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Author Topic: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder  (Read 44662 times)
Bob Kailewa
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October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« on: 10/30/12, 11:52 AM »

Hiked solo up some runs at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort and skied two to three feet deep powder snow. No Avalanches and had the place to myself other than a few resort maintenance individuals. I questioned if I can continue to hike the ski area when lifts are running to ride some groomers and was told that is ok.
« Last Edit: 11/13/12, 01:42 PM by Bob Kailewa » Logged
Dr. Pow
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #1 on: 10/30/12, 12:55 PM »

Right on! Avy or silver basin? Or in the resort? I am headed up to do some chores up at the cabin, so maybe I should bring my gear Smiley
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r1de
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #2 on: 10/30/12, 03:16 PM »

Good on you!  And yes, it's okay to hike/skin when the lifts aren't (or are) running.  Did you get any pics?
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Dustin_B
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #3 on: 10/30/12, 05:42 PM »

.... as long as you don't hike up into closed areas (like hiking up into Silver Basin while control work is going on). In fact I think that is now illegal :-)

Another bad example is hiking up Kelly's Gap Road early in the morning after any snowfall has occurred over night....
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CascadeSkier
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #4 on: 10/30/12, 06:48 PM »

...alas, the above mentioned "two to three feet deep powder" is nearly gone, thanks to the steady warm rain...
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BINX
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #5 on: 10/30/12, 07:45 PM »

[ :)Good Job Bob
You can hike any where you want as long as you assume the risk
and are not interfering with Crystal Mtn ski patrol control work, which will not be going on any time soon. Just to make a correction, at best on the mtn the deepest it has been is 16" to 18" inches deep. Your quite brave with all the rocks being slightly covered. I've been all over Crystal 3 to 4 days a week lately watching elk and deepest I've encountered is 16". If Crystal gets 2 to 3 feet they will be open. Keep up the hiking, I think you got the first post of the season!!quote author=Bob Kailewa link=topic=25950.msg109659#msg109659 date=1351623158]
Hiked solo up some runs at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort and skied two to three feet deep powder snow. No Avalanches and had the place to myself other than a few resort maintenance individuals. I questioned if I can continue to hike the ski area when lifts are running to ride some groomers and was told that is ok.
Quote
Smiley
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Randy
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #6 on: 10/30/12, 10:04 PM »

The crystal ski patrol folks have always been friendly and informative with me.  I think it's good to check in with them before heading up.
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Scotsman
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #7 on: 10/30/12, 11:14 PM »

Binx is right..no way 2-3 ft powder...more like 15"-18" even in accumulated areas and bowls and it was cascade powder not real powder.

If you skin up when lifts are running and ski groomers to the base= OK.
If you skin up, ski down to mid-level and then use mid-level lifts to go back up you are trespassing and stealing services.

Crystal generally has no problem with skinners as long as some sense is shown....the three TAYers skinning up the middle of the busiest groomer on a busy Saturday last season were not showing any sense or respect to the other mountain users...don't be that guy/gal. They were ridiculous.

Other well know TAYers have been know to put a skin track up Silver Basin while the lifts where open and skiers accessing the bowl from the lifts had to wait until they got out of the way to avoid the possibility of sending sluffs or a ski cut down on them= very inconsiderate and a mistaken sense of entitlement.

I once saw another skinner climb right through a slalom race course that was being used over by the Quicksilver chair having ignored the fenced off area and gone through it.

On another occasion, another TAYer was skinning up adjacent to the Quicksilver lift while it was being used by resort skiers and every time a resort skier went near him , he stopped and put both his poles out as spears even thought the resort skier wasn't threatening him or close enough to warrant his reaction.

We ,who love both resort and BC skiing , never cease to be amazed by some of the inconsiderate behavior exhibited by people skinning in the resort without any thought for the other users.

I'm personally glad they allow skinning at Crystal and do it myself on occasion but PLEASE, follow common sense rules and be considerate of the paying guests and check in with Patrol and stay off the groomers while skinning.

AND don't park in my place in Upper Lot C...that's reserved for the Backcountry Elite and if you are skinning to ski groomers you're not entitled to park there.

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Bob Kailewa
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #8 on: 10/31/12, 10:53 AM »

Binx is right..no way 2-3 ft powder...more like 15"-18" even in accumulated areas and bowls and it was cascade powder not real powder.

