Lost snowboarders billed for rescue costs
NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. Grouse Mountain ski patrollers plucked two snowboarders, a father and a son, from a high-risk avalanche area in waist-deep power. The two had ducked ropes to get to the terrain.But, in a case that raised eyebrows in Whistler, some 90 miles to the north, Grouse Mountain chose to bill the father and son for the estimated cost of the rescue, $2,500. The season passes of the two were also rescinded.They knew going in there would come with some risk, said Andrea Scott, public relations manager for Grouse Mountain. Perhaps this (fine) is some incentive to respect the signage.At Whistler, reports Pique, the decision at Grouse is being applauded. I think its great, said Bernie Protsch, manager of the Whistler Mountain Ski Patrol. Its time this becomes the benchmark in the ski industry.Similar rescues in out-of-bounds areas by ski patrollers are becoming increasingly commonplace at Whistler. Even as Protsch spoke with the newspaper, he was supervising the third out-of-bounds rescue in two days.Brad Sills, manager of Whistler Search and Rescue, a community group, likewise complains of people not taking responsibility for themselves. He called them Dial-a-Rescues.Something similar occurred in Jackson Hole. There, snowboarders stopped at Togwotee Pass, near Yellowstone National Park, and cruised on snowmobiles into the backcountry. Then the snowboarder rode the snow off a peak and without a ride back. At daybreak they were able to hike up to a ridgeline and call 911 for help. A search team of 20 had been dispatched, including a medic aboard a helicopter.The two young men are to be billed $1,200 to $1,400 for the helicopter, reported the Jackson Hole News&Guide.
DURANGO Mountain bikers are disturbed by a recommendation from the U.S. Forest Service to create a new wilderness area between Durango and Silverton that would close 20 miles of the Colorado Trail to wheels.The recommendation, if adopted by Congress, would also make at least six other trails off-limits to biking, reports the Durango Telegraph.Its definitely a conundrum for mountain bikers, said Mark Richey, a mountain biking advocate. We all love wilderness areas, but we feel like were excluded by their (recommendation) designation. Its not a comfortable place to be in.While the Forest Service cites comparatively little use by mountain bikers in the area in question, mountain bikers disagree. Bill Manning, director of the Colorado Trail Foundation, also noted that the wilderness designated would eliminate the ride from Molas Divide to Durango, a 75-mile grunt considered one of the nations epic trips.