Ski Areas Now More Exciting — But More Dangerous?

Post by blogger | February 27, 2005      

We’re up here at Buttermilk Ski Area near Aspen today, doing volunteer work with ski club. Brought the laptop for an afternoon blogbreak and found an open network connection in the base area. Skiing is super today — a good load of fresh atop a bunch of groom. Testing a Dynafit rig — it skis well as they seem to always do.

The trend of ski resorts to provide more “adventure,” assisted by laws that limit liability exposure, has been interesting to watch over the past decades. I believe it’s been a good thing. But taking the long view, I’ve noticed that you really have to watch out where you go at some resorts where cliffs and worse lurk on named runs. More, (defunct link removed 2015) of children getting lost and such seem to crop up with more regularity than before.

Perhaps it’s my imagination, but it seems that in the 14 years of raising our child, I’ve spent an awful lot of time trying to figure out how to make sure he doesn’t accidentally venture out of bounds when he’s skiing by himself. Yes, the boundaries are marked, but plenty of places have unobvious ropes, with tracks leading off to slides and kickers in backcountry woods that are beyond patrol sweep. More, plenty of area boundaries around here are regularly crossed by non-backcountry skiers – many have become de-facto ski runs, only they are not swept at the end of the day as the in-bounds runs are. Parents beware.


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