Keystone Resort defends safety protocols after snowboarder questions disciplinary action
KEYSTONE RESORT — Johnathan Buckhouse, a YouTube personality who creates videos about snowboarding, posted two videos about an incident at Keystone Resort that received 216,000 views within three days. The videos show Buckhouse snowboarding with three of his friends on Keystone’s Schoolmarm beginner run.
The group was asked to slow down and later was stopped by members of Keystone’s mountain safety team. The interaction was contentious at times, with the group of snowboarders disputing the allegation that they had ridden too fast or ignored calls to slow down.
The snowboarders were asked to take a safety course within two weeks as a requirement of keeping their season pass privileges.
Buckhouse made the videos to refute the claims of mountain safety staff and gather public opinion on the incident.
When asked about the incident, Keystone spokeswoman Loryn Roberson said the resort would not comment on a specific passholder incident, but she discussed the rationale behind heightened safety awareness on Schoolmarm.
“Our point of view is that safety is a high priority for us,” Roberson said. “It’s our designated family ski trail, so that is one of the green runs on the mountain that we encourage beginners to go on, and we want them to feel comfortable and not have people skiing past them.”
Roberson emphasized that in a beginner area, skiers and snowboarders are expected to ride at a speed that makes beginners around them feel safe.
“We expect guests to maintain a speed no faster than the general flow of traffic,” Roberson said.
While Schoolmarm is a designated slow zone, the run often contains people with a wide range of skill levels because riders are funneled onto the area as one of the main ways to get to the Mountain House base area, especially in the early season when it is one of the first runs open.
Buckhouse reported in his video that he did attend the safety class in order to keep his pass but that he does not believe employees were correct in their decision to enforce disciplinary action.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.