Out-of-bounds vs. backcountry - where are the bounds?
This topic brings up a related issue - where are the boundaries and which boundaries count. As someone wroter earlier, not all boundaries from the groomed and patrolled areas are clearly indicated all the time.
Also, not all areas that a resort or operation may have control over under a current lease in a specific national forest may currently be open. For instance, there may be a rope set up marking the "Ski Area Boundary", but 200 acres outside the rope may be part of a lease agreement for a ski area for future expansion, and something the ski area operations negotiate with each new lease.
If I remain outside of the ski area boundary as a backcountry skier, having never purchased a lift ticket, but I wander into an area that is controlled by or related to a ski area lease, am I trespassing? Am I required to obey the ski area rules in this area, even if, as a backcountry skier, I may not be aware of such a buffer zone if signs aren't posted?
If this is the case, I think many ski areas in Colorado, and some in New Mexico, are going to have to do a much more extensive posting of the actual boundaries and limits if they expect to do a lot more enforcement of out-of-bounds rules. I also suspect that such rules would have to be posted for backcountry skiers, since most ski areas only make these rules available to those who purchase a lift ticket (usually on the back of the ticket which nobody reads anyway). Backcountry skiers coming from an out-of-bounds area into a ski run may not realize they have become subject to the out-of-bounds rules once they are in-bounds, if that is the case.
I think this whole issue is going to have to be clarified a bit.