Vermont officials struggle to rein in rogue skiers
KILLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont State Police and tourism and ski industry officials are trying to come up with a plan to deal with skiers who ignore warning signs and get lost in the woods.
In the last several weeks, first responders have had to search for 47 lost skiers and riders, most of them in the Killington-Pico area.
"Whenever we have a good snow year, you're going to have people going off the back side," said Bob Giolito, a state trooper who is a former ski patroller at Killington.
Reaching the rule-breakers is difficult, said Parker Riehle, executive director of the Vermont Ski Areas Association.
"We're talking about 18-28-year-old males, day-ticket purchases from out of state, so the ability to reach them and reach them convincingly, because, don't forget they're ignoring the signs and going under ropes as it is," he said. "It's very difficult to get them to stop or at least do this back country skiing a lot smarter."
Killington has suggested putting up full-size cut outs of state police near its ticket windows with stern warnings about the dangers of skiing out of bounds, Riehle told Vermont Public Radio (http://bit.ly/UwbGaO). Killington also have discussed having public safety personnel at some of the trouble spots during busy weekends, Riehle said.
He also hopes a new public safety campaign that the state plans to launch soon will help curtail the problem.
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