Local man dies in avalanche in closed section of Snowmass Ski Area | VailDaily.com

Local man dies in avalanche in closed section of Snowmass Ski Area

Scott Condon and Joel Stonington

SNOWMASS ” Nicholas Blake Davidson, 25, was killed Thursday afternoon when he jumped off a cliff in a closed section of Hanging Valley Wall at the Snowmass Ski Area and was caught in an avalanche, according to Pitkin County Deputy Coroner Scott Thompson.

Davidson, a Snowmass Village resident, used the first name of Blake, Thompson said. He had been training to be a sushi chef at Kenichi in Aspen.

Davidson was skiing with two others in the Ladders section of the Wall when the avalanche occurred at about 1:10 p.m., according to Thompson. Davidson jumped from a cliff band, was caught in an avalanche and carried into an area with trees, the deputy coroner said.

Ski patrol members who were riding the Elk Camp lift saw that the area had slid and notified their headquarters, Thompson said. Their report came in simultaneously with reports from Snowmass customers, he said.

According to a press release from the Aspen Skiing Co., the ski patroller called in the slide at 1:10 p.m. and patrol responded with search crews and an avalanche dog. Davidson was found at 1:32 p.m.

Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said Davidson showed no vital signs when found, though medical treatment was initiated immediately. He was pronounced dead on the scene at 1:59 p.m.

Thompson said Davidson was wearing a helmet. The cause of death “wasn’t obvious,” he said. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed in Grand Junction Friday to determine if Davidson died of trauma or suffocation.

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