Skiing Crater Lake Caldera Could Cost You 6 Months In Prison

Skiing Crater Lake Caldera Could Cost You 6 Months In Prison

National Parks

Skiing Crater Lake Caldera Could Cost You 6 Months In Prison

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Park officials are asking for the public’s help identifying a crew of backcountry skiers that poached the Crater Lake caldera. KOBI5 reports a ski patrol volunteer saw several people park their snowmobiles at North Junction Overlook and proceed to ski down to the lake inside the caldera. According to Crater Lake National Park rules and regulations, entering the caldera off-trail is a federal misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in prison:

“Every year, visitors intentionally or accidentally enter the caldera off-trail and many times fall and get injured or worse, or slide uncontrollably and can’t get back out. Rescues may take hours or even go overnight and into the next days as rescuers put their own lives at risk to help others. There are plenty of safer places in the park where you can ski or board the steeps, legally. For suggestions contact the park’s Backcountry Office.” -Crater Lake NP Park Officials

Park officials warn that snow and rocks inside the caldera are unstable and frequently cause slides, also snow can accumulate around the rim creating dangerous cornices for anyone attempting to drop in.  If you’re thinking of shredding the Crater Lake Caldera just don’t. You could injure yourself, risk the safety of rescuers should you need evac, and you could spend 6 months behind bars if caught. NOT WORTH IT!

CRATER LAKE OFFICIAL STATEMENT:

On Friday, a Crater Lake Ski Patrol Volunteer witnessed a group of snowmobilers park their machines at North Junction Overlook and ski down to the lake inside the Crater Lake caldera.

Sound fun? We don’t think so…
Other than being a federal misdemeanor with violators subject to a $5,000 fine or 6 months imprisonment, entering the caldera is extremely dangerous even for the most skilled hikers or skiers/snowboarders. Snow and rocks inside the caldera are unstable and frequently cause rockslides and avalanches. There are often cornices that build around the edge of the rim (thin layers of snow that create an overhang with nothing beneath which breaks off under a person’s weight).

Every year, visitors intentionally or accidentally enter the caldera off-trail and many times fall and get injured or worse, or slide uncontrollably and can’t get back out. Rescues may take hours or even go overnight and into the next days as rescuers put their own lives at risk to help others.

There are plenty of safer places in the park where you can ski or board the steeps, legally. For suggestions contact the park’s Backcountry Office.

Please be respectful of the lake and the laws that protect it (and you).
For more information check out our winter safety video in the link.

If you have any information about this incident, please call NPS Law Enforcement at (541) 594-3060 or you can submit an anonymous tip at https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1563/submit-a-tip.htm

 

 

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