If you skin up when lifts are running and ski groomers to the base= OK.
If you skin up, ski down to mid-level and then use mid-level lifts to go back up you are trespassing and stealing services.

Crystal generally has no problem with skinners as long as some sense is shown....the three TAYers skinning up the middle of the busiest groomer on a busy Saturday last season were not showing any sense or respect to the other mountain users...don't be that guy/gal. They were ridiculous.

Other well know TAYers have been know to put a skin track up Silver Basin while the lifts where open and skiers accessing the bowl from the lifts had to wait until they got out of the way to avoid the possibility of sending sluffs or a ski cut down on them= very inconsiderate and a mistaken sense of entitlement.

I once saw another skinner climb right through a slalom race course that was being used over by the Quicksilver chair having ignored the fenced off area and gone through it.

On another occasion, another TAYer was skinning up adjacent to the Quicksilver lift while it was being used by resort skiers and every time a resort skier went near him , he stopped and put both his poles out as spears even thought the resort skier wasn't threatening him or close enough to warrant his reaction.

We ,who love both resort and BC skiing , never cease to be amazed by some of the inconsiderate behavior exhibited by people skinning in the resort without any thought for the other users.

I'm personally glad they allow skinning at Crystal and do it myself on occasion but PLEASE, follow common sense rules and be considerate of the paying guests and check in with Patrol and stay off the groomers while skinning.

AND don't park in my place in Upper Lot C...that's reserved for the Backcountry Elite and if you are skinning to ski groomers you're not entitled to park there.



Damn.

If individuals are hiking Crystal my advice for the lift riders is to stay clear and show respect. As for individuals getting on the mid mountain lifts without a pass. That aint theft anymore than its theft when I hike up at 0700 to ride virgin cordoroy. Thats called being smart. Theft is when a corporation takes public land that was formally a backcountry skiiing area and puts a ski resort there then charges 80 dollars to ride their lifts.

Just don't let em catch you poaching kids and if you get busted just say something like "oh I lost my pass" or whatever.
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Bob Kailewa
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #9 on: 10/31/12, 10:55 AM »

...alas, the above mentioned "two to three feet deep powder" is nearly gone, thanks to the steady warm rain...


THank you climate change for that. No more pow. Its done.
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Bob Kailewa
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #10 on: 10/31/12, 10:56 AM »

.... as long as you don't hike up into closed areas (like hiking up into Silver Basin while control work is going on). In fact I think that is now illegal :-)

Another bad example is hiking up Kelly's Gap Road early in the morning after any snowfall has occurred over night....


Just don't hike under the areas where avalanche control is going on.
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Bob Kailewa
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #11 on: 10/31/12, 10:57 AM »

Good on you!  And yes, it's okay to hike/skin when the lifts aren't (or are) running.  Did you get any pics?

No pics was too busy ripping pow.
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Bob Kailewa
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #12 on: 10/31/12, 10:59 AM »

Right on! Avy or silver basin? Or in the resort? I am headed up to do some chores up at the cabin, so maybe I should bring my gear Smiley

More in the resort. Not sure what runs but check the crystal mtn. webcams there aint much left up there.
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Scotsman
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #13 on: 10/31/12, 11:24 AM »

Virgin Cordoroy?Huh? I like that turn of phrase....you got class Bob and can park beside me in Upper Lot C with the Backcountry
Elite anytime.

Learn to use the multi-quote function though.

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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #14 on: 10/31/12, 01:05 PM »

I questioned if I can continue to hike the ski area when lifts are running to ride some groomers and was told that is ok.

I think this is a somewhat straightforward issue legally.  If you look up "Crystal Mountain Special Use Permit", you can get some clues about what kinds of restrictions Crystal Mountain (and all other ski areas in WA state... I think...) can impose on a person who is not using their facilities.  One of the fundamental qualities of a special use permit is that it is "non-exclusive".  Here is a quote directly from the special use permit for Crystal:

"E. Nonexclusive Use.  This permit is not exclusive.  The Forest Service reserves the right to use or permit others to use any part of the permitted area for any purpose, provided such use does not materially interfere with the rights and privileges hereby authorized.

F.  Area Access.  Except for any restrictions as the holder and the authorized officer may agree to be necessary to protect the installation and operation of authorized structuers and developments, the lands and waters covered by this permit shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes.  To facilitate public use of this area, all existing roads or roads as may be constructed by the holder, shall remain open to the public, except for roads as may be closed by joint agreement of the holder and the authorized officer."

