Ducking ropes not worth the risk |

Ducking ropes not worth the risk

Dear Editor:

I have a passion for skiing which I no doubt share with many people in this valley. Unfortunately, that passion took me down a road where a terrible decision was made. I am writing so that others who share my passion will learn from my mistake and not make the same error in judgment that I have made.

I fell into the temptation of ducking a rope and skiing in a closed area. These areas are closed for a reason and I had no business being back there. Colorado leads the nation in deaths by avalanches with an average of six to eight people lost each year. The chances of an avalanche fatality in bounds are incredibly slim; however, after venturing into a closed area that chance increases by more than 800 percent. Avalanches accommodate no one and I am lucky that no one was injured after the dangerous position I put both myself and others in.

Although there were no physical injuries, many people were let down by my decision. Prior to the incident, Ski Patrol had been kind enough to take me skiing with them and explained to me the importance of avoiding closed areas. Now, after they have taken the time to show me some amazing ski days, I have betrayed them. Ski Patrol cannot be thanked enough for their hard work opening up such a vast amount of terrain on the mountain. They have given us an outdoor playground and made it a safe place. The areas are closed for the safety of the public and especially with so much great terrain open, it is not worth the risk to be back there.

I have learned my lesson and absolutely will not make the same mistake again. I don’t know if I am more devastated from losing my pass or losing the respect of the patrollers who were so good to me. Learn from my mistake. Don’t go from being a powder hound to a powder junkie. Enjoy the abundance of snow that is in bounds and realize that it is not necessary or worth it to duck ropes.

Kristi Gray

Snowmass Village

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