First, I am curious as to why the story about the lost skier in the Hermosa backcountry (Herald, March 2) is not set to be commented on the website. As a multiyear skier and instructor at Purgatory, I am offended that this article is written in such a light-hearted fashion about something that is very serious.
It takes a planned effort to ski out-of-bounds at Purgatory, and by Alex Maginnis’ own admission and the gear he carried, it was intentional and stupid, considering he was carrying a beacon and probe – gear you would carry if you are skiing with others in the backcountry. It would serve no purpose if you were in the backcountry solo.
Granted, for his loved ones’ sake, I am glad he is OK, but my point is instead of sugarcoating the incident with a make-you-feel-good family reunion, the Herald would have been better to point out the enormous cost of search-and-rescue services, the inconsistency of Maginnis’ story and the stupidity of going out of bounds, no matter how fun it may appear to be.
Maginnis is lucky, and hopefully he is being held accountable for his poor planning and even worse story of how it happened. I believe this story should be an active discussion on the Herald website as it is a great opportunity to highlight how we should never take trips into the backcountry lightly, no matter the season.