It's a month into ski season, and once again we find ourselves wagging our fingers at out-of-bounds skiers and snowboarders.
Last week, a man almost lost his life when he ducked under a boundary rope at Cypress Mountain and got stranded in the snowy ravines west of the resort. He survived thanks to his own fortitude and to the rescuers who spent close to 48 hours scouring brutal terrain trying to find him.
Although the victim is reportedly experienced in the outdoors, his decision to venture out of bounds was foolish in the extreme.
Many areas outside the North Shore's marked runs are dangerously steep and shaped in a way that funnels boarders into inescapable canyons.
By ignoring the posted warnings, he not only endangered himself, but also consumed police, resort staff and military resources - and put at risk the volunteers who finally located him.
As always, commentators are calling for the lost man to pay the costs of the operation, but as the rescuers themselves point out, this would only discourage others from contacting the authorities when they're in need and ultimately endanger the friends they call on instead.
As in countless similar cases, our only recourse is to shake our heads and hope the victim's experience helps others.
If you're a skier or a snowboarder, note this event and take its simple lesson to heart: Stay in bounds.
More importantly, tell others.
Perhaps if we keep repeating the message, we can avoid a worse outcome in future.
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