The Mountain Times

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Letter to the Editor: Skiing out of bounds is a dangerous and irresponsible risk

Dear Editor,

After reading your recent article of skiers needing to be rescued from off-trail areas (The Mountain Times, 2 January 2013), I must comment on the atrocity and risk that Messrs, Barbarossa, Dipietro, Castro, Consoni, Massard, Peters, Lebaugh, the Markowitz's, and the Shaftany's brought upon themselves and their rescuers (VT State Police SAR Team, Killington Ski Patrol, Killington Fire Department and SAR Team) in their ski escapades over the past weekend.

By way of background, I have spent a lot of my life in wilderness areas "off trail" and "out of bounds," in activities with Boy Scouts, Outward Bound, the Army, at sea, and a large part of my leisure and retirement activities, including a current effort to summit all 48 four-thousand-footers of the White Mountains. I know the desire to go "out of bounds," and I know its concomitant responsibility; I have on each such trip been prepared to meet that responsibility. The men cited in the article admittedly breached their responsibility - they violated the rules of the ski areas prescribed on their lift tickets ("skied into the woods off the … ski trail," "leaving the ski trail," "skiing out of bounds,") they probably trespassed onto private property, they put themselves and minors at risk, and they subjected rescue personnel to risk and expense. 

In my view, those adult men should be cited, charged with the expenses incurred by the rescuing parties, and fined for the breaches of the ski area policy. Otherwise, future re creationists equally lacking in good judgment will continue with similar and increasingly emboldened dangerous transgressions because they believe they will be rescued with no penalty.

Raymond S. Munn, Wilmington, Vt.