The grey area of the "joint agreement" would, of course, require more research.  I'm sure it must be public record.

Scotsman's observations of staying out of avalanche control areas are at the very least good common sense, despite whatever our rights may be.
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kneel turner
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #15 on: 10/31/12, 06:51 PM »

We should probably start a new thread, but here's a somewhat common scenario when I'm tempted to have a discussion with Crystal patrol ops:

Skiing upper lifts at Crystal.
Have skins in my pack.
Conditions are good.
I have the proper attitude, knowledge, and equipment, to ski out of bounds.
Crystal closes upper lifts "due to wind".
Crystal posts signs at the top of all lower lifts stating "no hiking allowed".
I politely inquire as to whether or not it is allowed to ski the previously open (and well skied out) slopes above.
I am denied access to the public land.
I bite my tongue and thank patrol for their time.

Keep in mind I'm not talking about times when they are conducting, or plan to conduct any operations or control work that a ski tourer might interfere with.
It makes sense that they want their customers to stay in the areas that they have lifts running for ease of response/enforcement.  I suspect they are saying "no" because they just don't want people up there, but I'm pretty sure they don't have the authority under their permit.
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Scotsman
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #16 on: 10/31/12, 07:00 PM »

We should probably start a new thread, but here's a somewhat common scenario when I'm tempted to have a discussion with Crystal patrol ops:

Skiing upper lifts at Crystal.
Have skins in my pack.
Conditions are good.
I have the proper attitude, knowledge, and equipment, to ski out of bounds.
Crystal closes upper lifts "due to wind".
Crystal posts signs at the top of all lower lifts stating "no hiking allowed".
I politely inquire as to whether or not it is allowed to ski the previously open (and well skied out) slopes above.
I am denied access to the public land.
I bite my tongue and thank patrol for their time.

Keep in mind I'm not talking about times when they are conducting, or plan to conduct any operations or control work that a ski tourer might interfere with.
It makes sense that they want their customers to stay in the areas that they have lifts running for ease of response/enforcement.  I suspect they are saying "no" because they just don't want people up there, but I'm pretty sure they don't have the authority under their permit.

Oh...they do! Try it...you'll have your pass pulled and be banned. CM patrol don't mess around..they mean it....but why don't you put it to the test. I don't always agree with their closures but most of the time I obey them.
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Dustin_B
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #17 on: 10/31/12, 08:16 PM »

We should probably start a new thread, but here's a somewhat common scenario when I'm tempted to have a discussion with Crystal patrol ops:

Skiing upper lifts at Crystal.
Have skins in my pack.
Conditions are good.
I have the proper attitude, knowledge, and equipment, to ski out of bounds.
Crystal closes upper lifts "due to wind".
Crystal posts signs at the top of all lower lifts stating "no hiking allowed".
I politely inquire as to whether or not it is allowed to ski the previously open (and well skied out) slopes above.
I am denied access to the public land.
I bite my tongue and thank patrol for their time.

Keep in mind I'm not talking about times when they are conducting, or plan to conduct any operations or control work that a ski tourer might interfere with.
It makes sense that they want their customers to stay in the areas that they have lifts running for ease of response/enforcement.  I suspect they are saying "no" because they just don't want people up there, but I'm pretty sure they don't have the authority under their permit.

Kneel Turner there is a very good reason for patrol closing off the upper mountain to up-hill travel at certain times. Patrol strives to keep as much of the mountain open as possible. The less stuff that is closed = less enforcement (and more terrain for skiers and less crowded slopes - its a win all around)! There is a reason for every decision to close or open terrain, believe it or not. Just because someone is not aware of the specific reason something is closed doesn't mean there is not a good reason. Just ask!

First off, patrol usually does allow hiking when the upper lifts are closed "due to winds" (not sure the quotes are necessary here) if there is no perceived avalanche risk. When the "no hiking above this point" signs get put up, there is a perceived avalanche risk. Well, you say you want to be completely responsible for your actions and if you get caught in slide then no one is affected but you right? wrong. This exact scenario happened on Exterminator some years ago. The area was closed, "no hiking above this point" signs were out, someone hiked any way and got buried in a slide on Exterminator. Do you know what happened next? Do you think ski patrol said, "well the area is closed, we don't have to go up there."? wrong. Patrol has a duty to respond.

