Vail Valley man Cole Greenfield, found deceased in Avon, wanted to be an ecotourism guide
Avon man, Montana native, had worldwide dreams
Landscaping and construction, while honorable professions, could not contain Cole Greenfield’s dreams. He wanted to be a worldwide ecotourism guide based in Iceland.
Greenfield, 24, had been missing since Friday and was found dead Tuesday. Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis identified him Tuesday morning.
Greenfield was working with the Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School, which put him in the great outdoors he loved so much. He extolled the virtues of the outdoors, as well as We Thrive Outdoors, a Canada-based conservation, outdoor education and leadership organization.
“I am just a local Bozeman, Montana man who grew up across from the Bridger Mountain range discovering firsthand the beauties and treasures of the outdoors, and the places where I found my truest self worth,” Greenfield said on one of his social media pages.
He said he grew up with a pet black bear named Festus and 250 miles of national forest to play in.
Greenfield said that while he found satisfaction in construction projects ranging from million-dollar landscape designs to tile and carpentry projects, he said he’d had his “fill of that work.”
He took a trip to Alaska, which he said suited him much better.
“I became a zipline lead guide in Ketchikan, paddle boarded with humpback whales, caught the biggest fish of my lifetime and plugged into a community that touched my heart,” Greenfield said.
He migrated to British Columbia where he became acquainted with some of the folks from We Thrive Outdoors. He said fueled his fire to become an adventure guide.
“Cole Greenfield was a valued member of the Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School team. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague and extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends,” Vail Resorts wrote Tuesday in a statement.
The search for Cole
Greenfield was last seen around 10 p.m. Friday after leaving Loaded Joe’s in Avon.
Greenfield didn’t show up for work Saturday and was scheduled off Sunday and Monday, Avon Police Chief Greg Daly said.
When none of his roommates had seen him by Monday afternoon, they notified police, who organized a search that focused on some of the probable paths Greenfield might have taken between Loaded Joe’s and the Tarnes, the Beaver Creek employee housing complex where he lived.
Daly set up a mobile command in a Beaver Creek skier parking lot, coordinating a search that included personnel from Avon and Vail, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, the Eagle River Fire Protection District, Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Beaver Creek Public Safety, and Vail Public Safety communications.
At the same time, Daly and others posted news of the search efforts on EC Alerts, sent press releases and posted it on social media sites. The information was shared several times on social media, eventually reaching 84,856 people, Daly said.
Searchers thought they were close when they found a set of size-14 boots, only to learn that they were not Greenfield’s size.
Searchers soon found footprints in the snow and it appeared that Greenfield had started walking toward the Tarnes, Daly said. Searchers followed the footprints into a wooded area and found Greenfield in the snow between Highway 6 and the connector bike path between the west end of Beaver Creek’s Elk Lot and Prater Road.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends who are dealing with this tragic loss,” the town of Avon said in an announcement.
The Eagle County Coroner’s Office and the Avon Police Department will continue the investigation. At this time, there are no indications of foul play, Avon police said.
The town thanked all the people and agencies involved in the extensive search.
“We find no words that can accurately convey our sympathies to his friends and family,” the town of Avon’s announcement said.
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