A Vail teen died Sunday of chest injuries he suffered in an avalanche inside the Vail Mountain ski area. The thirteen year old was skiing Vail Mountain on Sunday after a storm dropped fresh snow. He was skiing with friends in the area of Prima Cornice, where he and at least two others were caught in an avalanche. The other two escaped and skied down to Chair 11, where they told a lift operator about the avalanche and their missing friend.
The teen died of chest injuries due to blunt force trauma due to the ski accident, said Kara Bettis, Eagle County coroner. The helmet camera he was wearing when he was caught in the avalanche, and which might have provided some information, was buried in the snow, Bettis said.
Vail Resorts issued the following statement Monday: “On behalf of Vail Resorts and Vail Mountain, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the young man in the tragic incident that occurred on a closed area of the Prima Cornice trail yesterday. It is our understanding that the boys entered through a lower gate and hiked to the closed terrain.”
Two gates provide access to Prima Cornice. Those gates are named Upper Prima Cornice and Lower Prima Cornice. The Upper Prima Cornice access gate was closed. The lower access gate was open, said Don Dressler, with the U.S. Forest Service.