Altitude is more than you think. Even professional bike racers are worried about the altitude in Aspen

The conversation at the pre-race press conference and the press conference after stage one was the concern about the altitude.

Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team had this to say about the altitude

“I am by no means a pure sprinter, but this course is a bit of a slap in the face, what a tough way to start a stage race. It’s a really deceptive stage. It’s difficult to control and it’s really unpredictable. I’m still out of breath and it’s been more than an hour since the finish, and I was already at altitude to begin with.”

Alex Howes (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp

“I myself am a victim of the high altitude. It was pretty relaxed for the first third of the race, but that last lap really heated it up and it was just full gas from there on. You see a lot of punch and lift from riders toward the end, and that’s not really something you see at this kind of altitude. It’s pretty exciting to see that out here.”

Colorado Resident Kiel Reijnen Takes Stage 1 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge

Crowds of Cheering Fans Lined the Streets of Downtown Aspen to Greet the Best Riders in the World

Aspen, Colo. (Aug. 18, 2014) – Set against the beautiful backdrop of Aspen and Snowmass, the 2014 USA Pro Challenge got off to an exciting start with a circuit race of three 22-miles laps that included 2,300 ft. of climbing per lap, creating an aggressive day of racing. Colorado Resident Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team took home the stage win, which also puts him in the overall lead heading into the second day of racing.

“This stage was really exciting last year. It was a nail-biter and this year was the same,” said Reijnen. “The USA Pro Challenge is a huge goal for our team. Everyone is here watching and it’s really important to the team we do well here.”

In a close finish, Reijnen took the stage win, followed by Howes in second and Ben Hermans (BEL) of BMC Racing Team in third.

After the conclusion of the first stage of the USA Pro Challenge, Reijnen holds the Smashburger Leader Jersey, Lexus Sprint Jersey and, new for this year, the Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey . Jacques-Maynes has the Sierra Nevada King of the Mountains Jersey and Summerhill was awarded the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey. Clement Chevrier (FRA) of Bissell Development Team has the Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey heading into Stage 2 tomorrow.

IMG_6199 IMG_6249 IMG_6293

 

 


Attractive Nuisance cases are rare, even rarer when it involves a ski area and ski lessons, let alone a collision case

This is an early collision case and shows the development of alpine ski collision cases. This case also examines how courts review the Colorado Ski Safety Act and whether it conflicted with Colorado’s Premise Liability Statute.

Giebink v. Fischer, 709 F. Supp. 1012; 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7791

Plaintiff: James C. Giebink and Roxanne Johnson-Giebink, as parents and natural guardians of Michael Giebink, a minor; James C. Giebink, individually and Roxanne Johnson Giebink, individually, Plaintiffs

Defendant: Robert Fischer, as parent and natural guardian of Kevin Fischer, a minor; Robert Fischer, an individual and Aspen Skiing Corporation, a Colorado corporation, aka Aspen Skiing Company, and Jennifer Catherine Lang, Defendants

Plaintiff Claims:

Defendant Ski Area: negligent maintenance of the premises; C.R.S. 13-21-115, alleging that ASC “deliberately failed to exercise reasonable care to protect persons such as the minor Plaintiff, against dangers which were not ordinarily present on the aforesaid property despite the fact that Defendant actually knew or should have known of said dangers; and,

Under an attractive nuisance theory.

Defendant Ski School is liable for the negligent supervision of Michael by its agents and/or employees during the course of Michael’s ski lesson; and,

For negligent supervision and instruction of Michael while enrolled in the ski school.

Defendant Defenses: Colorado Skier Safety Act

Holding: partially for the plaintiff and for the defendant

This case was filed in federal district court gave rise to this decision based on motions to dismiss filed by the defendants’ ski area and ski school. The motions were an attempt to dismiss the majority of the plaintiff’s claims, to weaken their position and their case.

The defendant was skiing at Snowmass Mountain Resort when the defendant allegedly collided with the plaintiff. At the time of the collision, the plaintiff was enrolled in a ski lesson with the defendant ski school. The defendant skier was “lured” to a roll or jump on the slope which he went over colliding with the plaintiff. It was this roll that was defined as the property creating the attractive nuisance.

