BrandoComandoI agree. It sucks to blame ski patrol, but I think this was a mistake on their part. That zone shouldn’t have been opened until it was safe. Especially after a huge recent storm in this case.
I haven’t looked into the particulars of this incident but here’s my question to you:
How does ski patrol know when a zone should or shouldn’t be opened? Post control releases happen. I’ve personally seen slopes shot multiple times, ski cut, and then still run. So....how do you ask a ski area or a ski patrol to guarantee that a slope won’t avalanche? I’m asking a genuine question. Avalanche mitigation is a very imprecise, inexact science. If ski patrols and ski areas are going to be held liable for this sort of thing, will that mean that ski areas will greatly reduce what terrain they open, and in what conditions? Is that what the public actually wants?
When areas are grossly negligent, like knowing a slope is not safe, or knowing that a boundary is compromised and not doing anything to fix it, they should for sure be held liable. But, when they’re acting in good faith and are doing the industry accepted best practices and documenting them....I don’t know. This is a very tricky deal, and a slippery slope in my opinion.
In the snowpack I work in....I don’t see how you could ever guarantee a particular slope’s not going to avalanche. Unless it just did and now it’s bare ground. Otherwise, it’s all best guesses and past precedent.
Let me ask you this: why do you think so certainly that the slope was unsafe to open? Are you just saying that given what happened? Or were there actual signs of instability that patrol ignored? I’ll look into this specific incident more myself, but did patrol conduct mitigation?
What about Taos? They literally shot that exact path that day. And then, unfortunately it avalanched and killed guests. It sucks. But....what do you do? I think it’s reasonable to conduct an investigation into incidents like this to glean some knowledge and to determine if there was actually gross negligence, but I think deciding that any avalanche within bounds should lead to the area being liable seems...off.