Jesus Christ people, it blows my mind how fucking ignorant so many people are about the backcountry around Stevens Pass. Especially since the Tunnel Creek incident last year.
It boggles my mind how many people I see hiking either to Hollywood or towards Wenatchee/Highlands without gear. Specifically yesterday with the high loading of snow and wind. The thing that REALLY set me off yesterday was heading home and seeing 4 snowboarders hiking up Hwy 2 back to the resort, no BC gear whatsoever. Turns out they rode right down one of the biggest slide paths coming down from Grace Lakes to the highway. Not only did they put themselves in danger, but every motorist that crossed that slide path while they were on the slope above.
Since Tunnel Creek last year, I do see more people riding Stevens with gear, but it seems like there's even more riding the backcountry adjacent to Stevens with no gear. It's only a matter of time before someone gets themselves in a bad situation or even killed.
I had a discussion about stevens boundaries with my buddy last weekend. We both grew up riding stevens and now live in bozeman. I feel that the how stevens marks the boundaries has too much gray area. You have a handful of hikes that are technically out of bounds but the terrain is skied and bombed by patrol as the terrain sits above inbounds areas. Such as piste point, front side of cowboy, death chutes, power lines section of rooster. From these same hikes you can drop off the other side into terrain that sees no avy control. I ride at Bridger Bowl where they have inbounds terrain that requires a beacon. This keeps the unknowning out of trouble and shows all that this terrain deserves more respect. I believe it would benefit stevens to promote these inbounds hikes and control them with a beacon check point. Also clearly mark what leads back inbounds and what leads away from the area.
The back country sector of the sport is growing at a fast rate, how and if new rules are enacted are going to depend on how responsible the users are. I would hate to see ski area to go back to closed boundaries that were the norm in the 90's.
If you dont have gear, your not rolling with my crew, thats how i see it. If your not an experienced rider, dont expect to come along ether, the backcountry is no area to learn to ride.