On January 1, 2019, a man identified as 63-year-old Michael Rueckert of Utah, died after a ski accident at Brighton Ski Resort. He was skiing around a bend when he almost hit another skier who had stopped. In efforts to avoid a collision, the 63-year-old maneuvered around the person, lost control and hit a tree.
A six-year legal battle by a family who lost their son ended yesterday with a jury verdict in favor of Vail Resorts. Thirteen-year-old Taft Colin was killed at Vail Mountain on Jan. 22, 2012 by an in-bounds avalanche. His parents filed a lawsuit against Vail.
The light fluffy snow which has been blanketing the west has also increased the hazards presented by skiing in trees. The snow is easily fallen into, often resulting in suffocation.
An avalanche hit Friday, March 2nd at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort and caught five people in its wake.
February continues the deadly trend in skier fatalities. A 25-yr-old Washington man died when he struck a tree on a ski run at Mission Ridge Ski Resort in Wenatchee, WA a week ago. Today at Castle Mountain Resort south of Calgary, a ten-year-old lost control and fatally collided with a pole.
Collisions on ski slopes are not uncommon and, though most ski safety laws require exchange of information between the involved parties, occasionally a hit-and-run will result. But in this story from Aspen, a hit-and-run was complicated by a case of mistaken identity.
Last week, a California skier lost control and crashed into a tree. He suffered a severe head injury and died at Heavenly Mountain Resort. The Santa Rosa man was on a beginner trail, and was not wearing a helmet. The rescue crew were forced to use a rope to pull the victim from under the tree which he had struck.
An unusual spat of lift mishaps has struck ski resorts large and small. On Christmas Eve, approximately 150 skiers were stranded on a gondola at Chamrousse ski resort in the French Alps. It took about three hours for all guests to be evacuated from the lift which runs about 80 ft above the ground. Many were rescued by helicopter.
Dr. Dan Gregorie, head of the California-based SnowSport Safety Foundation, has spent the past decade working for greater safety in the sport, and greater transparency by the ski industry in reporting casualties.
On its opening day of the season, Tussey Mountain, a Pennsylvania resort about 80 miles northwest of Harrisburg, a ski lift malfunctioned and several chairs slid off track and collided. Officials said that a chair carrying skiers and snowboarders slid back along the haul rope, starting a chain reaction that involved a total of four chairs.