10 People Have Died at North American Ski Resorts in the Last Few Weeks

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Stock image of an ambulance. Credit: Don Mackinnon/AFP/Getty Images

At least ten people have sadly died following accidents at North American ski resorts in the past few weeks, highlighting the inherent danger of the sport we all love. What’s going on? Is it the low snow conditions?

A teenage boy has died after a skier collision in the Sugarloaf area at Alta Ski Area, UT, just before 10 am Monday, February 14th. The as-yet-unidentified 14-year-old was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital but passed away from his injuries.

On Sunday, a teenage boy died in a skiing accident at Palisades Tahoe, CA. At around 2 pm Sunday, two teens, one on the Palisades Tahoe Big Mountain Competition Team and another from the Olympic Valley Freestyle Team, were skiing on the Yellow Trail on the Alpine side of the resort when they collided, according to resort spokesperson Kat Walton.

On February 12th at around 3:30 pm, a 65-year-old Calgary man was killed after he “hit an icy portion and lost an edge, causing him to lose control and slide into a tree” at Fernie Alpine Resort, BC, RCMP said Sunday.

Last week, two skiers died in separate incidents on consecutive days on Mt. Bachelor, OR. On Friday, before 12:30 pm, Mt. Bachelor ski patrol responded to a skier injury. The skier was taken to a landing zone in the West Village, where care was transferred to Bend Fire and Rescue. A medical helicopter landed but was ultimately called off. The skier, a 66-year-old man, was pronounced dead from his injuries at 1 pm. Ski patrol again responded to a ski injury on Saturday just after 12:30 pm. The skier was taken to the First Aid Room in the West Village, where care was transferred to Bend Fire and Rescue. A medical helicopter landed but was ultimately called off. The skier, a 60-year-old man, was pronounced dead at about 1:25 pm.

On February 9th, Pennsylvania man, 21, lost control and hit a rock at Copper Mountain, CO, resulting in his death. He was in the Copper Bowl area and was wearing a helmet. Copper Bowl is mostly double-black terrain.

On Thursday, February 3rd, a Utah surgeon died at Solitude Mountain Resort. Andrew Gagnon, a 38-year-old transplant surgeon at Intermountain Healthcare, died after an accident in the “experts only” skiing area. Gagnon fell off a 100-foot cliff and then tumbled further down into rocky and tree-covered terrain. Although he was wearing a helmet, he did not survive.

Also on Thursday, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY, reported the death of a visiting male skier at the resort. The skier collided with a tree on Gros Ventre run this morning. Resuscitation efforts were administered on the mountain by JHMR Ski Patrol and continued at the St. John’s Clinic at Teton Village.

“My deepest condolences go out to the family of the deceased. My heart goes out to everyone involved.”

– JHMR President Mary Kate Buckley

On Sunday, January 30th, a 30-year-old man from Illinois died in a skiing accident at Mt. Hood Meadows, OR. It is believed Michael Snell lost control on the advanced Ridge Run trail before going off-trail and sliding down the Four Bowl trail. Snell crashed into a tree before falling down the slope. Snell was transported to the Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital Mountain Clinic but attempts to revive him at the scene, transport, and clinic were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the medical center.

On January 20th, a Denver man died in a ski crash at Copper Mountain ski resort, CO. Nicholas Vigil, 24, was skiing with friends through the trees along the intermediate Collage Run when he lost control and crashed. The coroner’s office says he suffered a traumatic brain injury, and his death was ruled an accident.

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11 thoughts on “10 People Have Died at North American Ski Resorts in the Last Few Weeks

  1. My brother lost his life at Mammoth on Jan 24, 2022. Surprised his story wasn’t included here. He collided with a skier then hit a tree.

  2. Man I always have my head on a swivel. I got in a bad crash at snowbird a month ago. on a perfect pow day to. i was jumping off a small ruck under paravian and was gaining speed after I landed and someone traversing completely perpendicular to the fall line not looking up going the same speed as me (about 35 mph)comes out of nowhere and just barely clips me. i ra over the front of his skis and his body hit me. Luckily i only sprained my wrist and its better now but we both flew!

  3. Skiers have become aggressive and ski with reckless abandon. Responsibility codes are totally ignored, ear buds and LOUD music distract the skier/SB, and good skiers/SB run through “slow zones” scaring new skiers. Everyone needs to SHARE the mountain safely. People poach closed territory and ignore warnings to get the freshies.

    Mountains oversell ski passes to make money and the crowds are huge. Visa’s commercial of everyone coming down the mountain is no longer an exaggeration. We are lucky that there are not more fatal accidents. I had two near misses at Vail in December because one skier and one snowboarder came within inches of me! RESPECT GETS RESPECT!

  4. No reporting required in most cases, your ski areas are not even required to report injuries, or deaths, to authorities. NSAA is about looking out after their member company’s interests – not the public’s.

  5. Head on a swivel everybody. And how about give each other some space.

    The Tragedy in Alpine Meadows this week was avoidable, as these 2 close friends Skied into each other at speed and helmet to helmet. And on a piste essentialy void of people.

    The beauty and heartbreak in the silence among the gathering on the Subway Life Flite Heli pad underscores how fragile and connected we all are and and how important it is to take care of each other while sharing the things we love.

    PS. Read your Responsibility Code to your Kids every night before bed.

  6. We saw the helicopter take off with one injured and saw the family with the other…absolutely heartbroken for the family, I cant imagine…Do you all know if resorts are required to report fatalities to the national ski areas assoc?

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