More and more people seem to have taken up the sport of hiking uphill into the runout zones of avalanche paths in A-Basin, when we have it closed. I dunno, maybe they caught Olympic fever this week and wanna get a jump on it being a 2014 demonstration sport. In any case, ya’ gotta admire their willingness to earn-their-turns even if you can’t admire their decision making!
But really, I know it’s not fair for me to call it "decision making" because at least SOME of the people we talk to out there aren’t savvy about how far avalanches can run, and bury people. They just haven’t developed the "mountain sense" to recognize conditions that can (sorry, Marketing Department, but I have to use this word here) KILL them, or the judgement to make choices to protect themselves.
Sooo…. in response–again, to these CHANGES we’ve noticed in guests’ behavior–we’ve extended the A-Basin closure line down by the bottom of (C-6) the High Campbell chairlift. We’ve put 2 gates in to allow access at the most popular entry/exit points when lower A-Basin is open.
When A-Basin is closed, the gates will be closed.
When avalanche hazard warrants restricting access to the Damn Fine Forest trees, the gates may be closed.
When the on-hill information kiosks (Top of Chinook, REX, Green Valley & Forest Queen) indicate that Southback is closed but those gates are open, it’s OK to ski the Damn Fine Forest trees as long as you don’t ascend above a traverse…or higher than the first bench above the right-hand gate. (And kookie "ascending traverses" don’t count; just go with gravity, OK?)
Bottom of High Campbell, looking South-ish (arrows point to gates)
Bottom of High Campbell, looking East (arrows point to gates)
Rope-ducking continues to be prohibited at Crystal Mountain because shwoo-boy, you never know what kind of hazard we might be warning you away from on the other side! Expect this new line-extension to be a work-in-progress as we figure out it’s best placement, and feel free to give us suggestions!
And….If you’re familiar with the area and stumble upon a bunch of stranded skiers/boarders, corralled by our ropeline, please send them to the nearest A-Basin exit with our apologies! ;o)