Yesterday, Chris & Tony went snowboarding at Crystal with Ira. Ira used to go boarding with us frequently until about 2 seasons ago when he broke his wrist. After taking some time off, he decided that he was ready to start boarding again. I love Ira, but he did a very stupid thing which put himself and my husband in danger.
Ira isn't very familiar with Crystal - he's a Steven's Pass boarder typically. Chris separated from Tony & Ira to go look for some other friends on a different part of the mountain. Tony & Ira headed up Chair 6 with the intention of doing the bowl over there. Well, Ira jumped off the lift and before Tony knew it, he saw him go under a boundary rope.* At first, Tony thought he might have slipped under the rope by accident. He waited at top expecting Ira to climb back up. After about 10 minutes, Tony decided to go find Ira. He told some people that were there what he was doing and gave him his name and Ira's name. Tony followed Ira's trail (this was easy since the snow was untouched) until he came upon Ira under a tree. Fortunately, he didn't fall into the tree well, but he did run into the tree and hit his head.
So it seems that Ira purposely went under the rope because he wanted to get the fresh lines in the untouched snow. This displeased Tony greatly. To make a long story short, Tony & Ira had to hike many miles to get to Chris who was waiting for them at the road. At one point, they ran into a couple of skiers who had a cell phone that had reception. Tony was able to call Chris to tell him the situation.
They arrived home a few hours later than expected. After Tony recapped the story to me, it seemed apparent that Ira had a slight concussion. Tony thought that he might have had too much to drink but Ira hadn't had that much at all. He was having trouble keeping his balance and was making foolish decisions the whole time Tony was trying to get them out of the situation and to safety. It didn't dawn on Tony that he was acting like that due to his head injury.
Needless to say, Tony & Chris will not be snowboarding with Ira again at Crystal. I also don't think Ira will do something that stupid again. If Tony didn't follow Ira to make sure he was OK, Ira would have gotten lost on that mountain.
*For those who are unfamiliar with ski resorts - they set a boundary of the resort. If you cross the boundary ropes, you head into unpatrolled areas that you aren't meant to be in. If you get hurt, there is no ski patrol to come rescue you. There is also no avalanche control in these areas.