Off-pisters face fines.

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A snowy winter creates a paradise for snowboarders and skiers, but with it comes the danger of avalanche. In Canton Valais, avalanches onto the marked ski runs, triggered by off-piste skiers, have stirred up a debate about liabilities and sanctions for those who scoff at warnings.

According to Valais police reports, six people have been referred to the cantonal prosecutor after allegedly setting off avalanches that swept onto official pistes in Anzere and Zermatt, risking the lives of people skiing there.

"It's about sending a message that skiers who don't respect others can be prosecuted," police spokesman Jean-Marie Bornet told Associated Press.

On December 27, three off-piste skiers triggered a 200 metre-wide avalanche that crossed a marked piste in Anzere near Crans-Montana. Two people were injured in the incident and 130 people were involved in the subsequent rescue operation. Two men...

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