Sugar Bowl Presses Charges Against Snowboarder Involved in Closed Area Avalanche

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Sugar Bowl is pressing charges against a snowboarder who triggered and rode a closed area avalanche at Sugar Bowl on January 15th, 2016.  We posted the video that the snowboarder posted of the incident here on SnowBrains not knowing that the avalanche was in a closed area nor much else about the video other than it showed a snowboarder in an avalanche he claimed to be at Sugar Bowl.

Video of the Avalanche:

Sugar Bowl’s Official Press Release:

Sugar Bowl Resort Takes Action against Snowboarder Involved in Closed Area Avalanche

On Jan.20.16 – by John Monson

Sugar Bowl will work with Placer County Sheriff’s Department to pursue prosecution

DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2016) — An avalanche triggered by a snowboarder in a closed area of Sugar Bowl Resort on Friday, Jan. 15 has been fully investigated by resort officials, and the snowboarder now faces prosecution.

The Friday avalanche is not connected in any way with the ongoing search for missing Sugar Bowl ski instructor Carson May, who has been missing since Thursday.

Christian Michael Mares triggered an avalanche at approximately 12:45 p.m. on Friday Jan. 15 after knowingly traversing into an area of the East Palisades called “Perco’s,” which has not been open to the public since the 2010/11 ski season. The area is clearly marked as closed from both the Mt. Disney and Mt. Lincoln directions, and it is a very active avalanche area. As such, Mares put himself, his friends, ski patrol and the skiing public at risk.

Normally, when skiers or riders choose to enter into a closed area, resort management will pull the skier’s pass for a duration of time, ban the skier for the remainder of the season or, if serious enough, for multiple seasons. However, since Mares is not a Sugar Bowl season passholder and given the magnitude and severity of this situation, and the fact that patrol, staff and public were put at serious risk from Mares’ decisions and actions, Sugar Bowl has now turned this incident over to the Placer County Sheriff’s Department for prosecution under California Penal Code 602(r), which refers to trespassing into a closed area of a ski resort.

Sugar Bowl Resort places the highest priority on the safety of its guests and employees. The irresponsible and reckless decision to snowboard or ski in closed terrain endangers other skiers and ski patrol, and will not be tolerated. Sugar Bowl Resort urges all skiers and riders to respect terrain closures and mountain signage for their own safety and the safety of others.


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6 thoughts on “Sugar Bowl Presses Charges Against Snowboarder Involved in Closed Area Avalanche

  1. And had the audacity to post his stupidness on social media?
    Bwahahahaha Dude just gives good riders a bad rap.
    #dumba$$ feel sorry for whoever raised that fool….

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +3 (3 votes)
  2. I can see they have backpacks with shovels/probes and I’m sure each one of them had beacons under their jackets. Ignorance is bliss…

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +2 (2 votes)
  3. what pisses me off is there is a young ski instructor at that same ski resort that is lost somewhere up there. and these low life, brainless, jerks are making avalanches. Just heart breakig,,,, Throw the book at him….

    Heart Broken

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +2 (2 votes)
  4. Sugar Bowl is known for having lax closures that aren’t exactly up to par with legal standards, is it possible these riders entered this area without passing within clearly visible distance of a closed sign or rope? I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the case.

    And about the charges, are all of the riders being charged with violating the skier safety act, or just the one who triggered the slide? Triggering avalanches is not illegal, entering an area that is properly and legally closed is, so if Sugar Bowl had indeed had legal closures posted then all three of the riders should be charged equally, otherwise this is a case of selective prosecution and a counter suit would be possible. There is also circumstantial evidence that proves the public was not put at risk, because this slide did not enter an open area where people were legally allowed to ski.

    The best thing Sugar Bowl can do in this situation is revoke lift access privileges from these riders, and drop the charges against any and each individual who is being charged.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 (1 vote)

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