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OOB avalanche snowboarder at Sugar Bowl

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Another young person with an entitled cheater attitude that rules don't apply to them.

 

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Sugar-Bowl-skier-who-rode-avalanche-may-face-6776197.php

 

Now spreading as a national news feature with snowboarder getting pummeled by commenters.  Of course it isn't just twentysomethings with such cheater doesn't apply to me attitudes as our culture in this era is more the result of what we older generations have reaped from what we sewed.

post #2 of 28
I'm sure everyone bad mouthing him has never skied a closed run, or skied fast in a slow zone, or anything like that...rolleyes.gif
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

I'm sure everyone bad mouthing him has never skied a closed run, or skied fast in a slow zone, or anything like that...rolleyes.gif


I don't.

 

Do you?

 

I have about 15 million acres of area outside the boundaries of my three local ski resorts that I can ski/ride anytime I want.  I don't need to ski closed runs.

post #4 of 28
Clinks... you're being a tool. I have a hunch you're a better person than your posts though... could be wrong, but I hope not.
post #5 of 28
Guy makes an an almost fatal mistake thats going to cost himand people go on the internet and bash him, and I'm being a tool?
The kid made a dumb choice, no one got hurt but himself, move along. People do stuff like that at resorts all the time.
post #6 of 28
http://snowboarding.transworld.net/news/snowboarder-faces-trespassing-charges-after-triggering-avalanche-at-sugar-bowl/#9iV8jvLBuXTYBLlj.97
Quote:
John Monson, director of sales and marketing for Sugar Bowl Resort, said over the phone that there was a fickle snowpack over Martin Luther King Day Weekend with a pretty gnarly surface hoar beneath the fresh load of snow. He also said the slide area was obviously closed.

“We don’t rope that area, we sign that area. It’s signage that they went past,” Monson said. “We place the highest regard for safety of the public, so when anyone crosses over into closed terrain…that puts the safety of patrol, our staff, and the skiing public in the vicinity at risk.
What?
post #7 of 28

About 10 yrs ago two snowboarder went out of bounds on the Donner Lake side of Judah and one of them stomped the cornice and was buried in about 12 feet of avalanche, he didn't survive.

post #8 of 28

Mod note: let's leave out the name calling please </mod note>

 

What can we learn from this story? Some people ski closed runs on purpose. Most of the time the worst that happens is that they get caught and talked to. Some times the consequences are tragic. One skier getting away with skiing a closed run can be the bad example that encourages another skier to suffer tragic consequences. If responsible skiers help to ensure that all skiers understand the potential consequences of a skiing a closed run, then we might have at least one fewer of these tragic outcomes. Most of the people who ski closed runs do not understand the level of risk that they force other people to take should they themselves get into trouble. Down playing the risks is just as bad as encouraging people to play Russian roulette (with themselves and holding the gun on other people). We are better than that.

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

Guy makes an an almost fatal mistake thats going to cost himand people go on the internet and bash him, and I'm being a tool?
The kid made a dumb choice, no one got hurt but himself, move along. People do stuff like that at resorts all the time.

I don't think you know enough about the particulars of that terrain at that area to judge. Maybe you should ask if anyone here is a partoller there. We have a couple of permanent closures at our mountain and for extremely good reason. I think most who ski at our hill would agree with the policy. So were you the guy who skied over the 8 pound charge dropped from a helo doing control work a couple years back at Crystal? You, know, the guy who poached employee housing and came about a fuse length from getting blown to pieces? And just lucky enough that the whole hill didn't slide on you? Did you figure the ropes were there for giggles and helicopter was just a news chopper taking pretty pictures? Bud, you're not being very smart. Your posts are always confrontational and rarely add quality to the discussion, but certainly showcase your ego. Hopefully the mods will put a stop to your Josh Jr. junk show.
post #10 of 28

Don't they have somewhere to ski that's not closed territory.   When a guest on someone else 's land it's only common courtesy not to go where they don't want you to go.

post #11 of 28

I think the bigger issue was the attitude this guy had after he got caught.  

post #12 of 28

Guys, come on, but he is a sponsered snowboarder. :rolleyes

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

I don't think you know enough about the particulars of that terrain at that area to judge. Maybe you should ask if anyone here is a partoller there. We have a couple of permanent closures at our mountain and for extremely good reason. I think most who ski at our hill would agree with the policy. So were you the guy who skied over the 8 pound charge dropped from a helo doing control work a couple years back at Crystal? You, know, the guy who poached employee housing and came about a fuse length from getting blown to pieces? And just lucky enough that the whole hill didn't slide on you? Did you figure the ropes were there for giggles and helicopter was just a news chopper taking pretty pictures? Bud, you're not being very smart. Your posts are always confrontational and rarely add quality to the discussion, but certainly showcase your ego. Hopefully the mods will put a stop to your Josh Jr. junk show.
Pot calling kettle black?
I've stayed out till 5am searching for lost guests who sent OB. Between the legal fees that kid is going to have to pay, and the realization that he could of come home in a body bag I think the kid is going to figure out he made a pretty stupid choice. There isn't much purpose piling on him via forums and social media.

