A Colorado man skiing the open trees on the right side of Trestle at Mary Jane was caught in a 40-foot-wide slide that ran 60 vertical feet. He was snowed under just before closing time on Mary Jane Mountain. As with most avalanche victims, he died of asphyxiation. Ski patrol unsuccessfully attempted to revive him.
The two avalanche fatalities at Vail and Winter Park ski areas Sunday mark the first inbounds avalanche deaths in Colorado since 2006 and are among only four in the state’s modern skiing history.
The deaths are the third and fourth caused by avalanches inside Colorado ski-area boundaries involving resort guests. A 25-year-old professional skier was killed in an avalanche at Snowmass ski area in December 2006 after cutting a closure rope. And a 53-year-old was killed in a warm-weather, “wet slab” slide in May 2005 at Arapahoe Basin while skiing an open run. From 1990 to 2005, only three skiers were killed inside U.S. ski areas by avalanches, none of them in Colorado.