Pitkin County Fatal

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jimmnn

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Just outside the boundaries of Highlands Ski Area a backcountry skier initially reported as buried, now fatal.

O/F 155.535, Aspen Ski Comp 800, 154.860, Online

Jim<
 

jimmnn

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ASPEN — Pitkin County sheriff’s officials confirmed at 2:30 p.m. that a skier died today after allegedly jumping off a cliff in the backcountry near Aspen Highlands.

Sheriff’s deputies received a call from Highlands ski patrollers at 11:30 a.m. about an unknown male skier who was receiving CPR after a fall from a cliff in Toner Bowl, a few ridges behind Highland Peak.

Sheriff’s deputies were not sure how many people were with the skier or how the group contacted ski patrol.

Mountain Rescue and county sheriff’s were in the process of retrieving the body by early afternoon, and the county coroner was on the way to the scene.

Deputies said the incident was still under investigation and knew very little as of 2:30 p.m. Friday.

This report will be updated as more information becomes available.
 

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Snowboarder dies after fall in Aspen Highlands film shoot


Charles Agar
Aspen correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April 5, 2008

Aspen native dies after fall from cliff
ASPEN, Colorado — The Aspen ski and snowboard community lost one of its own Friday when Wallace Westfeldt, 22, fell to his death in the Tonar Bowl near Aspen Highlands.

Westfeldt, a world-class freeride snowboarder, was part of a Skico-sponsored backcountry film shoot by Futuristic Film, a Denver-based production company, when the accident occurred, according to a skier with the group.

The incident is under investigation, and the cause of death is still undetermined, the county coroner said.

“Our group of skiers put everything in our favor,” said Mark Welgos, an Aspen freeskier who skied the line just before Westfeldt’s accident.
“The line we decided to ski today was discussed and all safety precautions were taken. Everything was planned out thoughtfully.”

After dropping the cliff, Welgos skied out of the way and did not witness Westfeldt’s fall. But he said he heard that things went badly over the radio.

“After he fell, he kind of fell out of view from everyone,” Welgos said.

Westfeldt’s brother Patrick skied down to find Wallace unconscious, Welgos said. The brother and Jacqui Edgerly, another skier with the group, as well as the crew’s safety personnel performed CPR for more than an hour and a half, Welgos said.

“Wallace was a beautiful snowboarder with an amazing sense of humor,”
Welgos said. “This is a huge loss to the community and he will be missed.”

The news prompted the Skico to offer a statement.

“Wallace has been a part of the Aspen Skiing Company family for his entire life, and our thoughts and sympathies are with all of the Westfeldts and their friends,” said Mike Kaplan, Skico’s president and CEO. “Snowboarding was his passion, he was simply a beautiful human being, and we will miss him dearly.”

The accident happened sometime in the morning, and at 11:34 a.m., sheriff’s deputies received a report of an unknown male skier who was receiving CPR after a fall from a cliff on the west-facing slope of Tonar Bowl. The area is accessed by traveling out of bounds beyond Highlands Peak.

Deputies dispatched Aspen Highlands ski patrollers, who were first on scene.
Westfeldt was pronounced dead shortly after patrollers arrived, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

Mountain Rescue Aspen and Highlands patrollers used ropes and their mountaineering skills for the evacuation to Maroon Creek Road, while officials borrowed motorized vehicles from T-Lazy 7 for the recovery.

It was a solemn scene at the muster point for rescuers.

Friends of Westfeldt stood in small groups, talking in hushed tones, or kicking snow as they talked on their cell phones. A handful of skiers who witnessed the accident from an adjacent ridge were asking their friends for more information.

One of three triplets, Wallace Westfeldt was the son of Nancy and Weems Westfeldt. His father is the former director of operations for Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass, and has taught skiing for more than 40 years. One of his brothers, Patrick, is an alpine racer, and his other brother, Ben, is a park and pipe skier. The three graduated from Aspen High School, and Wallace once trained with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.

Westfeldt had placed well in a number of recent snowboarding competitions, including a first place at the Freeride Championships at Snowmass in 2006. As recently as last month, he earned a third at the recent Colorado Freeride Championships at Snowmass.

Among his sponsors were High Society, Obermeyer, Smith and Radio, according to the High Society website. Westfeldt had been snowboarding for 15 seasons.
 

jimmnn

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Snowboarder dies after fall in Aspen Highlands film shoot


Charles Agar
Aspen correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April 5, 2008

Aspen native dies after fall from cliff
ASPEN, Colorado — The Aspen ski and snowboard community lost one of its own Friday when Wallace Westfeldt, 22, fell to his death in the Tonar Bowl near Aspen Highlands.

Westfeldt, a world-class freeride snowboarder, was part of a Skico-sponsored backcountry film shoot by Futuristic Film, a Denver-based production company, when the accident occurred, according to a skier with the group.

The incident is under investigation, and the cause of death is still undetermined, the county coroner said.

“Our group of skiers put everything in our favor,” said Mark Welgos, an Aspen freeskier who skied the line just before Westfeldt’s accident.
“The line we decided to ski today was discussed and all safety precautions were taken. Everything was planned out thoughtfully.”

After dropping the cliff, Welgos skied out of the way and did not witness Westfeldt’s fall. But he said he heard that things went badly over the radio.

“After he fell, he kind of fell out of view from everyone,” Welgos said.

Westfeldt’s brother Patrick skied down to find Wallace unconscious, Welgos said. The brother and Jacqui Edgerly, another skier with the group, as well as the crew’s safety personnel performed CPR for more than an hour and a half, Welgos said.

“Wallace was a beautiful snowboarder with an amazing sense of humor,”
Welgos said. “This is a huge loss to the community and he will be missed.”

The news prompted the Skico to offer a statement.

“Wallace has been a part of the Aspen Skiing Company family for his entire life, and our thoughts and sympathies are with all of the Westfeldts and their friends,” said Mike Kaplan, Skico’s president and CEO. “Snowboarding was his passion, he was simply a beautiful human being, and we will miss him dearly.”

The accident happened sometime in the morning, and at 11:34 a.m., sheriff’s deputies received a report of an unknown male skier who was receiving CPR after a fall from a cliff on the west-facing slope of Tonar Bowl. The area is accessed by traveling out of bounds beyond Highlands Peak.

Deputies dispatched Aspen Highlands ski patrollers, who were first on scene.
Westfeldt was pronounced dead shortly after patrollers arrived, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

Mountain Rescue Aspen and Highlands patrollers used ropes and their mountaineering skills for the evacuation to Maroon Creek Road, while officials borrowed motorized vehicles from T-Lazy 7 for the recovery.

It was a solemn scene at the muster point for rescuers.

Friends of Westfeldt stood in small groups, talking in hushed tones, or kicking snow as they talked on their cell phones. A handful of skiers who witnessed the accident from an adjacent ridge were asking their friends for more information.

One of three triplets, Wallace Westfeldt was the son of Nancy and Weems Westfeldt. His father is the former director of operations for Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass, and has taught skiing for more than 40 years. One of his brothers, Patrick, is an alpine racer, and his other brother, Ben, is a park and pipe skier. The three graduated from Aspen High School, and Wallace once trained with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.

Westfeldt had placed well in a number of recent snowboarding competitions, including a first place at the Freeride Championships at Snowmass in 2006. As recently as last month, he earned a third at the recent Colorado Freeride Championships at Snowmass.

Among his sponsors were High Society, Obermeyer, Smith and Radio, according to the High Society website. Westfeldt had been snowboarding for 15 seasons.
 
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