Where's the outrage over this?http://www.epicski.com/t/145125/being-sued-by-skiier#post_1966763
post #14 of 28

@TheRusty It's not clear to me that one of the learnings here is "Some people ski closed runs on purpose" when the guy has stated that he didn't know the area was closed, i.e. he said “We didn’t know that area was supposedly closed off.”.  It's possible he was lying, but I haven't seen conclusive evidence of that.  Similar to @clink83 I'm finding some of the reactions to this incident (here and elsewhere) a bit one-sided (edit: removed "hostile" :-).  I get that it's a serious issue, but let's not jump to conclusions.

 

 

At the very least, I'd expect there to be some questions asked of the resort here.  Was there enough signage and was it conspicuous enough?  Why wasn't the area roped off?  There could well be good answers to those questions - it'd be interesting to hear from folks who are familiar with the area.


Edited by peterm - 1/24/16 at 9:26am
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_SSS View Post
 

Another young person with an entitled cheater attitude that rules don't apply to them

Of course it isn't just twentysomethings with such cheater doesn't apply to me attitudes as our culture in this era is more the result of what we older generations have reaped from what we sewed.

"Get off my lawn" much? 

post #16 of 28
Certainly something could have happened to the signage (e.g. fallen down, stolen, snow covered) or he could have inadvertently bypassed the signed entrance. As it stands now, the comment from the resort implies the rider should have known the run was closed. Nonetheless my comment was in response to clinks comment that appeared to be cavalier about skiing a closed run. Thus my general comment about this being a learning opportunity stands.

Yes this could easily be a case of resort over reaction or an offensive reaction to cover a screw up on their part. It just doesn't smell that way to me.
post #17 of 28

None of the subsequent ruckus happens if the perp didn't think the world needed to see his foolishness.  Doesn't change the facts, of course, and if SB had heard about it through other (reliable) channels they still would have probably at least considered prosecution, simply for the liability issues alone. If you want to use your near fatal mistake as a humble lesson to others, fine - you'll suffer the appropriate second guesser ridicule, but every one wins in the end.  That certainly wasn't the case here. Yes we all make bone headed decisions that may put ourselves in serious jeopardy, but that's not the same as those that place others in danger - whole different ball game.  

post #18 of 28

The reason this guy needs to be prosecuted is because there are people like Clink who think skiing in a closed area is good harmless fun--maybe if there are some real consequences Mr Clink will think twice the next time he thinks about ducking a rope. And too many times I've watched patrol searching a closed area under hang fire after some dufus set off a slide and fled. Even if no one is known to be trapped patrol still has to search. If the kid had been injured or the slide reported SB patrol would have been doing exactly that.

 

And yes--there are plenty of places where the nature of the terrain makes a sign a perfectly adequate closure--at the SB Palisades there is no way for someone to access the area and miss the sign.

post #19 of 28
I don't think skiing in a closed run and setting off a slide is acceptable, I just think talking ### about people online for making bad choices is dumb, especially when so many of the people have probably broken the rules at the resory at some point. They just didnt get bit by the swiss cheese model.*

The kid almost died and is going to have some legal ramifications, that's more than enough. I'm just glad noone had to dig his dead body out.

I'm still shocked that a resort restricts access to high risk terrain with a sign and not physically roping off access though. Visable or not, people don't obey them.


* swiss cheese model =https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_cheese_model

mod note language edited ####
post #20 of 28
Have you skied there this season, Clinky? Do you know any of the 'facts' for certain? Where I do agree with you is little worthwhile comes from an extra-legal internet lynching. He'll have his day in court and the jury of peers will have their say.
post #21 of 28

IIRC, the incident happened at around noon and the resort had already been open for three hours. Everything that was open was already pretty tracked up, so most likely these guys saw the untracked stuff in the closed area and decided to take the risk. It is highly unlikely that they did not see the "closed area" signage. Also, common sense would tell you that if the inbounds area is completely untracked at noon on a powder day, then you can be pretty sure it is a closed area.

 

My guess is the guy screwed himself by releasing his video and publicizing that it was an inbounds avalanche. If he had kept it out of the media or at least not released where it occurred, SB would probably not have gone after him. But if I am SB and seeing someone sending their video out to various media that is publishing the video and stating that the avalanche occurred inbounds at SB, you better believe I am going to do something about it (regardless of the Carson May tragedy). That is bad press for a resort and makes them look like they are not controlling their terrain and keeping guests safe.

