Crystal Mountain skiers face fines, charges for skiing in closed terrain

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File photo of Crystal Mountain

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. — Two skiers at Crystal Mountain Resort face fines of up to $1,000 after ducking under a rope and skiing in an area closed due to avalanche danger.

The News Tribune says it’s the first time Crystal has pushed for charges under a 2011 law that says it’s a misdemeanor to use closed terrain at a ski area.

Ski patrol director Kim Kircher says they want to send a message that they are serious about closures.

Kircher says a resort worker saw the men heading into the closed area called Southback this week. The ski patrol was doing avalanche control the area using explosive charges.

The first explosion hit just above the skiers and triggered a small avalanche. The second triggered a larger avalanche adjacent to the skiers.

Kircher says the skiers were lucky they didn’t get caught in the avalanches.

The resort didn’t name the skiers, but said one was an employee who has been fired.

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