This was a different approach to attractive nuisance. Attractive nuisance is normally used to recover from a landowner when something on the land attracted the minor on to the land resulting in the minor being injured. Here the minor who was attracted to land, was legally on the land and caused injury to another.

The court classified the plaintiff as an invited guest and customer of Snowmass. This definition took in both statutes the court was going to have to decide in this case, the Colorado Ski Safety Act and the Colorado’s Premises Liability Statute’

Summary of the case

The court first looked at the plaintiff’s allegations that the Colorado Ski Safety Act violated Colorado’s Premises Liability Statute and as such was unconstitutional. Under the Premises Liability Statute, the duty owed to the plaintiff would be as a business invitee which is the highest degree of care owed to someone on your land and a much higher degree of care than required under the ski safety act. The premise’s liability statute defines the liability of a business invitee as:

If the landowner has expressly or impliedly invited the plaintiff onto the real property for the purposes of the landowner, the plaintiff may recover for damages caused by the landowner’s deliberate failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers, which are not ordinarily present on property of the type involved and of which he actually knew.

The court found the statutes did not conflict because statutes were directed at different types of “dangerous activities and conditions.”

The court then reviewed the plaintiff’s argument that the defendant ski area failed to protect the plaintiff from dangers it should have known. The claim was based on a statute that requires actual knowledge. In this case, it means the defendant would have to have known the defendant skier was going to collide with the plaintiff. The knowledge required was more than foreseeable; it had to be actual to create liability.

The Ski Safety Act imposes specific duties upon ski operators as a means of protecting skiers against dangerous conditions that are commonly present at ski areas. In general, it does not protect against dangers arising from conditions or activities which are not ordinarily present at ski areas.

In contrast, the premises liability statute imposes liability against all landowners for conditions, or activities conducted on, or circumstances existing on his or her property. “If the landowner has expressly or impliedly invited the plaintiff onto the real property for the purposes of the landowner, the plaintiff may recover for damages caused by the landowner’s deliberate failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers which are not ordinarily present on property of the type involved and of which he actually knew.”

Not to hold this way, the court stated, it would subject ski area operators to greater liability than other landowners. Because the plaintiff failed to make any claims under the Ski Safety Act, only claims under the Premises Liability Act the plaintiff was out on his negligence claims. Without the Premises Liability Act to support the claims, the claims failed when the Premises Liability Act was held not to supersede the Ski Area Safety Act.

However, the court reasoned the plaintiff’s claims of negligent supervision were not based on the premise’s liability statute those claims were allowed to continue. “Instructing people in the sport of skiing is not inherently related to the land.”

The attractive nuisance claims were also dismissed.

The purpose of the doctrine is to protect children from hazards, which tend to attract them onto property. By allowing the doctrine to survive the enactment of the premise’s liability statute, the Legislature evidenced an intent to give children under the age of fourteen protections beyond that which is now available to other persons. This protection logically should extend to children, regardless of their status as a trespasser, licensee, or invitee.

The doctrine only applies to features on the land that are unnatural and unusual.

The doctrine requires that the object be unnatural and unusual. This limitation protects landowners from liability for conditions, which are present on their property of which children should reasonably recognize the associated dangers.

Because the roll was natural and not unusual, the roll was not an attractive nuisance.

A possessor of land is . . . under a duty to keep so much of his land as he knows to be subject to the trespasses of young children, free from artificial conditions which involve an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to  them. This does not require him to keep his land free from conditions which even young children are likely to observe and the full extent of the risk involved in which they are likely to realize. The purpose of the duty is to protect children from dangers which they are unlikely to appreciate and not to protect them against harm resulting from their own immature recklessness in the case of known danger.  Therefore, even though the condition is one which the possessor should realize to be such that young children are unlikely to realize the full extent of the danger of meddling with it or encountering it, the possessor is not subject to liability to a child who in fact discovers the condition and appreciates the full risk involved therein but none the less chooses to encounter it out of recklessness or bravado.

The court dismissed the claims based on conditions of the land, but not those based on general negligence that were not based on the land.

So Now What?

This case has little direction for ski areas. However, it is a fundamental building block in Colorado law for the ski industry. The case also shows how a court determines which of two statutes will be controlling and how that decision is made by the courts.