What if you set off a slide that runs into the operating ski area and buries some public that were skiing inbounds? (I say inbounds here because once you enter a closed are you are no longer inbounds)

Not only does this decision (and it's possible consequences) affect you and potentially the public, but patrol then has to go up and assist you and that puts patrol at risk. If you think that ski patrol can or would sit by while someone was injured or buried any where near the operating ski area then you are mistaken. And I'm not limiting this to just avalanches. If you go up and break a leg, Patrol has a duty to respond and help you. These are some of the reasons why "no hiking above this point" signs occasionally get put up. I hope this clarifies things a little.

So if you must skin somewhere when the upper lifts are closed due to wind, and the "no hiking above this point" signs are out, just go elsewhere. Its a win-win for all.

And how do you know control work won't start above you when you are skinning or at any time? Do you think lifts are the only way patrollers can get to the top of the mountain on a windy day to do control work? And yes control work can and does happen mid-day.

A part of a ski area that is closed for hazardous reasons is not longer considered "public land".

Crystal probably has the most open up-hill travel policy of any ski area in WA state. All you have to do is ask and you will learn.

Sorry if there are a lot of random things in here, I tried to cover all aspects of your post. And I don't mean to sound belittling or condescending at all if I did (I hope I didn't). Thanks.
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Theo-san
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #18 on: 10/31/12, 09:56 PM »

^
Good post.

Although it is "public land" Crystal mountain does indeed have authority to create and enforce rules in the ski area. And that is the way it should be. Due to the nature of a ski resort (large quantities of human beings in close proximity doing an inherently dangerous activity), your actions will almost always have an impact on someone else - however minor that impact will be. When you ski an area that has a high risk of a slide - especially with public skiiers below you, many of which have no awareness that avalanches can and do happen in ski resorts, you're putting them at risk - and that is unfair to the families who want to enjoy the mountain, it's unfair to the workers who have to risk their livelihood to rescue victims, and it's unfair to the ski resort, because they will definitely be seen as liable by the parties affected. Will you also argue that individuals should be allowed to ski permanently closed areas on the mountain, solely based on their own judgement of the current snow conditions?
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kneel turner
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #19 on: 10/31/12, 11:23 PM »

Believe it or not, I was not intending to be controversial in my posting.  Chris and Dustin, I hope that if you take another look at what I actually wrote, you may not feel so eager to jump to conclusions.


Kneel Turner... There is a reason for every decision to close or open terrain, believe it or not. Just because someone is not aware of the specific reason something is closed doesn't mean there is not a good reason. Just ask!
Dustin, I DO ask.  That's the information provided by on duty patrol.  The quotes are used to signify , well, quotes. Closed due to wind, no increased avi danger since the terrain was open, no control, no control planned, no operations to interfere with.  Please don't assume I'm some loose cannon who wants to ski in closed areas and thumb my nose at the authorities, but I'm no dummy, and I do try to understand the rules, legislation, and my rights. I appreciate the hard work of the patrollers at Crystal, that's why I take the time to ask and hold my criticism if I disagree with the policy they've been told to enforce.
You go on to make a lot of references to what I might think, what I might know, and what if I cut a slide that buried members of the public? What? Really? C'mon. Your scenarios are not based on my inquiry of patrol to ski terrain that is closed because the lift that accesses it can't run due to wind.  Again, as reported by patrol, no avi danger, no control, no control planned, no operations to interfere with.

And since you asked, your input on duty to respond does not clear anything up for me, as I am a professional first responder and understand it quite well.
As far as the concern of the private sector closing access to public land, well, I don't think I'm the only one that might not always consider that a "win-win".
And how do you know control work won't start above you when you are skinning or at any time?
I guess I come to know this the same way I do prior to touring through the controlled ski area to access public land... I check in with patrol and ask.


I guess my responses to the rest off your post are pretty much the same.  It seems you and Chris both read a lot into what I wrote that just wasn't there.  I see merit in the rules and regulations as I understand them (which, btw, probably means you and I agree on many, if not all of the issues at hand here), but when the people in a position to enforce them do so incorrectly, or in contradiction, I will pose the question.

To Chris,
In the spirit of the political campaign season, a little cut and paste switch-a-roo!   Wink :
I don't always agree with their closures.  Why don't you put it to the test?
No way, man! I follow the rules. You do your own dirty work!

