Ski patroller dies in a Snowmass avalanche
December 31, 2012
SNOWMASS, Colorado – A Snowmass ski patroller died Sunday in an avalanche she triggered while skiing on duty in a closed area.
The 49-year-old woman was skiing alone in a permanently closed area known as Ship’s Prow Glade, located next to the Upper Ladder run in Hanging Valley at Snowmass, according to a news release issued by Aspen Skiing Co. The woman “triggered a small avalanche and was swept over a cliff,” Skico said.
“This was a very small slide, and there was no one there to witness it,” Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said.
Ski patrol located the woman at approximately 1:23 p.m., after launching a search nearly 40 minutes earlier because she was overdue to her station, according to the news release. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:37 p.m., and her body was taken to Snowmass Clinic The precise cause of her death was unknown as of Sunday, Skico said.
Skico did not release the woman’s name Sunday because her relatives had not yet been notified.
Sunday’s fatality is Colorado’s first avalanche death of the season.