Take Responsibility For Your Actions

On Monday March 7th at 4pm, after six long days of searching for our missing skier, we tired patrollers were looking forward to some much needed rest. We received a cell phone call from a skier lost somewhere in the Mt. Rainier National Park towards Hwy 410. Patrollers were dispatched to search the boundary for tracks. After a phone interview, patrollers narrowed it down to a track traversing into Kempers from Windy pass (back traverse) off of Mountain Top. The team of patrollers finally found the disoriented tired guest in the middle of one of our most notorious slide paths. While much of our boundary with the National Park is open, the Kempers slide path is permanently closed. Furthermore, for skiers venturing into the Park, only those with the proper gear and knowledge should ever try to attempt it. And even then, it should never be attempted at 4pm in the afternoon.

So what went wrong?

Marcus Price ducked a rope. As patrollers, we try to protect our guests. Simply put, we’re on your side. We pad towers, put up rope lines, mark hazards and even throw explosives in an effort to keep our guests safe. No matter what the visibility, if you honor our rope lines and boundary signs, it is very hard to find yourself mistakenly on the wrong side of a rope line. The incident Monday night was a clear case of someone ducking a rope without giving a second thought to his own safety and that of the rescuers that eventually found him.

 

 Here is picture of Marcus’s track going under the rope line.   

Like other ski areas, Crystal Mountain charges for out of ski area rescues. Before starting the rescue we clearly explained to Marcus that he would be responsible for the cost of the rescue. However, once back in the base area, Marcus Price decided to shirk his responsibility. This is not about the money or lost time; it is about taking responsibility for your actions and learning from them. I mean, come on here people. If you go under a rope for a few fresh turns at the end of the day, knowingly (or even unknowingly) entering a closed area, then call for someone to come and get you (and agreeing to pay the rescue fee), at least you should hold up your end of the bargain.

Perhaps Marcus didn’t learn his lesson. Or maybe he did. I will never know. But I do hope that others can learn not only from Marcus, but also from our recent tragedy with the disappearance of our friend Paul Melby. The bottom line is this: take responsibility for yourself.  

 

26 thoughts on “Take Responsibility For Your Actions

  1. Scott

    A fool and his life are soon to part. He should not be allowed back. He endangered others ib his poor judgement. He will pay one day.

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  2. Cindy Holshouser

    I just want to say that I think these safety posts are valuable and I hope they continue. I’ve been skiing for many years and this past week have learned a lot about tree wells, and staying safe in general.

    Like

  3. Nicholas

    As someone who is the son of patroller, and now spends 70% of his waking hours in the backcountry, reading stuff like this never fails to amaze me. On my inbound days (aka big storm days when its really not safe to be in the BC), Im often just blown away at the amount of work your team puts into making it safe to ski several thousand acres of terrain loaded with natural hazards and more then a few idiots trying to invent new ones (aka the Marcus’s of the world). Step outside that rope, and the mother nature’s gloves come off with just one or two bad decisions.
    Maybe when someone pulls a Marcus Price in the future, you should have them pose for a photo before you bail them out. Their mug shot should then go on a “Hall of Shame” in the main lodge (and the FB page). The only way to have it taken down is to actually pay the rescue bill.

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  4. Mark Watterson

    Marcus, thanks for giving back country travel and out of bounds movement at Crystal a black eye. Hope you enjoyed your trip. Next time call someone else.

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  5. Herb

    Good work saving him, and great move posting his name. I think you should alert all of the news media to this. Then maybe some reporter will find him and confront him with the questions “Why won’t you pay these people who saved you?” The embarrassment might get something out of him or his family, or at least discourage the next scofflaw.

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  6. SkierHiker

    Did you Facebook stalk him? There are a few local Marcus Price’s on Facebook, even one from Seattle who loves skiing. If someone can id him, you’ll have more ammo to use. But I do feel sorry if that poor soul is not the culprit because he probably will be surprised the next time he tries to buy a ticket.

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  7. While we all hope to encourage personal responsibility here, lets try to keep this civil. I’ve deleted some of the more vulgar comments, because I don’t want this to become a forum for bashing. My point here is that a lesson could be learned.
    Often Crystal patrons ask us why we have the rules we do. Well, here’s an example of why. Most people wouldn’t follow Marcus’ example, but a few bad apples can spoil the batch, so to speak.
    While Marcus isn’t a season’s pass holder, he may come back to Crystal, and if so, we will try to catch up to him then.

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  8. Joe

    If Crystal Ski Patrol charges for out-of-area rescue, why wouldn’t a lost skier call 911 and get the Sheriff’s office to launch a Search and Rescue mission (which Pierce county doesn’t charge for!)

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  9. DontDoThatAgain

    Ryan seems to have missed the point. Ski patrol DID rescue him. They DID put life before money. The point is not cost. The point is safety, Marcus’s safety AND the safety of the people on the patrol. Marcus made a poor (selfish, and unnecessary) decision that put other people at risk. THAT is the point.

