A 35-year-old man from Seattle died today from snow-immersion suffocation while skiing on Crystal Mountain, the resort said.
Ski patrol received a report of a missing person at 2:25 p.m. The man had last been seen around 1 p.m. in an area called Dick’s Face. Ski patrol was dispatched to the location and found the man unresponsive in a tree well about five minutes later. The patrol dug the man out and began CPR, but it was unsuccessful.
A tree-well accident happens when the skier or snowboarder falls, usually headfirst, into a tree or into deep, loose snow and becomes immobilized.
Crystal Mountain Resort received 19 inches of snow in the past 24 hours and 94 inches of snow since Friday.
“This serves as an unfortunate and sad reminder of how important it is to ski and ride with a partner, and keep them in sight, especially where there’s a lot of new and unsettled snow,” Ski Patrol director Paul Baugher said in a news release.