Ski resort will charge snowboarders who needed to be rescued

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 4, 2010 11:25 am

This came out of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network this morning:

“A Maine ski resort says it plans to charge two groups of snowboarders for the costs of rescuing them after they left marked trails and got lost in rugged terrain on Sugarloaf Mountain.

Sugarloaf resort officials told the Lewiston Sun Journal that the snowboarders could also lose pass privileges for endangering rescuers. The resort will now hold all skiers and snowboarders accountable when they fail to heed signage, Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin told the paper.

Five snowboarders went off marked trails Friday at an elevation of about 4,000 feet on the mountain’s rugged backside. They were rescued that night. On Sunday afternoon, four other snowboarders went missing in the same area, and were rescued the following day.

All of them were snowboarding in the so-called Backside Snowfields, which opened for the first time this season. The area is described as a wilderness experience suitable for only the most skilled boarders and skiers, the paper reports.

Austin told MPBN that it would be the first time the resort has assessed rescue charges to a party of individuals.

The Maine Warden Service was also involved in the rescues, but Warden Service spokeswoman Deborah Turcotte told the paper that the agency has not yet decided whether to bill the snowboarders for rescue costs.”