Crater Lake National Park (Photo: National Park Service)

Group seen illegally skiing down dangerous Crater Lake caldera

Crater Lake National Park (Photo: National Park Service)

CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, Ore. – A group of skiers is getting called out for skiing into the Crater Lake caldera.

National Park officials said on Friday, a ski patrol volunteer saw several people park their snowmobiles at North Junction Overlook. They got off of their snowmobiles and proceeded to ski down to the lake inside the caldera.

According to Crater Lake National Park, entering the caldera off-trail is not only extremely dangerous, it’s a federal misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in prison.

“Every year, visitors intentionally or accidentally enter the caldera off-trail and many times fall and get injured or worse, or slide uncontrollably and can’t get back out,” park officials said. “Rescues may take hours or even go overnight and into the next days as rescuers put their own lives at risk to help others.”

The park explained snow and rocks inside the caldera are unstable and frequently cause slides. In addition, snow can accumulate around the rim creating an overhang that can break under someone’s weight.

“There are plenty of safer places in the park where you can ski or board the steeps, legally,” Crater Lake National Park officials said. “For suggestions contact the park’s Backcountry Office.”

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