At the beginning of February, a snowboarder ducked a rope at a local ski area, heading into closed territory in search of fresh powder, even as people around him called for him to stop.
On the far side of the boundary, he triggered an avalanche. The 30-year-old was able to escape injury, but not law enforcement. He was later caught by the Summit County Sheriff's Office and ticketed for skiing in a closed area.
Authorities and ski resort representatives have partnered putting out the word to skiers and snowboraders to respect the ropes at local ski areas and to remain away from closed terrain, especially in the wake of recent storms, which loaded a weak-based snowpack with new weight over the last several weeks.
"With significant storms and new snowfall, we know the temptation to duck ropes is high," Breckenridge Ski Resort spokeswoman Kristen Petitt Stewart said. "However, terrain closures - whether in bounds or out of bounds - are all about guest safety. An area may be closed due to avalanche danger or other safety concerns."