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"Off limits" skiers could be fined

Off Limits Ski - jeffwilcox-flicker-Dec 31, 2006-Stevens Pass.jpg

Every winter we hear about skiers and snow boarders at nearby ski resorts who end up in dangerous situations after wandering into areas marked “off limits."  That often triggers expensive search and rescue operations.

Skiers Could Be Fined

A measure being considered by Washington state lawmakers today could make skiers help pay for  their misadventures by making out-of-bounds skiing a civil infraction resulting in a $1,000 fine.

Under the measure, members of the ski patrol who witness out-of-bounds skiers can collect evidence and turn in an incident  report to the local sheriff or a fish and wildlife officer, who could then issue the citation.

Senate Bill 5186  is sponsored by WA Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup. It states skiers:

shall not ski on a ski slope, trail, or area that is designated by a ski area operator as closed to the public and that has signs posted indicating the closure.

The Senate's Natural Resources Committee is expected to take testimony on the "prohibiting skiing in areas closed to skiing" bill this afternoon.