Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Off limits

Here's a lesson in personal responsibility. The Associated Press reported today that the snowmobilers who were killed in a New Year's Day avalanche were in the Neota Wilderness Area, a trailless area northwest of Denver where motorized vehicles are prohibited. The men and their group had apparently met up with a Colorado man who showed them a place where they could "high mark," a popular activity for snowmobiliers who compete to see who can get the farthest up a steep hill. The Coloradan said there was no sign informing them they were in a wilderness area, which is where the lesson comes in: If you head out to play in Colorado's backcountry in the winter, check a map first. Wilderness regulations aren't taken lightly and sometimes signs are buried in the snow. In this case, the Forest Service says it is investigating, and the party could be fined. - Deb

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