COVID-19 triggers mountain safety concerns
Avalanche experts and mountain communities in the U.S. are bracing for winter as COVID-19 drives a growing number of skiers and snowboarders away from resorts and into the backcountry. A dangerous recreational shift that could leave a costly mark. With ski resorts closed or limiting access, Jim Donovan, director of Colorado's Silverton Avalanche School says people have been pouring into the backcountry in search of places to ski and snowboard. Many of them inexperienced with the threat of avalanches.
■Class discussion: Why do some people risk their lives to participate in a sport? Do you find “extreme” sports exciting? Why or why not? Would you be willing to risk your life to participate in a sport? Have you ever done so? Is it irresponsible to put rescue workers and others at risk by engaging in dangerous behavior? Should a person be forced pay the cost of their own rescue if they take unnecessary risks or ignore safety rules? Do you think the possibility of thousands of dollars in fines could deter thrill-seeking risk takers?