Sean Teater among three ski season fatalities so far, death of Vail icon's grandson isn't included
In January of last year, we reported that there'd been three official ski area fatalities at that point of the season -- but the most high-profile skiing death, of longtime ski patrol vet Patsy Hileman, wasn't included.
More pics of Sean Teater below.
The situation is almost identical this season. Three fatalities, including that of Sean Teater, seen here, are official, but the total doesn't include Tony Seibert, grandson of Vail Mountain's founder.
As we've reported, the resorts themselves have established the rules about whether skiing deaths are counted toward the official total -- and this standard excludes those that are outside boundaries where the public is allowed to ski, even if they're otherwise on the ski area's property.
That was the case with Hileman. She was swept under by an avalanche at Snowmass on December 30, 2012 -- and while one report said she'd been skiing "inbounds," another stressed that the area in question was "not explicitly open to the skiing public due to its inherent dangers."
That's similar to what happened in Seibert's case. Earlier this month, he and friends were in East Vail Chutes, outside the boundaries of the ski area; a Vail Resort plan describes it as "an extremely steep, avalanche prone bowl that drains down to Interstate 70 or to East Vail." And indeed, an avalanche was triggered, taking Seibert's life.
A photo from Tony Seibert's Facebook page.
As such, according to Colorado Ski Country USA spokeswoman Jennifer Rudolph, there have been three official skiing casualties so far this season.
The first, on December 11, took the life of Norwood resident Scott Harlow; he reportedly died on the intermediate Pick 'N Gad run at Telluride. And more recently, on January 11, Aspen's Jonathan Stuart was found unconscious after getting caught in trees on Aspen Mountain's Bellissimo run and didn't survive.
Between these two dates, on December 21, Sean Teater, a nineteen year old from Fort Collins, died from injuries sustained two days earlier at the Winter Park run dubbed Butch's Breezeway.
Continue for more about ski fatalities in the 2013-2014 season, including additional photos.