Schweitzer Ski Patrol reminds skiers not to duck ropes after avalanche Dec. 19

By Reader Staff

The Schweitzer Ski Patrol reminded skiers not to duck ropes when terrain is closed after an avalanche was reported on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 19.

“We had Lakeside closed to Australia this morning,” the Ski Patrol wrote on social media. “People decided they could traverse back into closed terrain. One person decided to center punch what we call Jawbreaker and triggered [a] slide, but was lucky this time.”

The slide at Schweitzer reported on Dec. 19. Photo courtesy Schweitzer Ski Patrol.

The Ski Patrol said the crown was 18 inches deep and ran a couple of hundred vertical feet with a debris pile as deep as 5.5 feet.

After being notified by someone riding the Colburn Triple, the Ski Patrol responded with five patrollers and two dogs to ensure no one was caught and buried, taking them away from operating the mountain for at least 45 minutes. No injuries were reported.

“If gates are closed to a certain point, you are not allowed to access that closed terrain,” the Ski Patrol wrote. “Imagine an invisible fence running vertically downhill from the open gate. That’s why we closed terrain — people couldn’t follow the rules.”

Always ski within marked boundaries at Schweitzer and don’t duck the ropes or ski any terrain that is marked closed.

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