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Where I do agree with you is little worthwhile comes from an extra-legal internet lynching. He'll have his day in court and the jury of peers will have their say.

He widely publicized that he was caught up in an inbounds avalanche at Sugar Bowl without ever stating that he was in a closed area, making it sound like it was the resort's fault. As I stated above, he essentially forced SB to do what they did, which was to publicize that he illegally went into a closed area. He created his own "extra-legal Internet lynching" and I therefore don't feel sorry for him. If he had originally stated a mea culpa when he released his video and therefore in a way released the resort from liability and bad press, I doubt he would be in the situation he is now. Ok, I do kinda feel sorry for him -- he made a mistake and is now paying the price. I've certainly made mistakes and paid the price and it is not a fun thing to go through.

post #23 of 28
You should read the comments on that transworld article, it has his mom claiming that he tried to contact SB and the sherrifs office after the slide. It may or may not be true, but I sure as hell dont know what "the facts" are. It does seem odd to me that there were so many tracks through the area already for it being closed.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

You should read the comments on that transworld article, it has his mom claiming that he tried to contact SB and the sherrifs office after the slide. It may or may not be true, but I sure as hell dont know what "the facts" are. It does seem odd to me that there were so many tracks through the area already for it being closed.

 

Read this article, which was published before SB's response:

http://www.grindtv.com/snowboarding/snowboarder-videos-getting-caught-in-an-inbound-avalanche/#0tzoxzYtOqgQzDgm.97

 

There is a picture of one set of tracks going through the chute and Mares' friend saying they had just ridden this chute and went back to hit it again and film. He also said:

“We knew we were in a zone that was scary and could potentially slide,” Shaffer told GrindTV. “We were playing with fire and we got burned.”
 
They most likely knew they were in a scary zone because they had just ridden past the multiple signs that said that the area was closed. They were the only ones riding in that area, which is in the center of the resort and easily visible from the Lincoln chair (so everyone could see that fresh tracks were available). There is no way they would think they found some secret inbounds stash that nobody else knew about. The area they were riding can theoretically only be accessed from two sides and realistically only from one side. You can't get to where they were without seeing the closed signs.
post #25 of 28

Likely knew they were in a scary zone? "Get yo cheese straight" "The more speed the better"

 

Before I said "possibly over zealous". Now I'll put myself in SB's boots. It's clear from the video that Christian Mares was not the only poacher. Between his 2 friends and the tracks already present in Christian's video it looks like there were at least 5 lines poached. That's the definition of a problem. Put that terrain in clear view of a chair and the definition changes to a big problem. Put that video on the Internet, have it go viral, combine it with the Carson May incident and we have a Donald Trump size problem (Yooooge). From what I can see, rope is not going to stop this. If SB did nothing to Mr. Mares, there's a good argument that they'd have to station an army of patrollers in the area to try to stop a wave of copy cats poaching the area. Prosecuting just Christian (and not his friends) lies in the middle of the range of responses. As best as I can tell from a search this morning, the resort asked the sheriff to arrest Mr. Mares (no word on the status of his two friends). Skiing in a closed area is technically trespassing. As of 2 days ago charges have not been filed pending the sheriff's investigation, but they are expected soon.

 

Side note: video published by "Heckler"? That kind of invites a certain kind of criticism doesn't it? Just sayin'

 

With this avie event occurring on the same day as Carson May going missing, it is just as easy to see SB's reaction as PR management as it is to see it as a legitimate concern for skier and employer safety.

 

What area on the mountain was this? From the trail map, I'm guessing the Palisades. On the map, this says "open as conditions permit". On the map it looks like one needs to ride a ridgeline down to get to this part of the mountain. There's more video shown in this interview. Mr. Mares attempts to prove his case that he was unaware the area was closed by showing additional helmet video that shows the ridge line not marked by closed signs and only one closed sign visible. He said he "went the other way". He also says that because there has been no snow for the past 4 seasons that there was no reason to be over there. While it is still possible to make the case that he made an innocent mistake entering a closed area, the resort's contention that Mr. Mares had to go past multiple closed signs seems more likely. Mr. Mares says he did what any pro snowboarder would do: take calculated risks. There seems to be a strong case to be made that a pro would have known that the area was closed. There also is an extremely strong case that Mr. Mares calculations were extremely faulty. Does anyone care to guess the relative force between his landing and the average avie hand charge? My amatuer guess is "close enough". Anyone want to bet he dug a pit?

