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Old 12-13-2012, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ducking Ropes...

I'm going to try not to turn this into a rant/flame fest. I'm trying to find information on ducking ropes at resorts. A couple days ago I was at Copper and there was an area (not marked off) where you could ride through the trees and end up on a run that was not opened, you had to duck ropes to get back to the open run then. If it was your first run you could feasibly not know it was closed until you were there already.

Me and a few guys (one of them 62 years old) spent a full day riding this area. About 3pm the "Safety Patrol" saw us and freaked out. They read us the riot act about deadfall and snow coverage, threatened us with $1000 fines, taking our passes, even a mandatory "drivers ed" class that would explain how dangerous we were.

I understand deadfall and that you could possibly stick a board but IMO there are a lot more dangerous situations you can encounter at a crowded resort. If you know what you're doing I would argue it's impossible to stick a board under a log. When we were "caught" we were literally 3' the other side of the rope.

Now my question is as I understand it most of the summit county (all?) resorts are US fores service land. If you skinned up the mountain, would the same rules apply to you? What if you accessed roped off backcountry terrain from the top of the mountain but didn't use a lift to get there?
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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shit outside the ropes is not avy controlled (at least out here it isn't) and if you're riding uncontrolled slopes without proper avy gear and training eventually someone is going to die, so that's one part.

un-knowledgeable people will follow your tracks out of bounds and then drop further down the fall line instead of following your tracks back and get lost requiring S&R to go out for them

if you use the resorts lifts to access backcountry you could get hurt or killed and the resort could see a lawsuit.

resorts that do offer an "open gate" backcountry policy do so at a "gate" in the line and will have a sign up warning of the dangers and absolving themselves of some liability - perhaps requiring proper avy gear.

bottom line: if you want out of bounds freshies its up to you to learn the right way to do it. ducking ropes will get your pass pulled or you dead.

Last edited by ShredLife; 12-13-2012 at 11:04 AM. Reason: un-knowledgeable.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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shit outside the ropes is not avy controlled (at least out here it isn't) and if you're riding uncontrolled slopes without proper avy gear and training eventually someone is going to die, so that's one part.

knowledgeable people will follow your tracks out of bounds and then drop further down the fall line instead of following your tracks back and get lost requiring S&R to go out for them

if you use the resorts lifts to access backcountry you could get hurt or killed and the resort could see a lawsuit.

resorts that do offer an "open gate" backcountry policy do so at a "gate" in the line and will have a sign up warning of the dangers and absolving themselves of some liability - perhaps requiring proper avy gear.

bottom line: if you want out of bounds freshies its up to you to learn the right way to do it. ducking ropes will get your pass pulled or you dead.

So even if you skin up the mountain (if they allow it) you're still obligated to follow the rules of the resort? Obviously if you're going to access the backcountry you're going to be properly trained with proper gear. I know you can have inbounds slides (I was at vail last year when that happened on a closed run). The danger here was the little amount of snow (still waist deep in a few spots ) and the dead fall which to me is a non-issue.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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...there was an area (not marked off) where you could ride through the trees and end up on a run that was not opened, you had to duck ropes to get back to the open run then. If it was your first run you could feasibly not know it was closed until you were there already.
I think this is the most important point. You essentially never went out of bounds. If the resort wants to declare an area out of bounds, they have to actually rope it off. A lawyer could have a field day with this. Me, I would have just said to the goons "then you should rope it off up the hill".
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So even if you skin up the mountain (if they allow it) you're still obligated to follow the rules of the resort? Obviously if you're going to access the backcountry you're going to be properly trained with proper gear. I know you can have inbounds slides (I was at vail last year when that happened on a closed run). The danger here was the little amount of snow (still waist deep in a few spots ) and the dead fall which to me is a non-issue.
chances are if you skinned up you probably didn't duck a rope, you probably did it outside of the resort boundary. i know where i ride for one there is no uphill traffic allowed within the resort.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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chances are if you skinned up you probably didn't duck a rope, you probably did it outside of the resort boundary. i know where i ride for one there is no uphill traffic allowed within the resort.
negative, you can skin up the run here as far as I know if it's in the morning before the lift opens.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think this is the most important point. You essentially never went out of bounds. If the resort wants to declare an area out of bounds, they have to actually rope it off. A lawyer could have a field day with this. Me, I would have just said to the goons "then you should rope it off up the hill".
Exactly, I didn't want to push it too hard because after he realized we weren't kids he "let us off with a warning". Only taking down my pass # and name. The whole incident really soured me to the "safety patrol" at copper though... I was actually emailing the lead ski patrol guy back and forth to volunteer next year, next sure I want to play mountain cop though.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It depends on the resort and what the days rules are during business hours. Outside business hours you can skin, shoe up anything and ride down anything. When the resorts open for the day you have to abide by the rules of the leased property during business hours. Sometimes they dont even allow foot/uphill traffic during the day when it's busy. Your still ski patrol and the mountains responsibility when you die or kill someone.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Also, donuts is right. They never closed the upper part of the run according to your story so they should be reprimanded and would be liable if you were injured in that area
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think this is the most important point. You essentially never went out of bounds. If the resort wants to declare an area out of bounds, they have to actually rope it off. A lawyer could have a field day with this. Me, I would have just said to the goons "then you should rope it off up the hill".
I dunno, about this, it would depend on the geography a bit. Consider the case where the a single run branches into two that run alongside each other, with trees between and they rope off one the the entrance to one of the branches at the point of the split. If you go a little ways down the open run that you're allowed to be on, and then cut through the trees you're pretty obviously getting onto a run they don't want you on.

If it was my first time going through the trees and I found myself on in this situation I'd expect ski patrol to cut me some slack. If me and my buddies were essentially doing laps where we were cutting through the trees to ride a roped off run I'd have trouble justifying this and would expect ski patrol to call us on it.
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