UPDATE: Lawsuit Against Vail Begins | Patrollers Never Knew that People Hiked Up

Greg Obernesser | | Industry NewsIndustry News
The top entrance to the “Prima Cornice” run at Vail Mountain. Credit: Vail Daily

Day two of the Taft Conlin case has commenced with skiers and Vail Ski Patrol to take the stand. According to the Vail Daily, the topic of ‘skiers’ right’ will be up for discussion, which is skiers entering the ‘Prima Cornice” lower gate and hiking up to the right to get to better terrain. Taft Conlin passed away January 22nd 2012 in an inbounds avalanche. That year the resort had received little to no snow.

Dr. Louise Ingalls looks over photographs of her son, Taft Conlin, in Taft’s room at her home in Eagle. Credit: Vail Daily

The prosecution is saying that skiers did it all the time. John Ryan, a skier who made about 10 laps on Prima Cornice that day, testified that people made that hike all the time and had seen people doing it that day. According to his statement, he had seen a boy attempt to ski the aspect and saw a plume of snow. The boy was pinned in a tree well, bleeding from the face, but otherwise good to ski away. After that event, Ryan had seen a group and said they were missing a someone in their group. They then alerted Vail Ski Patrol.

taft conlin
Louise Ingalls in Taft’s empty room. Credit: Vail Daily

The defense is saying skiers did not do it to their knowledge. Keith Reihe, a veteran Vail Ski Patroller who was on his 17th year on the job when the incident occurred, stated he had no knowledge that people made the climb to the right. He said he would use gravity, come in and ski down. Reihe was off the weekend of the accident but was assigned to investigate. He stated that he had seen tracks between the upper and lower gate of Prima Cornice, but could not tell the direction they were coming from.

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