And yes, Crystal can pull a passholders privileges for many reasons. Think "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone".  Pretty standard language for business owners.  That, on the other hand, has nothing to do with refusing public access to public land.

Whew! just had to get that off my chest. As always, find me on the mountain. I'll buy you a beer, and we can talk about it.
Peace. Let it snow.
-Kneel
« Last Edit: 10/31/12, 11:29 PM by kneel turner » Logged

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Dustin_B
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #20 on: 11/01/12, 01:55 PM »

Thanks for the reply Kneel Turner. I should have mentioned that I originally was going to respond just to your post but changed my audience mid-post and tried to put a lot of information out there for everyone (not just directed at you). I should have changed some context when I changed the audience of my post. That is probably the reason you felt like I was reading into wasn’t there. I was, but not maliciously. I was responding to questions or scenarios other people might be thinking by reading this thread. Sorry for any assumptions and for jumping to any conclusions. It was meant for the broader audience.

As far as:
Your scenarios are not based on my inquiry of patrol to ski terrain that is closed because the lift that accesses it can't run due to wind.  Again, as reported by patrol, no avi danger, no control, no control planned, no operations to interfere with.

99% of the time, if that is the situation (no avi danger, no control planned, etc) then the terrain usually is open to up hill travel. If a patroller told you all those things were true and had no other reason for not allowing up hill travel, that patroller may just not have know the full story (perhaps they were new). If that happens again, and all those things are true, then just ask another couple patrollers until you can find the actual reason for things being closed. There is always a reason. (sometimes we can even forget to open things – like removing the “no hiking above this point” signs after control work is finished – this never happens though…)(And it should go without saying that this doesn't mean people can assume we forgot to open something and enter said area, as this kind of thing happens very, very infrequently)

I see merit in the rules and regulations as I understand them (which, btw, probably means you and I agree on many, if not all of the issues at hand here)
I agree

...but when the people in a position to enforce them do so incorrectly, or in contradiction, I will pose the question.
As you should!

Cheers. I hope this leaves everyone with a warm fuzzy feeling!
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kneel turner
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #21 on: 12/04/12, 09:57 AM »

It happened today.
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Dustin_B
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #22 on: 12/06/12, 10:35 AM »

What happened? Avy danger was High on Tuesday...
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kneel turner
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #23 on: 12/06/12, 09:17 PM »

It.

We all know this- From NWAC:  "This forecast applies to back country avalanche terrain below 7000 feet and does not apply to developed ski areas or highways."

In this case specifically, the closed area had been skied all day, and the snowpack increased 2" overnight.

But this is beside the point.

Crystal operation's reason for closing the terrain to the public was it's "necessary to let the snow settle".

Patrol's reason was "we're not controlling that area".

See my previous post: "Keep in mind I'm not talking about times when they are conducting, or plan to conduct any operations or control work that a ski tourer might interfere with."

Listen, I get it. They're closing the terrain cause they don't want people going in there.  When they close it, I thank them and don't go.  You're missing the argument that they are closing leased public land to the public for reasons other than safety during operations or control work.
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Dustin_B
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Re: October 27, 2012, Crystal Mountain, Powder
« Reply #24 on: 12/08/12, 05:31 PM »

It.

We all know this- From NWAC:  "This forecast applies to back country avalanche terrain below 7000 feet and does not apply to developed ski areas or highways."

In this case specifically, the closed area had been skied all day, and the snowpack increased 2" overnight.

But this is beside the point.

Crystal operation's reason for closing the terrain to the public was it's "necessary to let the snow settle".

Patrol's reason was "we're not controlling that area".

See my previous post: "Keep in mind I'm not talking about times when they are conducting, or plan to conduct any operations or control work that a ski tourer might interfere with."

Listen, I get it. They're closing the terrain cause they don't want people going in there.  When they close it, I thank them and don't go.  You're missing the argument that they are closing leased public land to the public for reasons other than safety during operations or control work.


That is simply not true. Campbell Basin never opened on Tuesday. It was open on Monday before the warm up and precip came in. Last Sunday the lift was having issues and went down. A boot pack was put in and people where hiking and riding Campbell basin. No avy issues, hiking okay. Tuesday saw a huge warm up with high freezing levels and precip. Rain on new snow is a huge avy issue. I shouldn't have to mention this but you obviously don't get it. There was a safety reason to keep people from hiking.
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