Another skier caught in closed area at Snowmass | VailDaily.com

Another skier caught in closed area at Snowmass

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times

For the fifth time in February, a skier was kicked out of Snowmass Ski Area two weeks ago and given a hefty fine for skiing in a closed area, an official said this week.

The 43-year-old Seattle man was caught skiing Feb. 23 in the Cirque Headwall area about 10:30 a.m. by Snowmass Ski Patrol, about the same time patrollers were using explosives in the area for avalanche mitigation, said Snowmass Village Police Chief Brian Olson.

'Two rope closures'

"He crossed two rope closures to get the Headwall," Olson said.

Minutes after he left the Snowmass Village Police Department with a $250 fine in hand, ski patrollers called to report they had just used explosives to trigger an avalanche on the upper part of the Cirque that slid into the area where the Seattle man was skiing, Olson said.

"He was skiing in a fragile area that could have slid," he said. "And it jeopardized ski patrol (safety) because they had to go get him."

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Ski patrol took the man's lift ticket, though it was the last day of his vacation, Olson said.

Four skiers were ticketed the week before at Snowmass after the two groups of two entered the KT Gully area, which was closed for avalanche mitigation at the time. The two juvenile boys from Silt and the two men from Brazil were each ticketed $250 and asked to leave the mountain.

The five people are the first to receive $250 tickets for violating a Snowmass Village municipal ordinance forbidding skiing in closed areas of the ski area. The fine had been $150 until Jan. 1 of this year.