Mountain biker dies after Snowmass crash | PostIndependent.com

Mountain biker dies after Snowmass crash

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times

A 65-year-old man died Monday afternoon at Snowmass Ski Area after crashing his mountain bike, police said.

Snowmass Village Fire Chief Scott Thompson said the man went over a jump on the Valhalla trail and lost control of his bicycle when he landed on a second jump. The man suffered extensive trauma, Thompson said.

The accident occurred about 1:30 p.m. on the trail, which is located on the east side, or Elk Camp side, of the ski area’s lift-served summer mountain-biking trails, Snowmass police Sgt. Dave Heivly and an Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman said.

Another visitor reported finding the unresponsive man on the trail, and patrollers arrived to find CPR in progress, Jeff Hanle, Skico spokesman, said in a statement. It was not immediately clear who was performing the initial CPR.

On-mountain rangers also began trying to save the man’s life, as did paramedics who arrived soon after, though they could not revive him, Hanle said. Eric Hansen, Pitkin County deputy coroner, said he did not know the man’s cause of death or hometown because he had not yet conducted an investigation.

Aspen-Sopris District Ranger Karen Schroyer said she was aware of the accident at the ski area, which has a permit to operate on national forest lands. The White River National Forest’s law enforcement officer will investigate the accident, which is standard procedure whenever there is a death on national forest lands, she said.

“We are saddened by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with his family at this time,” Hanle said.

At least one witness reported seeing the crash, though specifics were not available Monday, Heivly said.

The Valhalla trail is categorized as a black trail that is just shorter than 3 miles with a 1,400-foot vertical drop and is suggested for intermediate to advanced riders, according to the resort’s website. The trail features berms, jumps, bridges, table tops and a wall ride, the website states.

The incident is believed to be the first mountain-bike death at Snowmass since the resort began offering lift-served riding, Hanle said.

Aspen Times staff reporter Scott Condon contributed to this report.


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