A 25-year-old Denver woman is believed to have experienced an equipment problem before sliding 1,500 feet to her death Saturday at Silverton Mountain. San Juan County Coroner Keri Metzler on Thursday said the skier may have had a ski pop off and been unable to stop before her long slide.

The woman was accompanied by friends and skiing “Riff Run” as part of a guided ski tour by Silverton Mountain employees, said San Juan County Undersheriff Kristine Burns. The accident took place on the first run of the day, and the skier was wearing a helmet at the time. The conditions of Silverton Mountain when the accident occurred were temperate; the sky was clear, and snow was hard-packed. After her fall, other skiers rushed to her aid and notified emergency help.
In addition to her helmet, the victim had the required avalanche gear, including shovel, beacon and probe, Metzler said. The ski area is for expert skiers. It has no groomed runs or cut trails.

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