Colorado ski areas and sheriffs are becoming increasingly concerned over liability for dangerous backcountry rescues outside ski area boundaries.
Steamboat ski patrollers have taken part in two dozen rescues this season. Vail is also participating.
Sheriffs and ski areas are listing ski patrollers as members of volunteer search-and-rescue teams who operate under county insurance and worker’s compensation policies, but those policies usually protect only volunteers who are not being paid.
According to the Denver Post, ski areas want to continue to pay their employees while they are out on the search and rescue, but once they volunteer, they need other protection.
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