Extreme avalanche conditions and recent avalanche deaths at many resorts have led to stronger enforcement of boundary rules. Read the full article in The Aspen Times.

ASPEN — Three powder poachers were arrested Sunday for skiing in a closed area at Aspen Highlands.

The skiers names haven’t been released by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office but officials have confirmed they were each issued a summons for violating the state’s skier safety act.

Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said the skiers went into the G-9 portion of Highland Bowl, which is out of bounds.

Typically, those caught skiing or boarding in closed sections of the mountain are subject to having their ski passes or lift tickets revoked. But this season is not typical.

“Anyone in this kind of terrain and in these kinds of conditions is going to be subject to the maximum penalty,” Hanle said, adding avalanche danger is extreme and deaths are occurring locally and at other ski areas as a result of people heading into the unstable backcountry.

“The message is ‘don’t do it’ and if [arrests are] what it takes to save lives then that is what it takes,” Hanle added.