Tragic accident claims the life of a young skier in Aspen

A 22-year-old woman lost her life after crashing into a tree while skiing at Aspen Highlands on Saturday. The incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. on the intermediate Exhibition run, which is located mid-mountain and runs parallel to the Exhibition chairlift.

Ski patrol responded immediately but could not save her

According to a press release from the Aspen Skiing Company, ski patrol arrived at the scene promptly and found the woman unconscious and non-responsive. They initiated advanced life-saving measures and maintained contact with the emergency room doctor at Aspen Valley Hospital, but the woman did not survive. She was pronounced dead on the scene at 12:02 p.m.

This is the first fatality of the season at any Aspen Snowmass ski area, confirmed Jeff Hanle, vice president of communications for SkiCo. He expressed his condolences to the woman’s family and friends in the press release. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time,” he wrote.

The woman’s identity has not been released yet

The Pitkin County coroner’s office is in charge of releasing the woman’s name and cause of death, but as of Saturday afternoon, they were still working on contacting her next of kin. The woman’s hometown and skiing experience are also unknown at this point.

The Aspen Times reported that the woman was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, but it is unclear if it was properly fitted or if it contributed to her injuries.

Aspen Highlands

Skiing accidents are rare but not unheard of in Colorado

According to the National Ski Areas Association, an average of 38 people die each year from skiing or snowboarding accidents in the U.S., out of more than 50 million skier visits. The majority of these fatalities involve collisions with trees or other fixed objects.

Colorado has seen three on-resort skiing or snowboarding deaths publicly reported so far this year, according to the Denver Gazette. The other two occurred at Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort earlier this month.

Skiing and snowboarding are inherently risky activities, and skiers and riders are advised to follow the skier responsibility code, which includes staying in control, avoiding other people and objects, and knowing how to use the lifts safely.

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