Friday, December 22, 2006

First avalanche death of the season

This should give skiers who duck ropes a moment of hesitation:

A skier died Thursday on a closed expert run at Snowmass Mountain. Nicholas Blake Davidson, 25, was buried for about a half-hour before the ski patrol and others were able to dig him out, the Pitkin County coroner's office said in a statement.

Davidson was skiing on the Hanging Valley Wall run, which had not been opened for the season, said Kristin Rust, a spokeswoman for the resort's operator, the Aspen Skiing Co. Signs clearly stated the run was closed, she said.

"There's not enough snow in there; there are exposed rocks," Rust told the AP.

A storm that wreaked havoc elsewhere in Colorado didn't appear to be a factor, she said. It dumped 15 inches on the resort in the past 48 hours.

This death comes on the one-year anniversary of the death of Colorado Springs high school senior Patrick Niedringhaus, who was buried in a slide near Torreys Peak while snowshoeing with a friend.

(There's a touching poem to him in today's Gazette obituaries.)

Our thoughts go to his family.


Anonymous said...

i wish people and news papers would stop saying 'this should be a lesson' blah blah blah...

yea thanks we all know that.

blake was an amazing person and an experienced back country skiier.

i and many of the people who knew him well do not believe he ducked any rope knowingly.

having his death come just days before christmas it would be amazing if people would stop filtering the 'this should be a lesson' bullshit through the internet.

respect the people that know him.

there are inherent risks anytime you go in to the colorado mountains, even when in bounds at a resort.

Dena Rosenberry said...

I read a report last night that Blake and a friend may have entered a closed chute below where it was posted. There's a good chance they didn't know they were venturing "out of bounds." Regardless, it's a shame.

We all take risks in the outdoors. The lesson, I suppose, is remembering that and acting on it, whether that's being mindful of our abilities, telling people where we're going in the backcountry, being prepared for trips, or remembering to live each day to its fullest because we never know when it will be our last. I don't classify that as bullshit.