Demonstarting how seriously Colorado ski areas take the risk posed to skiers who enter closed areas, five skiers were charged Saturday at Aspen Highlands for violating the state’s Ski Safety Act after allegedly skiing in a closed area at the top of Highland Bowl. A Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy issued each skier a court summons, and all face a maximum fine of $1,000 each.
All five of the skiers are Colorado residents, male and in their twenties. Two of the skiers identified themselves as seasonal Aspen residents.
Avalanche danger is the greatest concern for those who venture out of bounds or into closed areas. The first ski death in Colorado occurred in December when a skier in Aspen was caught in an avalanche outside the ski-area boundary. The skier, a local who lived in Old Snowmass, was trapped beneath a slide approximately 100 yards long and 30 yards wide in an area known as Power Line.