 

Mr. Mares says he only put himself in danger. He's clearly wrong on this count. At a minimum he at least put his 2 friends in danger. He can argue all he wants that his friends chose on their own to be there, but he could have just as easily set off a slide that swept his 2 friends up, his friends were certainly in danger when they rode down to check him and there was no guarantee that the slide he could have set off would not have run all the way down into open terrain and swept up other skiers. He clearly knew that he was doing was risky. It is the responsibility of an expert skier/rider upon entering double diamond rated terrain to know that they are putting patrollers/rescuers at risk should they themselves require rescue in such terrain.

 

Mr. Mares response to the possibility of spending a couple days in jail for his actions was "whoop de doo". He may change his tune when he finds out that trespassing in California can be charged as a felony (e.g. when others are endangered). Penalties for trespassing can range from 6 months and $1000 (misdemeanor) to 3 years and $2000 (felony). That's 3 years in state prison. If I was a judge hearing such a case I'd be wanting the max cash penalty, some jail time during ski season and some serious 3 part public crow eating harmony for community service. He says he's learned his lesson. I say that class is still in session Mr. Mares.

 

And, as per previous comments, the resort needs to double check that these kinds of areas can not be reached inadvertently. Roping off the entire area won't prevent all the poaching and would be costly. But it is hard to believe that the resort can't afford to make some changes that would make claims of inadvertent entry much less believable, The resort's statement that "that area has been closed off for years" also sounds a tad bit cavalier to me. Patrol should have expected that area to be tempting for poachers (especially so since it has been closed for so long) and they should have been able to see the first set of tracks that were already laid down and known people were actively poaching that terrain.

post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

What area on the mountain was this? From the trail map, I'm guessing the Palisades. On the map, this says "open as conditions permit". On the map it looks like one needs to ride a ridgeline down to get to this part of the mountain. There's more video shown in this interview. Mr. Mares attempts to prove his case that he was unaware the area was closed by showing additional helmet video that shows the ridge line not marked by closed signs and only one closed sign visible. He said he "went the other way".

Yes, this was in the area called Palisades. You are also correct that you can only get there by skiing down the ridge from the east or hiking up the ridge from the west. I hadn't noticed until watching the video again that before he drops in he pans over to his two friends and you can see the ridge. You can see that his friends stopped on the ridge where they are standing and that Mares continued on the ridge (I heard they entered the area from the west - the Disney side). In between them and on the ridge you can see the riding/hiking path, which goes right past a red closed sign. If they entered from the Lincoln (east) side then Mares hadn't yet reached the closed sign in the video that his friends had passed, but there would have been prior closed signs on the ridge that he had to pass to get to that point.

 

Mares is claiming he saw the sign and "went the other way" but there is no other way. It is a narrow ridge. The sign was on top of the ridge. To get to where he was filming he had to stay on the ridge and hike right past the closed area sign. In the interview he was trying to make the case that there was only one closed sign and that he didn't go into the area that was closed. I've been on that ridge many times (though only in the open area further west and never went as far as Mares) and know that the simplest investigation will clearly show that the sign in his video makes it clear that he was in a closed area, assuming he entered from the west.


Edited by TallSkinnyGuy - 1/25/16 at 9:24am
post #27 of 28

To be fair, the sign looks like it is down off the ridge a bit and in the interview video it looks like Mares veers off to the right of the sign. You'd have to be a ... wait ... we don't do name calling here. A person who professes to take calculated risks ought to be able to determine that there's not much difference between the terrain the closed sign is on and the terrain chosen to ride on. It seems obvious in the interview video that Mares is riding down the ridge line. Also to be fair, one common way for people to enter into closed terrain along ridge lines is to traverse in below the closed signage/ropes. It seems implausible that Mares rode the ridge line down and did not pass any closed signs along the ridge. Maybe he found a way to traverse in lower and still start from the top section shown in the video? His explanation in the interview video pointing out where there were no closed signs made it appear that he expected to see closed signs a lot more frequently than I would expect to see them (e.g. every 50-100 feet). Maybe he expects to see closed signs like "no hunting signs"? (insert Planet 51 "Hello" dialog here)

post #28 of 28

Ultimately, Sugar Bowl probably doesn't care anymore if Mares is formally prosecuted or not. They got the publicity they needed to calm the public that the avalanche that was originally promoted as "in bounds" was in a closed area. I personally know of some of my friends who heard about the avalanche and got kind of freaked out about the idea of an in-bounds avalanche at Sugar Bowl. After later hearing that it was in an area that was closed they were no longer freaked out about it.

 

In an interview Mares kept saying that he never blamed Sugar Bowl for the incident, but the reality is that he did blame them by promoting his video with the claim that the avalanche occurred within the resort boundary. I have seen people going into closed terrain and have certainly been tempted myself many times by the allure of the untracked powder, but this incident is a reminder to me that those ropes/signs are there for my safety.

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