Aspen ski patroller killed on duty by small avalanche |

Aspen ski patroller killed on duty by small avalanche

Joey Bunch
The Denver Post

Colorado recorded its first avalanche death of the season Sunday when a female snow patrol member was swept over a cliff by a small slide.

Her name was not released pending notification of her family. She was 49 years old and on duty at the time of the accident, according to her employer, Aspen Skiing Co.

“This is a shocking and tragic accident that deeply affects everyone in the company,” Mike Kaplan, Aspen Skiing Co. president and chief executive, said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with her family and friends at this time.”

The resort said she was skiing alone inbounds in an area known as the Ship’s Prow Glades, next to Upper Ladder.

When she was overdue to her patrol station, a search started at 12:45 p.m. and she was located by the ski patrol at 1:23 p.m., according to Aspen Skiing Co.

She was determined to be dead at 1:37 p.m. and her body was taken to Snowmass Clinic.

Colorado leads the nation in ski fatalities, with 250 since the 1950-1951 ski season, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center in Boulder. Alaska is second with 148.

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