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

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

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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