California ski resort seeks arrest of snowboarder it says set off avalanche

A California ski resort asked the local sheriff this week to arrest a snowboarder it says triggered an avalanche captured on video that went viral.

(Warning: Video contains foul language.)

Christian Mares pulled off the Jan. 15 stunt in an avalanche-prone area that has been closed to the public for five years, the Sugar Bowl Resort claimed in a statement Wednesday. The resort near Norden asked the Placer County Sheriff’s Department to charge Mares with trespassing.

But Mares, 29, denied he was trespassing.

He told the San Francisco Chronicle Friday that he was just looking for a “nice cliff to drop.”

“No one wants to try to start an avalanche,” he said. “That’d be absolutely crazy.”

A 3-minute video showing Mares getting caught in the avalanche has been viewed more than 100,000 times on YouTube.

The video shows snow burying Mares after he snowboards off a cliff and is overtaken by the avalanche.

“Well, that just happened,” he says to the camera.

Mares told the Chronicle he didn’t know the area was off-limits.

Sugar Bowl ski instructor Carson May, 23, vanished the day before Mares allegedly set off the avalanche and was reported missing the same morning. The search for May was called off Tuesday.

Sugar Bowl said the the search for May was a seperate matter.

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