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January 23, 2012
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Man who died in snow slide at Winter Park identified

WINTER PARK - The man who died in a small avalanche at Mary Jane on Sunday has been identified as Christopher Norris, 28, of Evergreen, according to Grand County Coroner Brenda Bock.

He died from asphyxiation after being buried in the snow, Bock said. She said she couldn't pinpoint the exact time of death, but it was early afternoon.

The Sunnyside Lift at Mary Jane was closed this morning in the wake of the death. Resort officials said the Ski Patrol conducted a terrain assessment on the mountain this morning and reopened everything but Sunnyside Lift.

Winter Park Police responded Sunday evening to a fatality at resort. Resort officials said the man was unresponsive when Ski Patrol members reached him and began CPR.

Police Chief Glen Trainor said that Winter Park Ski Patrol recovered the body of the man, who had been skiing with his father-in-law at the resort.

The father-in-law last saw his son-in-law about 1 p.m. and reported him missing later in the day. The skier was found in a tree area between Trestle and Roundhouse trails in the debris field of a small snow slide in a gully.

According to The Colorado Avalanche Center, this was the second avalanche-related fatality of the weekend. The first one was at Vail Mountain on a closed ski run where a 13-year-old boy died in an avalanche on Sunday.

The Colorado Avalanche Center's website warned of high avalanche danger all weekend.

Today's warning: "Triggering avalanches is likely on any snow-covered slope 30 degrees or steeper that did not slide during the natural cycle yesterday. The natural avalanche cycle has largely run its course, so I will drop the Avalanche Warning, but natural avalanches are still possible today. Triggering slides will be easy today, and some of them will be bigger than what we have seen so far this winter."


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The Summit Daily Updated Jan 23, 2012 04:32PM Published Jan 23, 2012 12:44PM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.