Local teacher Bindu Pomeroy was named as the 44-year old who died in the backcountry of East Vail yesterday. Bindu, a popular resident, and a well-known snowboarder was nicknamed “The Mayor of East Vail,” and died doing what he loved most — hitting big cliffs in the popular out-of-bounds area.
Skier John Spriggs was first to reach Pomeroy and said the snow in the area Pomeroy landed was deep, but also easy to punch through, reports John LeConte for the Vail Daily.
“Bindu had an infectious energy that kept everyone around him excited to be on the mountain and especially in the backcountry. Of all the people I know who ride East Vail he had probably the most experience in that area,” Spriggs said. “He also knew the risks. Bindu was last in our group to hit a large cliff, he landed head first and sunk into the snow. Our group estimates it was about seven minutes before we were able to reach him; we performed CPR for the next hour but were unable to revive him. I hope the sad circumstances surrounding his death can be a reminder to others of how quickly a situation can turn tragic in the backcountry. But I also hope his loved ones can take comfort in the fact that he died doing what he loved most, and had been incredibly happy in the moments leading up to his death.”
Pomeroy taught social studies at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy and was known by students as being a teacher of practical life lessons over the textbook.
“I will never forget the times he ran into class covered in snow, still in his snowboard boots saying ‘traffic was bad’ or ‘if Grimmer asks I’m in the bathroom’ so he could live his best life in his East Vail home,” wrote Zoe Livran on behalf of Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy Class of 2017 graduates.
Principal Wade Hill said the sudden death of Pomeroy has affected everyone at the school deeply.
“We have lost a great teacher, colleague and one of the kindest, good-hearted guys I’ve ever known,” Hill said. “Bindu taught at VSSA for close to a decade and was always focused on making VSSA a great place to learn. Bindu was also incredibly passionate about his community and giving back to the place he loved.”
Pomeroy was a team rider for Weston Backcountry. Ben Hilley, with Weston, said Pomeroy’s East Vail expertise was unparalleled among the local snowboarding community.
“He was a model backcountry rider,” Hilley said. “East Vail is losing a true steward of the backcountry.”