Ski area death of Patsy Hileman shouldn't count toward resort fatalities, industry group says

Patricia Hileman.jpg
Patricia Hileman.
Update: In a post yesterday about ski area deaths thus far in the 2012-13 season (see it below), we noted that resorts have established rules to determine whether or not fatal accidents count toward the total. As evidence, note that Colorado Ski Country USA disagrees with the claim that three people have died on the slopes thus far, arguing the accident that killed longtime ski patrol member Patricia "Patsy" Hileman shouldn't be included.

On December 30, as we've reported, Hileman was swept under by a small avalanche at Snowmass. One report said she was skiing "inbounds" at the ski area, while another said the section was "not explicitly open to the skiing public due to its inherent dangers."

patsy hileman ski patrol skiing down mountain with red lights at memorial.jpg
At a memorial for Patsy Hileman, members of the Aspen Ski Patrol skied down the mountain holding red lights.
Does the accident that took Hileman's life qualify as inbounds? No, according to Colorado Ski Country USA. When it comes to total deaths at resorts, the organization excludes those that are outside boundaries where the public is allowed to ski, even if they're otherwise on the ski area's property.

By CSCUSA's standards, then, Hileman's death should not count as a ski-resort death.

Hileman's "particular incident was on terrain that is closed to the public, so it does not qualify as a ski-resort-related skier fatality," explains spokeswoman Jennifer Rudolph.

This designation is not meant to diminish the loss felt by Hileman's friends and loved ones, Rudolph emphasizes.

"We never like to see fatalities happen in the ski industry," she says. "Sometimes, it does come down to splitting hairs, and any loss of life is important. But it's also important to distinguish these nuances."

Regarding the other two deaths noted in our original item -- Tristan Bartlett, thirteen, who died at Copper Mountain on January 4, and Doae Oh, twenty, killed in a January 9 accident at Keystone -- Rudolph can speak definitively only about the former. That's because Keystone is not part of Colorado Ski Country USA. But from reports she's read about Oh's death, she believes it, as well as Bartlett's, "meet all the qualifications" to be considered official ski-area deaths.

By her count, then, two people have died on the Colorado slopes so far this year, not three.

"Obviously, the ski industry doesn't want to portray an inflated number of fatalities," she says. "But we do want to give the public a sense of the relevant risk."

Continue to read our previous post about ski deaths so far in the 2012-13 ski season.



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15 comments
Sunnymoonshine
Sunnymoonshine

Gonna split some hairs here to set the record.  Patsy was not an Aspen Ski Patroller, she was a veteran Snowmass Ski Patroller, and yes there is a difference.   As for the ski industry strategically counting skier fatalities as a form damage control to somehow buffer potential ski vacationers from the inherent risks of skiing I find degrading to those who have lost.  Don't forget that these are people we are talking about, not numbers.  It seems that the industry forget to count the woman who had died from a collision on Aspen Mountain few weeks ago too.  If an area is closed but within the ski boundary it should be recorded by the industry as an ski fatality.  If the fatality occurred outside of the ski boundary then that should be recorded by the CAIC.  

Chris Estus
Chris Estus

Better ban skiing, even if only one life is saved. It is worth it.

Mark D Eilenberger
Mark D Eilenberger

I've never worn a helmet in the 30+ years I've been skiing. Ski within your abilities. Slow down if you are not in full control. Don't be afraid to drop on your ass as an alternative to trying to recover when you start to lose control. Don't push yourself beyond your abilities in order to keep up with other people who are more advanced. If you don't do these things, a helmet won't help you. By all means, use a helmet, but first and foremost, use your head.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

"Meanwhile, the tree remains 'free' !" ALWAYS !!!  It just has a bunch of shit stuck to & surrounding it for a few months til it's participation in the heinous act is forgotten !

Perhaps we 'know' where this year's 'Professionally Controlled Burn' 'needs' to be and I assure you Mr Tree, the result will FAR surpass 'BOGUS' !

" What was that ? Did someone say 'Pine-Beatles' ? "

I, along w/ many Americans blame the 'Futon' for our nationally shared hatred for 'pine-wood' and are nowhere near forgiving the likes of you fucking ARROGANT, ski-resort 'Pines' ! Remember, you are one errant Marlboro butt,  from being 'history' ......

I have one-leg and don't ski anyway . I used to drink a week's pay when I'd go up w/ friends for a weekend . I've only snowmobiled since sobriety and ALWAYS wear a helmet ! I wasn't 'blinded w/ science' to figure that one out either . I say,  " FUCK WHAT MY HAIR LOOKS LIKE !!! ", when blazing past a 'Killer Pine' at 40 MPH !!! It looks FAR WORSE FOLLOWING HEAD/TREE CONTACT I assure you ......

Wendy Dennie
Wendy Dennie

It's a choice to ignore warnings to stay out of a dangerous area. She accepted that risk, and paid the price. It was her choice, no one else's fault but hers

Denver's 8th Avenue Crime Fighters
Denver's 8th Avenue Crime Fighters

ANYONE WANT THE RECORDING? IT NEEDS TO GO TO C.P.S. but I hear they have a long list of DEAD NEGLECTED KIDS they were to care for TOO!

Denver's 8th Avenue Crime Fighters
Denver's 8th Avenue Crime Fighters

No big deal days before these BOYS were NEGLECTED AND KILLED BY their MOTHER. I recorded out front of my home, a woman left her kids in a running car and got in the car behind, bent over as if doing a line! I SHOULD have been able to call the cops..BUT due to their PREJUDICE to my complaints of POLICE, 311 and 911 NEGLIGENCE, SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT, DELIBERATE INDIFFERENCE AND HAVING TO ARGUE TO GET A POLICE RESPONSE..I DID NOT! YA THINK?

Michelle Brodeur Brooks
Michelle Brodeur Brooks

Sad but people should learn to stay in the marked areas. Said 2 of the deaths were out of bounds. They strip your pass for going out of bounds in Vail where that 13 year old just died out of bounds there

Denver's 8th Avenue Crime Fighters
Denver's 8th Avenue Crime Fighters

I believe the 2 BOYS died at a SKI AREA, who's MOMMY DEER was to busy RUTTING OR DRINKING! OH MORE DEAD KIDS..WHO NEED ABORTION?

Deborah Watts
Deborah Watts

I believe the 2 BOYS died at a SKI AREA, who's MOMMY DEER was to busy RUTTING OR DRINKING! OH MORE DEAD KIDS..WHO NEED ABORTION?

Chris Cater
Chris Cater

Meh, hitting a tree, helmets Don't do shit

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mark D Eilenberger 

America = a society of drooling retards who need their government mandated 'tard helmets and restraint belts to be kept alive long enough so they can be economically exploited as fodder for the insatiable capitalist machine.

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