Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Trees 4, skiers 0

Above is a picture from this morning of the slope at Keystone where a 56-year-old skier died Sunday afternoon after hitting a tree.
The man had been skiing on a blue run, Mozart, when he apparently hit a bump and lost control, according to the Summit County coroner's office. He died of internal injuries.
He was the fourth person to die this season in a crash on Colorado's ski slopes and the second fatality at Keystone. On average, 13 people die of ski injuries in Colorado each year.
This one follows the pattern.
1. The skier was on an intermediate run. Skiers almost never die on expert runs because, on tougher runs, they don't ski as fast.
2. There was no new snow. It hasn't snowed significantly for several days at Keystone, which means the runs are fast and probably icy.
3. The accident happened in the afternoon, as a majority do, when skiers are tired and slopes are icy.
4. The skier was a guy. 81% of skier fatalities in Colorado have been males according to this study. All of the dead this year had a Y chromosome. Average age was 32 years. So Sunday's fatality was a bit older, but maybe he skied like a 32-year-old.
What will the skier fatality count be this year? Hard to say. If it keeps snowing, as it did last year, numbers should be low.

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