Vermont: Backcountry Skiing Still 'Fine'

Bill to fine backcountry skiers in need of rescue scrapped

Skiers in Vermont rejoice! Okay, maybe not rejoice, but breathe a little easier.

Thanks to the testimony of backcountry skiers and law enforcement, a controversial bill to fine skiers who require rescue was scrapped, reports Backcountry Magazine.

The bill stated, “A person who uses the facilities of a ski area to access terrain outside the ski area’s open and designated ski trails and as a result must be rescued by a rescue organization shall be fined not more than $500.00.”

In response to an unusually high number of lost skiers requiring rescue this winter, State Senator Kevin Mullin introduced the bill to make slope riders think twice about going out of bounds.

The people who would have to enforce the law, i.e. the police, were not happy, arguing that a fine would deter imperiled skiers from calling for help until their situation becomes desperate, further endangering themselves and rescue teams.

“We do want to encourage people, when they get in trouble, to call,” said Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn during the hearing, reported the Burlington Free Press.

The bill was tabled in committee.


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