The legal doctrine of attractive nuisance is also fading and not used much anymore. However, this case is a good analysis of the attractive nuisance doctrine. Here you can see that unnatural things on your land, which attract minors, under the age of 14, that causes injury to the minor can hold the landowner liable. Normally, a landowner would not be liable in this situation to a trespasser.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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By Recreation Law       Rec-law@recreation-law.com              James H. Moss               #Authorrank

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2012-2013 In bound ski/board fatalities

This list is not guaranteed to be accurate. The information is found from web searches and news dispatches. Those references are part of the chart. If you have a source for information on any fatality please leave a comment or contact me. Thank you.

Several Corrections have been made to items reported earlier.

If this information is incorrect or incomplete please let me know.  This is up to date as of March 28, 2013. Thanks.

Skiing and Snowboarding are still safer than your kitchen or bathroom. This information is not to scare you away from skiing but to help you understand the risks and to study.

2012 – 2013 Ski Season Deaths

Blue is a death of an employee while working

# Date State Resort Where How Ski / Board Age Sex Hometown Helmet Ref Ref
1 12/2 MI Boyne Highlands Resort Camelot fell within the slope boundaries and did not collide with any type of obstacle Boarder 17 F Alanson, MI http://rec-law.us/11JFVOo
2 12/21 CA Squaw Valley KT-22 strike the tree Skier 71 M Auburn, CA Yes http://rec-law.us/10ctrSt
3 12/24 CA Donner Ski Ranch Avalanche Boarder 49 M Hirschdale, CA http://rec-law.us/UCaHJz http://rec-law.us/Sgjsbi
4 12/24 CA Alpine Meadows Sherwood Bowl Avalanche Skier 53 M http://rec-law.us/13eiU72 http://rec-law.us/VGsqh5
5 12/30 CO Snowmass Hanging Valley Headwall Avalanche, swept over cliff Skier 49 F Patricia Hileman http://rec-law.us/RCv6fd http://rec-law.us/VOCr8H
6 1/4 CO Copper Mountain Vein Glory Hit Tree M Houston, TX No http://rec-law.us/RCy03u http://rec-law.us/VyzVnU
7 1/9 CO Keystone Frenchman Hit Tree Skier 20 F Austin, TX No http://rec-law.us/VSGVvz http://rec-law.us/WGPsjQ
8 1/9 CO Wolf Creek Hit Tree Skier 70 M Pagosa Springs, CO http://rec-law.us/XVWEj2
9 1/19 MD Wisp Squirrel Cage Hit tree Skier 40 M Rockville, MD http://rec-law.us/XPB9wz http://rec-law.us/UJnfeK
10 1/21 UT Park City Silver King Hit tree Skier 67 M NJ No http://rec-law.us/YchKpN http://rec-law.us/Wm6mrQ
11 2/3 CA Mammoth Lakes Wipe Out 2 Fell Skier M http://rec-law.us/14BKzzk
12 2/4 CO Aspen Mountain Jackpot run Collision Skier 48 F Philadelphia, PA Yes http://rec-law.us/YCh1hM http://rec-law.us/YChb8O
13 2/8 CO Keystone Porcupine Hit Tree Skier 27 M Palos Hills, IL (Hillman AFB NM) Yes http://rec-law.us/XbsYsL http://rec-law.us/XPtHkJ
14 2/10 CO Breckenridge Columbia Hit Tree Skier 45 M Reston, VA Yes http://rec-law.us/YtRJ3y http://rec-law.us/Ujx85e
15 2/22 MD Wisp Squirrel Cage Hit Tree Skier 38 M Upper Arlington, OH http://rec-law.us/133BO30 http://rec-law.us/UZfW57
16 3/2 WI Devils Head Ski Resort Hit Tree Skier 30 M Madison, WI http://rec-law.us/13Grw9f http://rec-law.us/WUwUUw
17 NJ Mountain Creek Hit surface Skier M No Email
18 3/13 ID Sun Valley Resort Roundhouse Lane Hit Tree Skier 38 F Hailey, ID Yes http://rec-law.us/140BJ0o
19 3/16 CA China Peak Mountain Resort Fell and/or hit stump Skier 49 M Fresno, CA Yes http://rec-law.us/YOYIHa
20 3/21 CO Steamboat Springs Ski Resort Hit Tree Skier 35 M http://rec-law.us/105wEOX
21 3/22 CO Snowmass Ski Area Coney Glade run & Lunchline trails Hit Tree Skier 42 M Kensington, Md Yes http://rec-law.us/ZkmHej http://rec-law.us/13pmmPR
22 3/27 UT Brighton Ski Area Found wrapped around tree Boarder 26 M Sandy, UT Yes http://rec-law.us/10m67gi http://rec-law.us/X0cqY7
23 3/3 UT Deer Valley Little Bell Hit Tree Skier 33 M No http://rec-law.us/13W2zI7 http://rec-law.us/16ztlSh
24 4/12 OR Mt Hood Meadows Hit Tree Skier 51 M Yes http://rec-law.us/15aIFse

