Ski Patrol Director dies at Wolf Creek in an in-bounds avalanche | UNITED STATES, COLORADO | 11/22/2010, by WaheenieIt's not even December, and I'm very sad to report that the director of ski patrol at Wolf Creek Ski Area in SW Colorado died today. The details have not been released, but evidently there was an in-bounds avalanche. The resort closed the lift for the remainder of the day, and we'll keep this article updated as more information becomes available.
Most importantly, our thoughts & prayers are with everyone in the Wolf Creek community. We also would like to take a moment today to remember all our loved ones who have died in the mountains. In particular, this accident hits close to home for those who knew Big Wally in Jackson Hole, a ski patroller who also died in an in-bounds avalanche last year.
Snow is falling in ski towns across the West. Backcountry skiers everywhere- please use extra caution and understand that an early season snowpack has unusual characteristics.
This tragedy also may be a good wake up call to remind everyone to practice avalanche safety skills! Here's an idea that may just help save your life: The Avalanche Club Concept
Read more from ESPN:
By Megan Michelson
ESPN Action Sports
According to a statement released by Colorado's Wolf Creek Ski Area this morning, the director of the Wolf Creek Ski Patrol was killed in an avalanche early Monday morning. The victim's name hasn't officially been released.
"On Monday, November 22, 2010 at 7:45 a.m. our Wolf Creek Ski Patrol Director, while working to protect others, was caught in an avalanche which, to our great sadness, he did not survive," the statement read. "Wolf Creek's management and all its employees wish to express our deepest regrets at this loss of a wonderful man and close friend. Our sympathy and condolences go out to his wife and two children."
Colorado's Mineral County Sheriff Fred Hosselkus told The Denver Post that he received a call from the ski area around 10:30 a.m. Monday informing him of an avalanche with a fatality.
The accident marks the season's first reported avalanche fatality in the U.S. During the 2009-2010 winter season, 36 people were reportedly killed in avalanches in the U.S., according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
This isn't the first ski patroller to die from an inbounds avalanche. Last January, a Jackson Hole ski patroller named Mark Wolling was killed performing routine patrol duties in the resort's Cheyenne Bowl before the ski area opened for the day. And in March 2009, Squaw Valley ski patroller Andrew Entin was doing early-morning avalanche control when he was caught in a slide and killed.
Wolf Creek was closed Monday as a result of the fatality but lifts will operate again on Tuesday. The ski area has received 18 inches of snow in the past 48 hours and more snow is forecasted for the coming days.