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  10. Stacia

    Kim, thanks for the post. I’m sorry to hear about this guys inconsiderate behavior after all the incredible work the patrol did last week searching for Melby. Thanks for all your hard work up there!

    Like

  11. bob

    I don’t think you have the authority to charge for a rescue. You (patrollers) went out and provided assistance. You can call it a rescue if you like, but only the sheriff and and WA DEM have legal authority in such a case. I am surprised you would suggest to someone asking for help over the phone to pay. If he said I can’t or won’t pay what would you have done? You took the call, your choices were then limited to providing help.
    Having said all this; yes he behaved irresponsibly. What his further consequences are, who knows?

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  12. Dave

    When you knowingly leave the defined Crystal Mtn area, Crystal Mtn ski patrol should not be respinsible for your rescue. People are always looking for others to bail them out. As a former RMI mtn guide there are a few unwritten rules to the mtns. You can’t expect help. If it comes great but not to be expected. You put others lives in jeopardy. And yes you should pay the cost of the rescue. It’s a small price to pay for your life. Or maybe next time someone gets lost we’ll just call Ryan Joe and Marcus Price and they can go rescue them. Idiots!

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  13. Of all the rope lines at Crystal, Kempers is one of the most well marked and the area is a well known hazard.
    I have no idea who Marcus is or what kind of experience he has, but my impression is that many (particularly younger) skiers don’t fully appreciate the danger that they are putting themselves in when they duck ropes. Some people don’t seem to be able to differentiate between a rope on Queen’s run and one above Kempers, despite the signs at the bottom of 6 explaining the closure. Of course, people shouldn’t be ducking ANY ropes, but the fact that they have gotten away with it in other areas of the mountain skews their perception of risk. This is my impression based on my experience skiing with high school aged people in recent years.
    Does the Crystal ski patrol accept donations from the public? And if so, can they be made online or do you have an address where checks can be mailed?

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  14. Sam Smith

    Kim
    You say it isn’t about the money or time, but I say it is! It is theft of services just like sneeking in the lift without a ticket or having a forged ticket. (TL makes ’em pay or they get to see the county Sheriff!) He asked for help and agreed to pay for the help. Your group provided the help to save his sorry hide and then he refused to pay. How is that not theft of service?
    Too bad his cell call got thru, otherwise he’d be singing a different song by morning–if he could sing at all!! Mother nature will have her day gathering in dumb DNA.

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  15. Nudibranch

    Heya,
    Nudibranch here again. Just reading about the mountains from the bottom of the sea – man those mts seem like a fantastic place – so tired of the sea floor – anyways – enough of this “us vs them” stuff – there would be no us without them. Lets turn this negative into a positive and widen the lines of communication – kudos to the blog for already having done that!

    Like

  16. qf

    While what Mr. Price did was unethical, publishing this information to ‘shame’ him is extremely unprofessional. The American Alpine Club did a study a few years ago showing why it is not good to charge for rescues; the public hardly needs another reason to delay calling for help.

    Like

  17. Brian

    ***(bob – March 9, 2011 10:40 PM
    I don’t think you have the authority to charge for a rescue. You (patrollers) went out and provided assistance. You can call it a rescue if you like, but only the sheriff and and WA DEM have legal authority in such a case. I am surprised you would suggest to someone asking for help over the phone to pay. If he said I can’t or won’t pay what would you have done? You took the call, your choices were then limited to providing help.
    Having said all this; yes he behaved irresponsibly. What his further consequences are, who knows? )***
    In response to this comment above,
    Bob, Crystal mountain patrol rescued Marcus outside of the ski area boundaries. Crystal mountain is a private company, who is for marcus’s sake has very well trained professionals, that rescued him in the national forest. First off 911 would have taken 3 times the amount of time Crystal Mountain Patrollers took or longer also they wouldnt have launched a missing person report for either 24-48 hours due to a large percentage of the search and rescue task force being volunteer. Personally I would rather have Crystal Mountain Patrollers rescue me because they are on the mountain all season long and are the closest to me. In my opinion of Marcus couldn’t own up the the cost of the rescue due to the cost then they need to put him in the kitchen and work off the charges like they used to in the olden days when a youngster was caught stealing.
    ***(qf – April 6, 2011 2:29 PM
    While what Mr. Price did was unethical, publishing this information to ‘shame’ him is extremely unprofessional. The American Alpine Club did a study a few years ago showing why it is not good to charge for rescues; the public hardly needs another reason to delay calling for help.
    )***
    After reading this comment
    qf
    In the tail end of my statement I suggested other ways he may be able to work for his rescue. If he could not afford it. Crystal Mountain has the right to refuse service to any one just like the signs on the restaraunts. If you were a restaraunt owner and some dined and dashed and you knew who they were wouldnt you put their name up on the wall to refuse service to them the next time? Same concept obviously lives are at stake rather than food but Crystal Mountain is doing the right thing.
    Alright thats my rant for the day You rock CRYSTAL! MT!!!

    Like

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