The top entrance to the Prima ...

The top entrance to the Prima Cornice run at the Vail Resort March 13th, 2013. The run, a double black diamond, is loaded with challenges including very steep terrain, cliffs, and very tight tree skiing before it opens into a steep mogul run towards the bottom.

EAGLE — It’s called the “skiers’ right,” as in a right-hand turn through the Prima Cornice gate, and skiers climb to it because the terrain is better.

Taft Conlin made that climb from the lower gate of Prima Cornice. Skiers do it all the time and have for 25 years since the run opened on the front of Vail Mountain, according to testimony in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Conlin’s parents against Vail Resorts.

If skiers do climb it, then Vail ski patrollers don’t know about it, Vail Resorts attorney Hugh Gottschalk said.

Conlin died in an in-bounds avalanche on Jan. 22, 2012, the first big snow of an abysmal snow year.

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Lots of skiers take that “skiers’ right,” testified John Ryan. It’s common to see people on the ridge on Prima Cornice and making that climb, Ryan said.

In fact, he saw people making that climb the day Taft Conlin died.

Read the full story at

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Source:: The Denver Post – News


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