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VT Ski Areas, Police Struggle With Out of Bounds Rescues

Skiers and snowboarders tempted by copious December snowfall in Vermont's woods have been getting lost at a feverish pace recently. In the past two weeks alone, some 45 rescues have taken place, most deep in the night, for people who've ventured past the boundaries of resorts like Killington, where the majority of the incidents have taken place. And while ski patrol is responsible for in-bounds accidents, the responsibility for rescuing overzealous powder hounds from the thick hardwoods of the Green Mountains lies mostly on state cops, who have had to dedicate upwards of 35 people for an average of four to five hours for each rescue.

Luckily, all 45 rescues have been successful with no incident, even the dozen who got lost at Killington over a single weekend. But the State Police are at a crossroads. While it is within their legal rights to charge the victim for the cost of the rescue, only a few have so far, with most opting to swallow the cost in the hopes that lost skiers won't delay or forego a rescue call because they're concerned about the bill at the end. Although it's not been mentioned thus far, strapped municipal budgets are undoubtedly forcing police chiefs to reconsider their skier rescue policies.
· Notes: Lost skiers and riders an increasing problem [The Boston Globe]