Question is, do you call in a rescue for people that don't need rescuing, but have broken a resort rule. If you are going to enforce your boundary, do it at your own expense, not at the NSR expense. They should be used for real rescue only. I think Grouse did overreact.
Yeah I am not sure how I think about that one. Not sure if they should or should not have contacted S&R. I know that here in the states, if someone ducks a rope to go out of bounds and ski patrol sees it. They are pretty much forced to go after them from a liability standpoint. So if ski patrol saw these guys leave the area by ducking a rope and the avy conditions were what they considered sketch... Is calling for eyes in the sky unreasonable or not, plus mobilizing a S&R group? Lot's of grey lines here. It does seem that they made it bigger than it needed to be, but then again it is putting other peoples lives at risk.
Wow, this is a lot more interesting than I thought it would be when I came in here. It sounds like they are implementing their new preventative rescue attempts.
I don't like the idea of sending in the cavalry for people who may not need rescued, but if the ski patrol didn't know who they were, how could they just sit back and say, "Yeah, they probably know what they're doing."
In light of all the recent avalanche-related deaths, I don't know that I disagree with what they did. It's so hard to get all the facts of the story right. The guys say they were experienced in backcountry, but they weren't properly equipped. All the knowledge in the world won't save you in an avalanche if you aren't equipped.
I don't know. I'm a little on the line with this one. I think it turned out poorly either way.
a) Grouse says they had 1 shovel. Group says they had 3. We'll say they had 2.
b) The group of 4 split into 2. We'll assume they had 1 shovel per mini-group.
c) The group says they are all experienced in the backcountry. They say there was no avalanche forecast for that specific area. They say they analyzed the conditions themselves, and deemed the risk to be at a moderate level.
d) The group ducks the boundary rope. Grouse says it was right under a CLOSED sign.
e) A ski patroller calls them back. Group says they didn't hear. Grouse says the group ignored the patroller.
f) Grouse calls in NSR and RCMP and whatnot.
g) The group make their split and complete their descent correctly and without incident.
h) Ski patrol apprehends them.
i) Grouse gets the media in on this apparently juicy story, possibly to make an example out of those evil rope-duckers (you may have your car in any color you wish, as long as it's black).
THERE ARE SPECIFIC REASONS AS TO WHY I AM MORE LOCAL THAN YOU
Anything less than 1 shovel, 1 probe, 1 beacon, per person is unacceptable...
Couldn't agree with you more. I am a bit uncomfortable that many Cat/Heli operations only have 4 shovels/probes for 12 people, but I guess in those cases their customers are not trained properly, and the guides and there are patrollers available in the near vicinity.
In a snowcat or heli operation the reality is going to be different. I assume everyone has a beacon on, but the people with full gear (beacon, shovel, probe) are going to be the the guides/patrollers. They are the ones who know how to properly use the gear anyway. If I was for some reason using those services, I would bring my own basic gear and would just plan to assist if there was a rescue situation.
I think these guys were douchebags for ducking the ropes and getting caught doing it and still going. Grouse has been very strict on the rules for a while now. I got my pass taken away for riding under the chair on a run that was closed because there were no lights. I had a high powered headlamp on and didn't see a problem with it. I was given a stern lecture about there not being patrol on the run and what if something happened to me etc. I know it wouldn't have been a problem at Seymour.
These guys knew the risks and say that they were prepared. If they went out of bounds, Who cares? they knew the risks and the backcountry is for all of us to enjoy. There was no need to waste RCMP resources on calling in the chopper right away and also getting S&R involved. They could have just waited half an hour max and catch them when they were returning to the ski area. and if they didn't return after a while, call S&R or make them spend the night in the bush and let them think about their actions.
That's just my .02
If you look at it from the ski patrol perspective, if something HAD happened to those guys and the Grouse patrol hadn't done everything they could to stop them, someone probably would have sued. BS lawsuits make our country go round.