Independence Pass snowmobiler posts photos snowmobiling at closed Keystone Resort
KEYSTONE RESORT — Part-time Breckenridge resident David Lesh has once again stepped into the public spotlight by posting controversial photos on his social media.
After being cited for snowmobiling in off-limits terrain near Aspen last summer, the 34-year-old outdoor clothing company owner, who also lives part-time in Denver, posted photos of him snowmobiling at a terrain park at Keystone Resort on Sunday on his Instagram page. Lesh posted the photos with the caption, “solid park sesh, no lift ticket needed.”
Keystone spokeswoman Loryn Roberson said the resort is aware of the trespassing that took place over the weekend and is working with law enforcement.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all Colorado ski areas are closed under Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order. Summit County ski areas are closed to all activity, including uphill access. In March, the local ski areas urged people to respect the closures to protect local communities and first responders.
“Keystone Resort is currently closed to the public, and any violation of this closure is considered trespassing,” Roberson wrote in an email. “Trespassing is a crime, and we are currently working with our law enforcement partners. Violations such as this can also result in a loss of future skiing and riding privileges.”
Roberson reminded people that uphill access is closed at all of Vail Resorts’ Colorado locations.
White River National Forest Mountain Sports Program Manager Roger Poirier said the U.S. Forest Service law enforcement staff is working with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the ski resort to coordinate a response to any violations.
In addition to being in violation of the statewide executive order and local public health order, Lesh also appears to be in violation of Colorado’s Ski Safety Act, which reads: “No person shall knowingly enter upon public or private lands from an adjoining ski area when such land has been closed by its owner and so posted by the owner or by the ski area operator. … Any person who violates any of the provisions … is guilty of a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.”
Summit County’s updated public health order said that ski areas are to remain closed to “discourage residents of other counties and states from visiting Summit County.”
In summer 2019, Lesh posted photos to his social media of snowmobiling on Independence Pass in areas that are off-limits. He was cited in February for four petty offenses, and his case in U.S. District Court in Grand Junction has been continued to June 16.
Lesh, who runs a clothing company, also was involved in a plane crash off the coast of California in August. The incident is being investigated by the FAA.
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