^^^^^hence perhaps a jury for this one
I still think the issue of who names the trail and what that means is interesting. This from Kumar:
The SSA distinguishes between “terrain” and “terrain areas.” This distinction is evident in § 33-44-107(2)(d) which requires signage at the “commonly used access” for the “ski area’s extreme terrain.” In contrast, § 33-44-107(5) mandates that signs marking “specified freestyle terrain areas” need only be posted “at or near the beginning of each trail or slope.” Thus, extreme terrain features must be marked individually at commonly used access points, but only the beginning of each slope leading to a “specified freestyle terrain area” need be posted with a sign. Consistent with the plain meaning of the word “area,” the SSA recognizes that a terrain area is larger than a single terrain feature.
Now this is not directly related, but take a look at Vail's map and the idea of terrain areas. On the map, was Prima Cirnice closed at all? Or were terrain areas below Prima Cornice closed by designated common access points?
Then go back to Kumar about who gets to name stuff on a mountain:
Moreover, Celebrity Cornice was not “specified.” See § 33-44-107(2)(d) (referring to “specified freestyle terrain areas”). The SSA does not state who is responsible for specifying a “freestyle terrain area.” We can imagine three possible parties who might “specify” that an area is a freestyle terrain area: the legislature, skiers, or the ski area operator.
Although § 33-44-103 lists features that qualify as “freestyle terrain,” the SSA does not establish which parts of a ski resort qualify as “freestyle terrain areas.” In light of this statutory silence, contrasted with the detailed signage requirements elsewhere in the statute, see §§ 33-44-106 and 107, it does not appear that the Colorado General Assembly intended to “specify” freestyle terrain areas.
The second possibility is that skiers might specify “freestyle terrain areas.” This is the option favored by Kumar, who contends that because the cornice was informally nicknamed by guests and employees at Copper Mountain, the cornice was “specified.” Yet such a reading of § 33-44-107(d) leads to the absurd result that individual skiers may define the extent of a ski area operator’s liability merely by nicknaming some part of a mountain. See State v. Nieto, 993 P.2d 493, 501 (Colo. 2000) (“n construing a statute, we must seek to avoid an interpretation that leads to an absurd result.”). Such a reading would disserve the Colorado General Assembly’s stated intent of clarifying “the rights and liabilities existing between the skier and the ski area operator and between skiers.”
§ 33-44-102. Kumar’s proffered interpretation of “specified freestyle terrain area” would allow individual skiers to define the scope of ski area operators’ potential liabilities and thus render ski area operators’ responsibilities more uncertain, rather than less.
The third possibility is that ski area operators themselves might specify which sections of their slopes constitute “freestyle terrain areas.” Under this reading, the ski area operator must mark those areas of its slopes which contain “freestyle terrain” and which are designated for freestyle use, such as terrain parks and aggregations of terrain park features. See C.R.S.A. § 33-44-103(3.3). This reading is consistent with both the text and the purpose of the SSA. Having eliminated the other possible entities that could be responsible for specifying freestyle terrain areas, we conclude that specification by ski area operators is the most plausible interpretation of this provision. And because Celebrity Cornice was not specified by Copper Mountain as a freestyle terrain area, Kumar’s negligence per se claim fails.
Again, this is not directly related, but it establishes that ski area operators are in control of naming conventions. So when a skier says "it was the same trail", at least in Kumar there is a clear piece of appellate court opinion that says how skiers determine things is not consistent with the SSA. I think that is going to be relevant here.