The patroller was found unconscious on an expert run at Heavenly ski resort. Jcookfisher Flickr Photo.
A Heavenly ski patroller was found unconscious on the resort’s slopes and later died in hospital care. 36-year-old Christopher John Nicholson was working at Heavenly on Saturday, January 18th when his body was discovered in the Mott Canyon area. First responders airlifted Nicholson to medical care, and after emergency care and evaluation, he was pronounced dead. His cause of death is still being determined by the Douglas County Sheriffs’ office and Washoe County Coroner’s office.
In response to the incident, Tom Fortune, VP and GM of Heavenly Mountain Resort released this statement saying, “Heavenly Mountain Resort, Heavenly Ski Patrol and the entire Vail Resorts family extend our deepest sympathy and support to our employee’s family and friends.”
This incident is the third snow-related fatality for the region in one weekend. Last Friday, a man died from a snowmobiling accident near Spooner Summit. On that same day, a 34-year-old skier was killed by an inbounds avalanche at Alpine Meadows ski resort. The cause of the avalanche is still being investigated.
Unless you are one of the rare folks who learned how to ski in the backcountry, you have almost certainly encountered a rope and closed sign. Why do these things exist? Contrary to popular belief, they're not to stop you from having fun. Nor are they to save the best powder for ski patrollers. At ski resorts on the East Coast, they're mostly to keep you from thrashing your skis on runs without artificial snowmaking. Out west, they're intended to prevent you from triggering an avalanche or
Mt. Hood Meadows' Heather Canyon area, where both snowboarders were found. Evan Lovely photo. Two snowboarders died last week at Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon in the Heather Canyon area. 45-year-old Ryan Zeitner of Portland died after a fall on Sunday, February 16th according to the Hood River County Sheriff's Office. 47-year-old Tim Bauters of Sunnyvale, California was reported missing by his family on Monday, February 17th. After determining that his rental car was in the Mt. Hood Meadows
Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah. A skier-triggered avalanche occurred last weekend on the Coalpit Headwall (not pictured) in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Maurice King Flickr Photo. Avalanche danger still lurks on inconspicuous low forecast days, as an incident in Little Cottonwood Canyon last weekend demonstrates. On Friday, February 21st, a trio of skiers were skiing the Coalpit Headwall, a popular Wasatch backcountry line, when a member of their party triggered an avalanche. After