There is a rumor, unsubstantiated of a fatality at a Colorado Ski Area. Supposedly a skier hit a tree.

Our condolences go to the families of the deceased. Our thoughts extend to the families and staff at the areas who have to deal with these tragedies.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

Copyright 2013 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law

jim@rec-law.us

Twitter: RecreationLaw

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2012-2013 In bound ski/board fatalities

This list is not guaranteed to be accurate. The information is found from web searches and news dispatches. Those references are part of the chart. If you have a source for information on any fatality please leave a comment or contact me. Thank you.

Several Corrections have been made to items reported earlier.

If this information is incorrect or incomplete please let me know.  This is up to date as of January 8, 2013. Thanks.

Skiing and Snowboarding are still safer than your kitchen or bathroom. This information is not to scare you away from skiing but to help you understand the risks and to study.

2012 – 2013 Ski Season Deaths

Red is a probable death due to medical issues unrelated to skiing

Dark blue is a death of an employee while working

Tab through the Table to See the Entire Table

# Date State Resort Where How Cause Ski/Board Age Sex Name Home town Helmet Reference
1 11/29/12 ID Sun Valley ski resort Bald Mountain Chairlift Fell off (Medical?) 56 M Dana Mower Sun Valley, ID & Seattle, WA http://rec-law.us/Vi4ims http://rec-law.us/TyVnKu
2 12/1/12 CO Keystone Resort River Run Gondola Maze Standing in Maze (Medical) Skier 66 M Rex Brian Burton Castle Rock, CO http://rec-law.us/SCZHXJ http://rec-law.us/YkDioj http://rec-law.us/UjBMfK
3 12/2/12 MI Boyne Highlands Resort Camelot, (Beginner) fell within the slope boundaries and did not collide with any type of obstacle . Boarder 17 F Kasandra Knapp Alanson, MI http://rec-law.us/11JFVOo
4 12/9 CO Vail Born Free trail Hiking before resort opened (Medical) 61 M Denver http://rec-law.us/Zg0OC1
5 12/9 CO Vail Eagle Bahn Gondola (Medical) 63 M Douglas Voisard Vail http://rec-law.us/Zg0OC1
6 12/21 CA Squaw Valley KT-22 strike the tree, hitting the left side of his head Skier 71 M Theodore Stanley Sorensen Auburn, CA Yes http://rec-law.us/10ctrSt
7 12/24 CA Donner Ski Ranch Avalanche Boarder 49 M Steven Mark Anderson Hirschdale http://rec-law.us/UCaHJz http://rec-law.us/Sgjsbi
8 12/24 CA Alpine Meadows Sherwood Bowl Avalanche Skier 53 M Bill Foster http://rec-law.us/13eiU72 http://rec-law.us/VGsqh5
9 12/30 CO Snowmass Hanging Valley Headwall Avalanche Swept over cliff Skier 49 F Patricia “Patsy” Hileman http://rec-law.us/RCv6fd http://rec-law.us/VOCr8H
10 1/4 CO Copper Mountain Vein Glory Hit tree M Tristan Bartlett Houston, TX No http://rec-law.us/RCy03u http://rec-law.us/VyzVnU http://rec-law.us/WoJEf5

Our condolences go to the families of the deceased. Our thoughts extend to the families and staff at the areas who have to deal with these tragedies.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

Copyright 2013 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law

blog@rec-law.us

Twitter: RecreationLaw

Facebook: Rec.Law.Now

Facebook Page: Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Travel Law

Blog:www.recreation-law.com

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