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Skiers and boarders urged to stay safe for spring break

Safety is a key to enjoying your time on the slopes this spring break.

As students and families head for the ski slopes this spring break, the Ministry of Justice and the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) want to remind skiers and boarders to respect the ski area boundaries and closure signs.

Sometimes referred to as 'slackcountry', slang for terrain outside of ski boundaries that is accessible by chairlift, these areas can pose the same risk and deserve the same respect from skiers and boarders as the backcountry.

"It should not be called slackcountry. It is backcountry and it can be dangerous. This spring break, we are urging skiers and snow boarders not to go out of bounds - it can be incredibly hazardous and it is simply not worth the risk. I also want to encourage everyone to make sure that they are aware of the dangers that come with ducking the rope. This is especially important for parents to discuss with their children," said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond.

It is important that those who venture out-of-bounds take all the necessary precautions and that all recreation enthusiasts who choose to do so recognize they are taking some measure of personal risk.

"Crossing a boundary rope is a big decision. Once you're outside the area boundaries you're in the backcountry and you need to be able to take care of yourself and your partners. That means avalanche rescue equipment, first-aid supplies and awareness of the risk you're taking," said acting executive director for the Canadian Avalanche

Centre Karl Klassen.