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Ski resort seeks prosecution of snowboarder accused of triggering avalanche

Watch Sugar Bowl snowboarder get caught in avalanche, survive (explicit language)

Christian Michael Mares triggered an avalanche while snowboarding in a closed area of Sugar Bowl Resort in the Sierra on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. The terrifying moment was caught on iPhone and GoPro cameras. Placer County sheriff's officials said th
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Christian Michael Mares triggered an avalanche while snowboarding in a closed area of Sugar Bowl Resort in the Sierra on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. The terrifying moment was caught on iPhone and GoPro cameras. Placer County sheriff's officials said th

Sugar Bowl Resort and Placer County sheriff’s officials say they will seek prosecution of a snowboarder accused of triggering an avalanche in a closed area of the resort Friday.

The avalanche is not related to the search for ski instructor Carson May, who went missing a day earlier, according to a Sugar Bowl resort new release issued Wednesday.

Christian Michael Mares is accused of triggering an avalanche about 12:45 p.m. Friday after knowingly traversing an area of the East Palisades called “Perco’s,” which has not been open to the public since the 2010-11 ski season. Officials said the area is clearly marked as closed from both the Mount Disney and Mount Lincoln directions and is a very active avalanche area.

Sugar Bowl officials said Mares put himself, his friends, ski patrol members and the skiing public at risk.

Christian Mares and friends captured the terrifying moment with iPhone and GoPro cameras, and the video is going viral.

Incident turned over to Sheriff’s Office

Normally, when skiers or snowboarders choose to enter a closed area, resort management pulls the skiers pass for a period of time, banning the skier for the remainder of the season or, if serious enough, for multiple seasons. But Mares is not a Sugar Bowl season pass-holder and, given the severity of the situation, Sugar Bowl has turned the incident over to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office for prosecution, according to the news release.

Sheriff’s officials confirmed that they are referring the matter to the Placer County District Attorney’s Office.

Search continues for Sugar Bowl ski instructor Carson May.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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