Montana Alpine Guides, a Montana Corporation
INCLUDING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ASSUMPTION OF RISKS AND AGREEMENT OF RELEASE AND INDEMNITY
Please read this document carefully. It affects your legal rights in the event you suffer an injury, illness or property loss in connection with your Montana Alpine Guides trip or activity. If you have any questions please consult us and/or an attorney.
In this document, “I”, “me”, and “myself” refer to all persons who sign below, including minors under the age of 18 years old for whom a parent or legal guardian (each referred to herein as “Parent”) must sign.
In consideration of the services of Montana Alpine Guides, Inc. (“MAG”), I acknowledge and agree as follows:
DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES AND RISKS
MAG has exercised reasonable care in preparation of certain inherently dangerous activities to prevent any injury or damages that might ordinarily result from such activities, including loss or damage to equipment and personal property, accidental injury, illness, or in extreme cases, permanent trauma, disability or death.
Below is a description of the known inherent risks of certain MAG Activities (defined below).
- Participants in MAG’s trips, classes, climbs and expeditions (hereinafter “Activities”) spend substantial time in the out of doors, where they are subject to numerous and varied risks, dangers and hazards (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Risks”), including environmental Risks. The kinds of Activities MAG participants engage in vary from trip to trip, and are often strenuous, both physically and emotionally.
- Medical facilities are remote, typically many hours, and in some instances, days distant. Communication and transportation are difficult and sometimes evacuations and medical care may be significantly delayed or unavailable.
- All MAG Activities require travel, which can be by motorized and non-motorized vehicle, watercraft and floating objects, horse, mule, aircraft, train, snowmobile, skis, snowboard, snowshoes, bike, and on foot and by other means, over improved and unimproved roads, rugged trails and off-trail terrain, including boulder fields, frozen or partially frozen lakes, downed timber, rivers, rapids, river crossings, open water, high mountain passes, snow and ice, steep slopes and rock cliffs, including avalanche prone areas, scree and talus slopes, slippery rocks and steep crevassed glaciers. Risks associated with travel include, for example, collision with stationary or moving objects, falling, overturning, capsizing, drowning and other risks usually associated with such travel, including environmental Risks.
- Environmental Risks include loose, falling and rolling rock; lightning, extreme winds, fire, exposure to intense heat and bitter cold; snow, rock and ice avalanches and mass movement of earthen material, falling timber and forces of nature, including weather which may suddenly change to extreme conditions without advance warning; flash floods, moving, deep and/or cold water; insects, snakes, and predators, including large animals. Possible injuries and illnesses include, without limitation, hypothermia, frostbite, immersion foot, high altitude illnesses, sunburn, heatstroke, thermal burns, dehydration, stomach and intestinal disorders, sprains, strains and fractures, cuts, scrapes and other wounds and trauma to the head and body, and other mild or serious conditions including permanent trauma, disability or death.
- Despite reasonable care, maintenance and use, equipment (including items essential for the safety of the user) may fail, malfunction, or fail to perform to manufacturer’s standards or cause injury. For example, ice axes and crampons used on snow and ice necessarily have sharp points to penetrate the snow or ice. These points may cause injury if misapplied to the human body.
- Liquid and/or compressed gas stoves, and occasionally open fires, are used to prepare meals and boil water for hot drinks. Water often requires boiling or other treatment such as chemical disinfection or filtration before use. In addition to the environmental and travel Risks described above, camping Risks and hazards include but are not limited to burns, cuts, slips, falls, lifting, and diarrhea and flu-like illness.
- Decisions are made by the guides and participants usually in a wilderness setting, based on a variety of perceptions and evaluations which by their nature are imprecise and subject to errors in judgment. Misjudgments may pertain to, among other things, a participant’s capabilities, environment, terrain, water and weather conditions, natural hazards, routes and medical conditions.
- Careless or reckless behavior on the part of other participants, despite adequate supervision, as well as careless or reckless behavior by third parties may result in injury, permanent disability, death, property damage or a change of plans.
- In certain circumstances, participants in MAG’s Activities may be unsupervised or left alone for varying and possibly extended periods of time, and may be out of visual or audible range of the guide. Participants may be required to travel alone, without the direct supervision of the guide.
- MAG’s Activities may require a degree of skill and knowledge not required in other activities, and participants have responsibilities for managing the Risks to which they and others are exposed. MAG’s Activities should be considered exploratory and include the possibility of unexpected conditions and challenges.
