My Turn: Spare other families our grief | SierraSun.com

My Turn: Spare other families our grief

Alpine Meadows’ statement (“Safety group names board” Nov. 22 Sierra Sun) that Jessica Gregorie plunged to her death “outside the resort’s boundaries” is highly misleading.

Alpine strongly promotes to its customers the experience of the “Adventure Zones of Estelle and Beaver Bowls.” Yet, Alpine fails to mention the only way to get to the top of those slopes is to leave the groomed resort and travel through an out-of-bounds, un-groomed, unmarked, steep expanse known as the High Beaver Traverse.

It is there that Jessica slipped and fell on icy terrain with no warning of the dangerous conditions or that she was out of bounds. The traverse is particularly risky for snowboarders such as Jessica because ” unlike skiers ” they must remove and carry their boards to ascend an incline.

In addition, contrary to Alpine’s claim that this territory “is denoted with a sign posted by the resort,” at the time of Jessica’s death and for long afterwards, there was no such signage and no warning signs at the traverse entrance or in clear view along the traverse. Proper signage would have advised that a customer was about to go out of bounds, into extreme terrain, and faced the risk of serious injury or death from the close proximity of cliffs plunging hundreds of feet.

Finally, contrary to Alpine’s claim, Jessica slipped while lunging after her dropped snowboard ” the truth of the matter is Jessica lost her balance as a result of the icy conditions and dropped her board as she fell.

Our hope is that the new owners of Alpine will deploy appropriate signage as well as other safety measures to prevent further serious injury or death, and spare other families our grief.