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Vail Changes Gate-Closure Protocol After Deadly Slide


In the wake of an avalanche that killed a teenager last winter, Vail Resorts has changed its gate-closure protocol to better protect skiers.


A day after a storm dropped nine inches of snow, on Jan. 22, 2012, Taft Conlin, 13, and his friends entered Prima Cornice through an open lower gate and then hiked uphill about 120 linear feet into terrain that was in-bounds but apparently closed due to avalanche danger. The upper gate that accesses the terrain was closed. The group of five followed tracks and sidestepped into the upper Prima Cornice area, until two of the skiers changed their minds and skied down to a bench to watch their friends. 


The other three skiers continued their ascent.


Soon after, an avalanche roughly 200 feet wide and 18 inches deep swept the trio down the mountain. The slide carried Conlin the farthest — and into a spruce tree. The boy was found partially buried, according to a report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). The other two skiers ... read the rest of the story at Vailbusinessjournal.com


Photo: Vailbusinessjournal.com 

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