- The staff of MAG has been available to more fully explain the nature and physical demands of Activities in which I will be engaged, and inherent and other Risks associated with them.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ASSUMPTION OF INHERENT AND OTHER RISKS
By participating in this recreational opportunity, I assume the inherent risks of participating in this recreational opportunity, whether those risks are known or unknown, and I agree to be legally responsible for all injury or death to myself and for all damage to my personal property that result from the inherent risks in this recreational opportunity. I acknowledge that my involvement in the MAG Activity is purely voluntary and certify that I am fully capable of participating in this Activity.
In addition, except with respect to an injury or other loss that occurs on lands whose rules or regulations prohibit my doing so, I expressly assume ALL OTHER risks of my involvement in MAG Activities, inherent or otherwise, and whether or not described above (See M.C.A. 28-2-702 and M.C.A. 27-1-753). (NOTE TO CLIENT AND TO PARENT IF CLIENT IS A MINOR) The U.S. Forest Service and certain other federal land management agencies do not allow permit holders such as MAG to be released by their clients and participants from liability for negligent conduct. On those lands, MAG is limited to the acknowledgment and assumption of risks, as provided above. Participant’s trip or program may include travel and activities off these public lands. For such activities, MAG seeks an assumption of ALL (not only inherent) Risks and, in addition, the following Agreement of Release and Indemnity. Please read the following agreement carefully.
AGREEMENT OF RELEASE AND INDEMNITY
I HEREBY FURTHER AGREE TO RELEASE, INDEMNIFY (“indemnify” meaning to defend, and to pay or reimburse), AND HOLD HARMLESS, MAG, its owners, officers, agents, employees and contractors (“Released Parties”), with respect to any and all claims of injury, disability, death, or other loss or damage to person or property suffered by myself, by a member of my family, a rescuer, co-participant, or any other person, arising in whole or part from my enrollment or participation in a MAG Activity, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF A RELEASED PARTY OR OTHERWISE, to the fullest extent permitted by law.
GOVERNING LAW, CONFLICT RESOLUTION, VENUE, AND SEVERABILITY
Any dispute between myself and MAG shall be governed by the substantive laws (not including the laws which might apply the laws of another jurisdiction) of the State of Montana, and any mediation or suit shall occur or be filed only in the State of Montana. If the parties to this agreement have a legal dispute which cannot be settled amicably by negotiation, the parties will attempt to settle the dispute through mediation before a mutually acceptable mediator whose name appears on the registry of names recognized by Montana courts as qualified persons for mediation assignments. To the extent mediation does not produce a resolution; the dispute will be submitted to binding arbitration through the American Arbitration Association in Montana. The parties consent to jurisdiction in Montana State and federal courts for any proceeding to enforce or interpret this agreement. The parties agree that the venue for any action or proceeding arising from or incident to this agreement shall be exclusively in Gallatin County, Montana. I agree to pay all costs and attorneys' fees incurred by MAG in defending a claim or suit, if the claim or suit is withdrawn or to the extent a court or arbitration determines that MAG is not responsible for the injury or loss. If any part of this agreement is found by a court or other appropriate authority to be invalid, the remainder of this agreement nevertheless will be in full force and effect.
I HEREBY FURTHER AGREE AND CERTIFY that I am fully capable of participating in MAG Activities. I have no past or current physical or psychological condition that might affect my participation in the Activity, other than as described on the medical form. I am able to participate without causing harm to myself, or to others. Any medical information given to MAG is accurate and all pertinent medical conditions have been disclosed. I also agree to inform MAG of any undisclosed medical conditions that arise prior to the commencement of the Activity. MAG is authorized to obtain or provide emergency hospitalization, surgical or other medical care for me. Any such third-party medical care provider is authorized to exchange pertinent medical information with MAG. Costs reasonably associated with medical services, including evacuation, shall be borne by me.
BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT YOU MAY BE WAIVING YOUR LEGAL RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL TO HOLD THE PROVIDER LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURIES OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM RISKS INHERENT IN THE SPORT OR RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITY OR FOR ANY INJURIES OR DAMAGES YOU MAY SUFFER DUE TO THE PROVIDER’S ORDINARY NEGLIGENCE THAT ARE THE RESULT OF THE PROVIDER’S FAILURE TO EXERCISE REASONABLE CARE.
This agreement is entered into voluntarily and is binding upon the persons signing below, their heirs, executors, administrators, wards, other family members, and minor children for whom they sign. The terms of this agreement may be varied only by a separate written instrument signed by the parties hereto.
I HAVE READ THIS PAGE AND THE PREVIOUS 3 PAGES OF THIS DOCUMENT AND UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO ITS TERMS, INCLUDING THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND ASSUMPTION OF RISKS, AGREEMENT OF RELEASE AND INDEMNITY AND THE ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS, ABOVE.
Today's Date: February 5, 2023