Snowstorms Bring Fresh Powder, More Ski Rescues
02/03/11 5:50PM By Melody Bodette
(Host) With all of the fresh powder from the most recent snowstorm, many people will be heading to the mountains for skiing.
And that raises the possibility of more search and rescue operations for lost skiers.
This week, eight skiers were lost in four separate incidents that required a police response.
In one instance, two technical rescue agencies and police officers had to call in a National Guard helicopter to find a missing backcountry skier on Camel's Hump. That mission took more than ten hours.
State law allows search crews to charge lost skiers for the costs of the rescues. But Stephanie Dasaro of the Vermont State Police says, typically, the state doesn't.
(Dasaro) "The reason being is, our ultimate goal is public safety and we don't want people getting lost and being injured and feeling that they can't call us out of fear of being charged."
(Host) Rescue costs vary depending on the time of day and whether a helicopter is needed.
Police say visitors to ski areas need to follow rules and regulations, which includes staying within resort boundaries.
And Dasaro says backcountry skiers need to take precautions.
(Dasaro) "If you choose to go in the backcountry, we request that people are prepared for anything, prepared for the weather conditions. And always make sure somebody knows where you are. And if you get into trouble, ask for help."
(Host) Dasaro attributes the number of recent incidents to the fact that it's been a good year for snow.