Originally Posted by GordM
For the record, the people most against 'poaching' are from the west where there is real snow and 'poaching' could result in an avalanche, where there is a tree line where the trees become more spaced naturally.
HS is talking about the east where there are not the same risks other than to your bases, especially this year.
I think this is why there is such a gap between the perspectives.
The East has other risks besides ski-base damage: we DO have avalanches (not many, but we have them, ask some of the backcountry skiers around here, or ask the friends of the pro skier who recently died in an avalanche on Mt. Mansfield; BTW you don't have to have DEEP snow to have an avalanche, you just have to have UNSTABLE snow, which we do have because of our freeze/thaw cycles); we have cliffs (mostly in the woods/glades and backcountry, but there are some such as what you see right under the gondola at Stowe and the tram at Jay and even the Slides at Whiteface [I wonder why they're called slides?
: ]); you can hit granite boulders without enough snowcover that send you for a tumble with the real possibility of breaking body parts; you can hit water bars that throw you for a loop (especially this year, the mountains are covered with unfrozen, running water); you can end up on nasty ice that rockets you into the trees (for more body damage); there can be unmarked snowmaking equipment that you ski into (unmarked because there's not enough snow on the trail to open it and so patrol can mark it); you can get lost, spend the night and get hypothermia, frostbite and potentially lose body parts; the "understory" in the trees might not be covered suffuciently enough, and I shouldn't think I have to explain what can happen in that situation; and so forth.
However, we can argue this till the cows come home and we won't be changing the minds of anyone who thinks they "know better than the patrol" about why trails are closed to the public. Let's just hope no one ends up with serious injuries...
Thatsagirl (whose husband often has to rescue folks who underestimated the danger, and their ability)