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Ski season deaths: James Lindenblatt's is among two that won't count toward Colorado total

James Lindenblatt.jpg
James Lindenblatt.
As we reported last week, calculating ski-area deaths in Colorado is tricky, since Colorado Ski Country USA applies a strict criteria to those included in overall figures.

Cases in point: Olathe, Kansas resident Stuart Brownlee and Summit County's James Lindenblatt died while skiing in recent days, but neither meet the CSCUSA standards. Details below.

On Friday, January 11, according to the Summit County coroner's office, Brownlee, 45, suffered what's characterized as a "non-trauma event" while skiing at Copper Mountain -- meaning that he didn't crash into a tree or the like. He was transferred to St. Anthony's Hospital in Lakewood, where he died.

stuart brownlee.jpg
The obituary photo of Stuart Brownlee.
A native of Missouri, Brownlee worked as a water analyst. He leaves behind a son, for whom a trust fund has been established.

To be included in resort death stats, Colorado Ski Country USA requires that an individual must perish on public portions of the ski area. (Aspen ski patrol veteran Patsy Hileman was on Snowmass property but just outside such a zone when she died in late December, so her case is excluded.) But even though Brownlee was in-bounds, the fact that he appears to have passed away in a manner the coroner calls "consistent with natural circumstances," CSCUSA spokeswoman Jennifer Rudolph says his passing won't be added, either.

The death statistics are meant to convey the overall risks of skiing at a resort, Rudolph explains, and because an accident doesn't appear to have played a role in his death, including him would create a false impression.

Why is Lindenblatt's death being left out? Because he wasn't at a ski area. Rather, the longtime Summit County employee and well-known adventurer (he was featured in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel's Outdoor Junkie blog as recently as December 26) died in an avalanche south of Marble, in an area beloved by backcountry skiers.

Continue for more details about the accident that took James Lindenblatt's life, including photos of the area where the avalanche took place.


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15 comments
Tarik Ocon
Tarik Ocon

Time to ban skiing, think of the children.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The Ski Industry must have hired Donald Rumsfeld to do the body counting ...

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

Of course it makes sense. Money talks in this state and, well, lives are cheap. Right?

JimTom
JimTom

Skiing should be banned! If only one live is saved it is worth it.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Why isn't the public going after the resorts,  as it is doing w/ the theater in Aurora ?

Makes about as much sense ........

Kris Call
Kris Call

makes sense to me, he died of 'natural causes'

Tracey Nichols
Tracey Nichols

oh so when Ski season begins and we us faux snow, falling off the edge won't count either eh?? How convenient....

Nicole Mills
Nicole Mills

Really... who is making bones (pun intended) about death counts? Get a fucking life/real job!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Tarik Ocon ... you should be thinking about a vasectomy 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@chrisestus "If only one live [sic] is saved it is worth it."

Gun Loons = uneducated morons

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Juan_Leg ... because The Public -- via the Elected Legislature -- long ago enacted State Law which exempts Ski areas from any liability for skier injury or death ... all in exchange for the promise of more tourism $$.


JimTom
JimTom

My mis-typing doesn't change the fact that skiing kills and should be stopped.

No Snakes
No Snakes

Donkey... It's not all about guns.  The Nanny State has imposed a lot of laws and regulations on us for the sake "of saving one life..."  Examples?  Seatbelts, motorcycle helmits, bicycle helmets, marijuana restrictions... I could go on.  These intrusive government types say they are doing what's in the best interest of the people.  Like THEY know what's best for us and we can't decide for ourselves.  By the way, the far left is far more guilty of this than the right...

What we need are FEWER laws and government regulations (which are laws they couldn't legislate in a million years) and more freaking FREEDOM to choose for ourselves.

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