Feds can inform, educate but not enforce avalanche safety

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  • silas brill Heber, UT
    March 1, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin

    [How would SkiLink provide "easy lift access to backcountry terrain"?]

    Easy. Canyon lifts to the top of 99/90, enter gate to Canyons "sidecountry," ski down to the base of SkiLink.

    Ironically, the only inconvenient part is taking Canyon lifts to the top 99/90. That's why I so rarely ski there.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 29, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    One of the few times the feds have actually gotten something correct. They should do nothing but advise and any idiot that goes into the backcountry and gets caught in an avalanche is 100% responsible. There should be absolutely no tort allowed.

    I was in Australia a few years ago and that is how they hadnle things there, people are responsible for themselves. We went to one of their national parks, whcih was an old fort, once there they just cut us loose and said we could go anywehre and do anything in the fort, which was a huge parcel of lan on a penninsula, but if anything happened to us it was our fault, our choice, and our problem.

    At one part of the park there was a staricase cut from the side of a cliff, it was narrow and there was no railing, if you goofed off and fell off into the ocean it was your problem.

    There were even commercials running on television that prompted Australians not to "be like Americans and sue".

    In short you are responsible for yourself and neither you, nor your family, deserves any money if you are a fool and either get yourself killed or maimed. Frankly if your stupidity creates a cost to the tax payers to rescue or recover you then you, or your family, should be charged for it, not paid because you're a fool.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 29, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    @silas brill

    How would SkiLink provide "easy lift access to backcountry terrain"? SkiLink goes up a mountain and down the other side - you get on in a parking lot and get off in another parking lot. So unless you're planning to rip lines through a parking lot, you're still going to have to hike/skin uphill a long ways to get to backcountry terrain. The only thing SkiLink will do is get people a better look at backcountry terrain.

    Anyway, back to the discussion at hand....

    The simple solution to the avalanche dilemma is almost already in place. The government can advise people not to go into the backcountry, but ultimately it is their decision. The only change we need to make is that people need to pay 100% for any rescue efforts made on their behalf. If they die, their estate/next of kin needs to pay. This is how they handle it in Europe and it works wonderfully.

  • silas brill Heber, UT
    Feb. 29, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    Imagine if the so-called SkiLink between Solitude and Canyons were created, providing easy lift access to backcountry terrain with no avalanche control.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Feb. 29, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    About 15-20 years ago some skiing/outdoor types came up with a movie about avalance safety. They talked about a lot of aspects of avalances and they interviewed a lot of back country experts, skiers, etc. One die-hard vertical skier who would ski off of cliffs (or almost cliffs) said that his solution was to point his skies downhill and go. (Not a practical solution for the rest of us.) One other observation was that care and common sense are good protection. If you are traveling with someone who keeps telling stories about having been in avalanches you should question if you are wise being in that persons company.

    When it snows, and the snows gets warm and then it gets cold and then it snows again, the new layer has nothing to keep it from sliding. Snow maybe safe in one location, but it may be very dangerous in another. It depends on the angle relative to the sun, wind, ground cover, etc. You can't put a sign at the bottom of the canyon that says whether it is safe or dangerous in all locations.

  • SME Kearns, UT
    Feb. 29, 2012 6:37 a.m.

    I don't think there is anything theoretical about it, if a lawyer sees the faintest chance of winning a case or getting a settlement from someone who chooses not to deal with the hassle of going to court, they will absolutely sue.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 29, 2012 5:47 a.m.

    And why would we want them to block our freedom of choice? Why should we expect the feds to impose thousand of dollars cost on sports and recreation where thrill and personal challenges are the rule of law? Sports is personal and the feds or the state of Utah has no right to impose their will on our persoanl lives and choices. For the children and our future as a free people with free will tell these legislators to get a life and leave mine and my family's rights alone.

    What about fishermen who go fishing without a flotation devices strapped to themselves? Just because we have legislators who live in bubbles doesn't mean all americans want to live in bubbles.