Skiing Accident Results in Death at Keystone

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Keystone, CO Nov. 8--The first ski-related death of the season took place this Saturday at Keystone Ski Resort in Summit County, CO. Reports say, the 27-year-old male victim, who's name was not released, lost control and went off the slope, head first into a boulder.

"The autopsy report attributes the death to massive head injuries sustained from hitting a boulder," said Sheriff Joe M. Morales of the Summit County Sheriff's office. "Witnesses said they saw him go off the trail chest first."

Officials do not know if the man was skiing too fast or out-of-control at the time of the accident. "The man appeared to be a recreational skier who just lost control and went into the woods," added Morales.

The death comes only three weeks after the resort opened on Oct. 22. With only two trails open right now, Keystone aims to discourage fast and out-of-control skiers by posting large slow signs at intersections and beefing up the presence of ski patrollers on the slopes.

"Our main concern is the safety of our guests," commented Amy Kemp of Keystone. "We feel that we have a strong ski patrol presence on our trails and our goal is to keep up with that presence."

This year, skier safety is a main concern for most resorts. Last month, the National Ski Areas Association launched a special ski safety initiative to improve safety at resorts across the country. The advent of cheaper season passes and the popularity of the sport puts more skiers on the slopes. Resorts like Keystone look at skier safety as their number one concern.

"We will continue to stress skier safety and the Skiers Responsibility Code," added Kemp. "Skiers need to stick to that code and ski in control. That will make skiing safe for everyone."