Sun Peaks sends message
The directive is clear from Sun Peaks Resort: We don’t tolerate out-of-bounds activity.
“There should be no reason for resort skiers to venture beyond the boundary, particularly with the immense amount of powder within bounds,” said Jamie Tattersfield, who’s been the director of mountain operations at Sun Peaks for 20 years.
“Sun Peaks is regarded as one of the safest destinations in the country. But, like most ski areas in the province, Sun Peaks and local search and rescue respond to lost persons who have purposefully ducked under a roped boundary and ventured knowingly out of bounds.
“These unprepared skiers and snowboarders often make uninformed decisions that lead to a necessary rescue effort.”
Sun Peaks sent a press release to Kamloops media in the wake of two rescues in B.C. earlier this month.
A father and his three teenage sons, visiting from Sweden, spent the night in an out-of-bounds area at Revelstoke Mountain Resort before being rescued on Thursday, Dec. 20.
That incident came just days after a snowboarder was pulled from the wilderness near West Vancouver on Tuesday, Dec. 18. He was lost for two days after venturing out of bounds at Cypress Mountain.
Sun Peaks has received more than 200 centimetres of snow since Dec. 1.
Heavy snow storms reduce visibility, create deep hazardous tree wells and lead to instabilities in the snowpack that can result in avalanches, the Sun Peaks press release said.
There was an avalanche at Sun Peaks in a permanently-closed area, between the Ridge and Challenger trails, on Saturday, Dec. 22.
“Fortunately, nobody was involved, but it is a reminder that closed areas and runs in the ski-area boundary are done so for safety reasons,” read a post on Sun Peaks’ Facebook page.
“Those found in permanently-closed areas within the ski-area boundary will immediately lose their lift privileges. Please do not underestimate the snowpack.”
In cases where the resort is required to conduct a rescue, the individual is responsible and may be charged for the cost of the operation.