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Outta Bounds and Management Rant

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
What am I missing?

The local mountain has 3 incidents of out of bounds skiers getting into trouble and having search parties go out for them. I believe that only one of them actually ducked a rope, the others used the BC gates.

So of course the obvious answer is to have the county make ducking ropes a misdemeanor. WHAT?

Currently the mountain policy is to pull your pass until you watch a safety video and get a thorough tongue-lashing. Duckers can be back on the mountain in an hour or just the next day. Most of these guys are riding on a $200 season pass.

Why make it a law enforcement issue if the resort is just using kid gloves to begin with? A cynic would claim revenue enhancement for the county…..

If it is a problem, pull the pass for a month or the season, leave the sheriff out of it until you get your house in order.
post #2 of 9
Whistler has a policy which has been quite effective: if you go out of bounds and need assistance, you pay the rescue expense. It can be pricey if they need to open a lift or use a helicopter. Skiing in a closed area within the boundardies is a little different; you lose your pass, and perhaps all skiing privilages for the season or beyond.
post #3 of 9
When a rescue has to be called out because someone is lost of out of bounds, the cost both in terms of man power and our tax dollars can be enormous. There were two guys at Silver MT who went out of bounds by choice and were lost for two days...They are going to be billed 2K for costs, nothing compared to actual costs. This is differnt that a kiddie get lost in the fog.

I'm all for it. Helicopters, S&R teams, man power all of it adds up, and *we* ultimately end up paying for it. There are a lot of people out there who shouldn't be, jeapordizing it for those who know what they are doing.

post #4 of 9
The BC is getting so darned crowded, I think one solution is to man the gates. Check to make sure those going into the BC actually have thier BC card (required at certain areas, but not enforced).

Jackson Hole in the past gave you the 4 strikes and you are out. If they ever CAUGHT you in the BC they would clip one corner of your pass. Four times and your pass is taken away. They also have programs where if someone has all four corners cut two consecutive season you are band for the following season.
Now this is what I remember and cannot state that it is fact as of today.

If I am skiing in an "open" out of bounds area and get into trouble do I want to pay for the rescue? No, they opened the gates and deemed the area resonably safe.

If I am skiing in a "closed" BC area and get into trouble, then yes I should have to pay something for the rescue.

2 cents......
post #5 of 9
I think ARgus put it better than I did.

FWIW, my hubby does S&R with our patol. Boy, are there some dumb folks out there... I really liked the one about the guy that they found, the helicopter drops him a radio, and the dodo picks up the radio and changes the channe....
post #6 of 9
Argus, you miss the point. Those gates are access to public land. There is no avalanche control and the only open or closed issue is if the rope is across the gate or not. Most of the B/C access gates in the west are open unless the avalanche danger is very high. That only means in time of extreme weather and snow conditions are they closed. The rest of the time when they are open there are no guarantees that things are safe. If you go beyond a ski area boundary, either through a gate or by ducking a rope, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 04, 2002 03:09 PM: Message edited 1 time, by BSR ]</font>
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Amen BSR!

For many resorts on USFS land, gates are a requirement of the permit. This insures access to public lands regardless of the resort’s desires.

Kid’s build huge kickers 200 feet from the gate, they go inverted on them. People get lost OB because there are no signs pointing back to the lodge. The resort has no business stopping anybody from doing this. They have zero authority out of bounds.

Gates opened or closed, once you leave the resort’s boundaries you are on your own. It has to be that way.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I agree about billing people for OB search and rescue. If you choose to leave the manicured confines of a resort, do it at your own risk. Our gates clearly display the threat of S&R costs starting at $1,000 per hour. (Side note: Idaho law does not require the parties to pay S&R bills. The Silver Mountain guys are not under legal obligation to pay at this time).

This new proposal just one more idle threat.

Threat 1: We will pull your pass if you duck a rope (you may lose your pass for a whole day). ouch :

Threat 2: If we have to go out of bounds for S&R, be prepared for a huge invoice (which you are under zero obligation to pay).

And now Threat 3. We will cite you for a misdemeanor. Alas, the sheriff's department is rarely on the slopes. Kind of difficult to issue a citation, let alone making it stick, without a cop seeing something.

The mountain already holds a big hammer as just about all the duckers have season passes. Take away the passes for a longer period. Simple solution, the mechanism is already in place, there is no need to involve the county government or law enforcement.
post #9 of 9
In Colorado any violation of the Skiers Responsiblity Code is a misdeamenor. If you to our of bounds, under a rope and get caught most resorts will call the sheriff. If you go out of bounds through a gate and a search is started the State will send you a bill. However, if you purchased a hunting liscence you had to pay a $ .50 surcharge to cover search and rescue. This is good for a calendar year. So if you hunt here you are covered.

Don't hunt here, liscences are based on quantity not quality.
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