Skier’s death at Breckenridge marks 2nd of season at resort
Breckenridge — A man reported missing at Breckenridge Ski Resort Thursday, Jan. 12, at about 5 p.m. was found by ski patrol the next morning and pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office assisted Breckenridge Ski Patrol with what the resort called an extensive search early Friday, eventually locating the 47-year-old man at approximately 8:30 a.m. He was taken to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco where he was officially declared deceased. The ski resort did not release the man’s name nor the cause of his death. Messages were left with both the hospital and Summit County Coroner Monday morning.
“Breckenridge Ski Resort, Breckenridge Ski Patrol and the entire Vail Resorts family extend our deepest sympathy and support to our guest’s family and friends,” John Buhler, vice president and COO of Breckenridge’s ski area, offered in a statement.
The fatality marks the second in the county this ski season — both at Breckenridge — after Longmont resident Kevin Pitts, 48, collided with a tree on Dec. 19. It’s also the state’s third casualty on a ski hill for 2016-17 after 40-year-old San Antonian Kelly Huber plunged to her death from a chairlift at Ski Granby Ranch due to what was determined a mechanical malfunction. Huber’s two daughters, 12 and 9, also fell the 25 feet off the Quick Draw Express lift, but both survived.
Nine people died while skiing or snowboarding in Colorado last season, six of which occurred in Summit County. According to the National Ski Areas Association, a Lakewood, Colorado-based trade group representing the country’s resort owners and operators, there were 39 total fatalities nationwide during the 2015-16 ski year.
Four of those six Summit fatalities last year took place at Breckenridge, including the final three of the season — all in the month of April. The six in the county matched the same total during the 2013-14 season, and topped the four from 2014-15.
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The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a winter storm warning for much of the West Slope ahead of a major weather system expected in the area starting Thursday.