Monday, February 21, 2011

Heavy Snows in Lead Attract Dare Devil Snowboarder to Open Cut

Who skied the Open Cut?

Snowboard tracks could be seen in the Open Cut from the Lead Visitor's Center last week. Police are looking for the boarder, who can be charged with trespassing. Courtesy photo by Rhonda Schaffer

By Mark VanGerpen
Black Hills Pioneer
LEAD -- The recent snowfall in Lead apparently made for great ski conditions in the Open Cut. 

Snowboarding tracks were seen on the steep walls last week, evidence of a mysterious boarder and what looks to have been a pretty exciting ride.

Problem is, it was illegal.

The Homestake Mining Company has filed a police report for criminal trespassing with the Lead Police Department about the incident, said Todd Duex, closure manager for the Homestake mine.

“We want to make sure people realize that that could've ended terribly, with a bad break or something else going on,” he said. “We'll prosecute people to the fullest extent of the law if we catch them in there.”

Lead Police Chief John Wainman said the department is “actively chasing down all leads and hope to get prosecution for trespassing.”

“We have some leads,” Wainman said. “It's an active case, and we're currently running down suspects.”

The maximum sentence for trespassing is a $1,000 fine, up to a year in jail, or both.

“It's kind of neat that they did it,” Wainman said, “but this kind of thing gets people hurt or killed.”

Duex said the company maintains a fence around the Open Cut, but a high snow bank allowed the boarder to go over it. The company plans to reduce the bank and improve security on the property.


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