Out of Bounds vs Backcountry.. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-05-2006   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Out of Bounds vs Backcountry..


What if you hike up Peak 6 near Breckenridge for a good day of backcountry and you are skiing down just outside the ski area boundries, are you technically skiing out of bounds? or can you only be accussed of skiing out of bounds if you are holding a lift pass?

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Old 01-05-2006   #2
Durango, Colorado
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The Colorado Ski Safety Act of 1979 says that "(3) No skier shall ski on a ski slope or trail that has been posted as 'Closed'". C.R.S. 33-44-101. Skier is defined: " Skier' means any person using a ski area for the purpose of skiing, which includes, without limitation, sliding downhill or jumping on snow or ice on skis, a toboggan, a sled, a tube, a snowbike, a snowboard, or any other device; or for the purpose of using any of the facilities of the ski area, including but not limited to ski slopes and trails." C.R.S. 33-44-101. Looks to me like you are covered whether or not you bought a ticket (but I am not your lawyer so don't quote me on it).
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Old 01-05-2006   #3
GWS, Colorado
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My understanding of the statutue is that if you use the ski area to gain backcountry access you are in violation of the statute. If you hike up next to a ski area, and do not use the ski area trail to skin up or any other part of the ski area to facilitate you skiing, then you are not violating the statute.

One of the intents behind the statute is to prevent a scenario where a skier uses the resort to get themselfs into trouble in the backcountry.

There is no law out there that prevents you from skiing backcountry (unless you use the resort to access it)
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Old 01-05-2006   #4
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Mut's correct with one exception: some ski areas have access gates to allow us to access OUR national forest. In the example you cited you are technicaly skiing outside the ski area and could be prosecuted if you had ducked the rope along the ski area boundary. If you had used a backcountry access gate then you are legally using the ski area to get to the backcountry.

Have fun and be careful out there,

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 01-05-2006   #5
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Like the other post on BC ski vs. Snowmobiles it comes down to education. Places like Aspen et.al (highlands, snowmass, ?buttermilk?) have a myriad of access gates. Some into benign areas( can't say for reasons of national security) and some into incrediby scarry or hazardous terrain like Maroon Bowl at Highlands. Yes it costs money to rescue idiots, but hopefully the access gates are marked in a way that discourages gapers from leaving the relative safety of the ski area. Its like being at the beach with no lifeguard. some people have the skills and others don't. Ride with'n your ability.
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Old 01-06-2006   #6
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This conversation always ignites me. It pisses me off that you can find yourself out of bounds at a ski resort without ever crossing a rope or passing a closed sign, and then get hassled by ski partol. For instance, I am familiar with several areas of Keystone where there you can find yourself in a position of not being able to make it back to the ski resort without ever having any warning, which is where I think the recent idiot of a skier spent 3 days hunkered down. Regardless, I really don't think the rules apply to me and ski patrolers are usually reasonable; you probably aren't going to get a ticket unless you are an asshole, carrying a concealed weapon, or are placing others in dangerous situations. But just in case, use the backcountry access gates since most resorts have them.
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Old 01-07-2006   #7
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backcountry vs. out of bounds

Yes, you can get in to trouble for skiing in a closed area, no matter how you managed to get into that closed area.

It is OUR national forest, but ski areas operating in that national forest sometimes have special permit use......... This would dictate then, that under the CO ski safety Act 1979, you can be prosecuted for skiing in a closed area, whether you hike up or ride a lift. If you enter a ski area's boundary. and then proceed to ski in a "closed" area, you can and probably will be fined. I was proecuted by a County Sheriff in a undiscloed ski town where this exact situation was revealed to me.

Its the truth people...........
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Old 01-07-2006   #8
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Peak 6 is a bad example as there is a gate open at times. Technical jargon aside you duck a rope to acess the BC you are toast. If you just go bc and get lost the local law enforcement will use their judgment on wether to press charges.

So to make it all cool with evryone. Allways take the right saftey gear and get a fishing lisence(can't even spell it. Then no worries period. sj
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Old 01-07-2006   #9
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Tellutwurp, the rules don't apply to you? How do you figure? That's the kind of attitude that gets people into trouble. Either you're too arogant to realize the rules do apply (someday they'll come crashing down on you), or someone else will see you break the rules, follow your example, and land in the last place they want to be (like hunkered down in the backcounty for three days). Remember, most people are lemmings. If you do stupid things, others will follow.
"A witty saying proves nothing."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)
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Old 01-09-2006   #10
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Easy there hoss. If caught the rules do apply to me, but it is usually my opinion that most rules are created to protect idiots from themselves. Now unless I happen to ram a splintered tree limb through my eye, I think I'll find my way back.

As for fools that chose to follow the tracks that lead off the cliff or into thick trees, that's not my problem.

It is also my opinion that breaking rules is part of making change. I remember when getting air at resorts would get you into trouble. Now they build huge kickers for us. As backcountry gains popularity resorts will begin offer some more backcountry experience. Keystone is making effort to do this.

I am arrogant, but not stupid... so if the lemming follows me I imagine he'll have a hell of an experience.
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