CBS4 to profile Vail locals who saved Denver man on Vail Mountain in segment after Super Bowl |

CBS4 to profile Vail locals who saved Denver man on Vail Mountain in segment after Super Bowl

Video from the Vail Daily's John LaConte will be used in a story from the CBS News affiliate in Denver, helping document a man's story of survival after a crash on Vail Mountain.
Special to the Daily

VAIL — On-snow reporter John LaConte often has his GoPro with him on Vail Mountain to record the Vail Daily’s On the Hill conditions report throughout the winter.

When he was enjoying a powder day with locals Taylor Seaton and Pat Baskins at the end of November, though, he stumbled upon a medical emergency in Earl’s Bowl at Vail.

Todd Ermentraut is thankful for the trio finding him after suffering a complete fracture of his femur and getting stuck under a dead tree in the deep powder on Nov. 29.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” he said.

Footage from LaConte’s camera will be used in a story by KCNC channel 4, the CBS News affiliate in Denver, documenting Ermentraut’s story. The segment is set to air after the Super Bowl on Sunday at 9 p.m.

“Pat and Taylor tended to Todd while I marked off the area so ski patrol could find us,” LaConte said. “When I could tell that Todd was most likely going to be OK, I did start recording that day. I couldn’t help it.”

X Games interview

While a reporter, LaConte said he decided against writing about Ermentraut during his normal course of reporting for the Vail Daily.

“I tried but it felt more like a diary entry,” he said. “It was during Birds of Prey and I was really busy at the time so I moved on to a different story and pretty much forgot about it.”

KCNC reporter Matt Kroschel caught wind of the story from a colleague who had seen a Facebook post and contacted LaConte, who was at the X Games at the time, covering Seaton of all people.

“I thought it was pretty funny he contacted me on the same day Taylor was competing,” LaConte said. “That night when I would normally be interviewing him about his performance, we were looking at our calendars setting up a visit with CBS4.”

When they met on Monday, “We didn’t realize Todd would be there, too,” Seaton said. “He had a bunch of delicious baked goods and some heavy beers waiting for us.”

LaConte has shared his clips with Kroschel, who will use the material to tell Ermentarut’s story in the post-Super Bowl broadcast.

“Thirty minutes before these guys got there, I was having the best runs of my life,” Ermentraut said. “I’m glad (LaConte) was filming so everyone can see how quickly it can turn from your best day to your worst nightmare. The Vail Ski Patrol are absolute heroes.”

Ermentraut has agreed to be a guest on LaConte’s On the Hill video snow report for when he returns to skiing.

“I’ll be back before the end of this season,” he said. “You better believe it.”

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User