Disputed Facts Result in Settlement

A 2016 ski collision involving a Snowmass Village resident and a New Mexico man volunteering as a guide for disabled veterans resulted in a federal lawsuit. The case illustrates how complicated the dynamics of a ski collision can be. The controlling rule typically is that the uphill skier has the duty to avoid the downhill skier. But skiers also have a duty to not stop or position themselves in a blind spot. In the reported fact pattern, the downhill skier with the tethered disabled vet allegedly stopped below a ridge on the trail, not visible to uphill skiers. The uphill…

Smith Ski Helmets Recalled

A good ski helmet is essential when enjoying the slopes, but even when you purchase a high-end name brand you might not be protected. Smith has voluntarily issued a recall for all 2016 and 2017 Smith Quantum ski and snowboard helmets. They were sold in in sizes S, M, L and XL in matte black/charcoal, matte white/charcoal, matte Fire (red) /charcoal, matte Klein Blue (blue), matte olive green, matte Reactor (bright green) /black and matte Thunder gray (gray) color combinations. Consumers should look for Smith Quantum printed on a label inside the helmet along with the manufacturing dates. The buckle…

Fatal Colorado Lift Accident

An lift accident involving two youngsters and one female adult occurred at Ski Granby Ranch this morning. Around 9:30AM, the three guests fell from a chair on the Quickdraw Express lift. Local reports identify the family as visiting from Texas, the three victims included a 40-year-old mother and daughters aged 9 and 12 years old. The Granby Police Department issued a press release confirming that the mother had died as a result of the fall. One of the children was transported by Flight for Life to Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. The other child remains at Middle Park Medical Center…


Ski Rage Results in Lawsuit

Last Valentine’s Day, a 12-year-old fell while skiing at Mountain Creek, a small ski resort in New Jersey. The youngster slid into Samuel Caruthers and his child. Caruthers, an anesthesiologist, responded in a fit of “ski rage”. The prosecutor's office stated that the doctor repeatedly punched the boy in the face and poked him in the chest with the pointed end of a ski pole. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the boy visibly injured. Samuel Caruthers was then indicted by a Sussex County grand jury in May on charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a…

Extreme Skier Dies in Chilean Avalanche

Swedish professional skier Matilda Rapport was in Farellones, Chile last week when she was caught in a winter storm and then buried in an avalanche. On July 14 she was filming for a new videogame by Ubisoft, Steep. Sponsored by Red Bull, the 30-year-old was recently married. Red Bull issued a statement that Rapport was hospitalized but eventually succumbed to the result of oxygen deprivation. A sad reminder that even the professionals cannot predict the dangers of extreme skiing.

Colorado Supreme Court Rules on In-Bounds Avalanche Risk

Today the Colorado Supreme Court issued the ruling in 2016 CO 41, 14SC224 - Fleury v. IntraWest, affirmed the decision of the lower courts and holding that in-bound avalanches are an inherent risk as defined by the Colorado Ski Safety Act. The headnote states: The Colorado Supreme Court holds that an avalanche that occurs within the bounds of a ski resort qualifies as an "inherent danger and risk of skiing" under the Ski Safety Act of 1979, §§ 33-44-101 to -114, C.R.S. (2015). The definition of “inherent dangers and risks of skiing” in section 33-44-103(3.5), C.R.S. (2015), specifically includes “snow…

Another Case of Ski Rage

A New Jersey anesthesiologist was arrested on Valentine's Day in an apparent "ski rage” incident involving a 12-year-old boy at Mountain Creek ski resort in Vernon, N.J. Mountain Creek is the closest ski area to New York City. Dr. Samuel G. Caruthers, 44, of Mountain Lakes, punched the boy in the mouth and struck him with the end of a ski pole during the assault at the ski resort on Sunday afternoon, Vernon police Lt. Keith Kimkowski said in a news release. Caruthers was skiing with his own child when the 12-year-old boy fell into them, prompting the assault, Kimkowski…

Another New England Lift Mishap

Forty-eight people were rescued from two cars that became stranded on the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway Sunday afternoon. All forty-eight passengers, including an 8-month-old girl, were stranded for about two hours before being rescued. The tramway system has two cars that move at the same time; one leaves the bottom terminal and one leaves the top terminal. A statement issued by Cannon Mountain its website said that both cars came to a stop roughly 50-75 feet from their destinations due to a mechanical issue that caused the braking system to engage and get stuck. The lower tram car was suspended…

Early Season Fatal Accidents

Two experienced female skiers suffered fatal injuries this past week. Both apparently lost control and collided into a tree. Officials report that a nine-year old Calgarian, a member of the Mount Allen ski team, crashed into a tree at Nakiska Ski Resort. On Sunday, the girl was found unconscious and unresponsive by other skiers around 1 p.m. She was treated at the resort, and then rushed to Alberta Children’s Hospital. The girl, whose name has not been released, died in hospital later Sunday. It’s not known exactly how it happened, but Alberta Alpine said the young girl was skiing with…