DENVER (DP) - Experienced male skier. Thirty-seven years old. Wearing a helmet. Loses control on an intermediate, groomed run and hits a tree.
That's the average person who died on Colorado ski slopes in the past five seasons, according to a Denver Post analysis of ski and snowboarding deaths.
The 59 deaths - which do not include deaths from natural causes or riders in the backcountry or out of bounds - resulted from neck and skull fractures, torn aortas and suffocation after falling into tree wells, as well as inbounds avalanches and one person being impaled on a tree branch. Skiers accounted for 80 percent of the deaths, and two people died after colliding with other riders. Not one of those who died in the past five seasons appeared to be drunk.
The majority of deaths - 54 percent - occurred on blue, groomed runs, while 31 percent were on expert trails. Keystone saw 11 deaths, followed by Breckenridge with seven and Copper Mountain with six. Vail had five deaths.
Those who died on Colorado slopes ranged from a local doctor to a snowboard instructor to a paraplegic using a sit ski. More than 80 percent were men. The youngest two were 11; the oldest, 73. Just more than 60 percent were out-of-state visitors.
Read the full report on The Denver Post.
(Copyright 2013 The Denver Post)