheriffs are grappling with liability issues as more ski patrollers are asked to perform dangerous backcountry rescues.

Steamboat ski patrollers have ventured into backcountry terrain beyond resort-boundary ropes for skier rescues two dozen times this season. In one day last month, 15 patrollers were needed to rescue 11 people stuck above the steep cliffs of the Fish Creek drainage.

It's dangerous and technical work, with patrollers often venturing into avalanche-prone areas. Some resorts require patrollers to leave their shift, meaning they are not getting paid for their rescue work and are no longer protected under the resort's insurance policies.

So who protects the patrollers?

Read more: Ski areas, counties eye ski-patrol backcountry rescue liabilities - The Denver Post
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