Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sugarloaf Chairlift Accident Update – December 29, 2010

As reported by Sugarloaf

Carrabassett Valley, ME (Dec. 29, 2010) – Inspectors from the State of Maine Board of Elevators and Tramways, along with mountain operations personnel and representatives from Sugarloaf Mountain are investigating the deropement of the Spillway East chairlift, which took place at approximately 10:30am on Tuesday, December 28.
The investigation, which is still on-going, began on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 28.  Today, the State of Maine Board of Elevators and Tramways believes that wind was a contributing factor in the lift deropement.
“Our two primary concerns right now are for the rapid recovery of those injured yesterday and the safety of all Sugarloaf guests,” said Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin. “We’re incredibly grateful for the help offered by local and state agencies.” 

A detailed report will be issued by the State of Maine Board of Elevators and Tramways once the investigation is complete.

Timeline of incident; mountain personnel response
Sugarloaf experienced winds immediately following the major snowstorm which dropped 22” of snow on the resort this Monday.  As a result, several lifts at the resort, including the Spillway East chairlift, were placed on wind hold at the start of operations Tuesday.

Winds diminished as the morning progressed, and Spillway East was evaluated by the ski patrol director of Sugarloaf Mountain and a chairlift mechanic. 
That evaluation included towers, top and bottom terminals, and the completion of Sugarloaf’s standard safety checks.   The chairlift was opened to the public at 9:55 am.
At 10:23am, the Lift Operations Department received a maintenance request for Tower 8 from a Sugarloaf ski patroller.  Two chairlift mechanics were dispatched at that time.  The chairlift cable was observed to be running toward the outside of the rubber liners of the sheave train (the wheels on which the cable is supported) on Tower 8.

At 10:30am, one lift mechanic arrived at Tower 8 and another arrived at the bottom terminal of Spillway East.  Working in tandem, the mechanic at the bottom terminal of Spillway East communicated with the mechanic on Tower 8 while he made an adjustment to the sheave train per Sugarloaf’s operating and maintenance procedures.  The lift was slowly started to enable the cable to settle back into the correct location on the sheaves.
The realignment effort was unsuccessful. The mechanics repeated the procedure, again unsuccessfully.   The mechanic on Tower 8 determined that it would be inappropriate to run the chair at normal operating speed and the lift should be closed.
Mechanics started the lift at a slow operating speed to begin off-loading the guests who were on the lift.
Shortly after starting the lift at reduced speed, the lift cable deroped from Tower 8, leaving the cable suspended between Tower 9 and Tower 7.  Lacking the support of the sheave wheels on Tower 8, five chairs struck the snow below.

When the deropement occurred, the mechanic on Tower 8 immediately notified the mechanic at the bottom terminal of Spillway East about the deropement.  The lift was immediately stopped and locked out from further movement.

Ski patrol was immediately notified of the deropement, and lift evacuation procedures began at 10:45 am.  At 12:14pm all guests had been evacuated from the lift.  Sugarloaf ski patrol estimates that 150 people were evacuated.

Members from ski patrol, grooming department, snowmaking department, resort ambassadors, lift maintenance personnel and the Carrabassett Valley Fire Department responded to the scene.  In total, 54 people contributed to the evacuation of the lift.

Update on injuries:
Six people were treated for injuries and sent to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Maine.  A seventh person, who initially was cleared to leave the scene, was admitted later in the day.  Today, Sugarloaf Mountain learned that an eighth guest, who was initially cleared to leave the scene, checked into Franklin Memorial Hospital.

Three patients were transported from Franklin Memorial Hospital to Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Due to patient and family confidentiality regulations, Sugarloaf cannot release information regarding the identity or nature of injuries to individuals. Further updates on the conditions of those injured can be obtained by contacting the hospitals.

Three guests who were unhurt requested to be transported to the base of the mountain after they were evacuated from the lift. One was taken via toboggan and two were taken inside a heated snow grooming tractor.  

Status of the Spillway East Chairlift:

The State of Maine Elevator and Tramway Board has noted that there was some damage to lift components due to the deropement. All mechanical components remained in place after the incident and those components are currently being removed and will be analyzed further. The resort plans to replace the damaged parts with new equipment and go through safety testing and inspections prior to reopening the lift to the public.
Other lifts at Sugarloaf continue normal operations.
“Sugarloaf Mountain wishes the best for the people injured in the accident,” said Austin.  “The resort remains committed to guest safety and its culture of safety instilled in every employee.”

For updates on conditions of hospitalized patients, please contact:
Franklin Memorial Hospital Contact: Jill Gray, Public Relations, 207-778-6031
Maine Medical Center (Portland) Contact: Public Relations Department at 207-662-2196
For additional information from the National Ski Areas Association regarding chairlift safety statistics, please visit

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chairlift Falls from Cable at Sugarloaf - Six People Injured

Sugarloaf Chairlift Derailment - 6 People Injured

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, MAINE (Tuesday, December 28, 2010) - Today, at approximately 10:30am, the Spillway East Chairlift experienced a rope derailment. At this time, we have 6 injured guests who have been treated and transported from the mountain.

All available mountain safety personnel are at the scene. The injured parties have been taken off the mountain. Additionally, the remaining guests on the lift have all been successfully evacuated from the lift.

As of now, the cause of the incident is still unknown and is under investigation.

The Spillway East chair is A 2 passenger monocable fixed grip chair manufactured and installed by Borvig in 1975. This lift was modified in 1983. Spillway East is 4,013 feet long with a vertical of 1,454 feet. This chair moves at a speed of 500 feet per minute and the chairs are 50 feet apart. Their are 162 chairs on this lift each weighing 140lbs. Spillway East has a 250 horsepower motor and has a capacity for 1,200 skiers per hour. The Spillway Chairs run parallel up the Spillway trail. Spillway East runs to the top of the Sluice Headwall and you can access all terrain below the Spillway X-Cut.

The chairlift receives routine daily inspections for safety. Additionally, the chairlift receives weekly, monthly and yearly maintenance and testing. The lift is also inspected annually for it’s safety from the State of Maine Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety.

Sugarloaf Mountain and it’s employees are concerned for the people involved, additionally the resort like to express gratitude to all the safety personnel that have responded to this incident.

Sugarloaf Mountainis absolutely committed to the safety of its guests and employees.

Sugarloaf Mountain will issue updates as more information becomes available.

Note from Lauren Traub Teton, editor Blog:
Media were alerted of this incident by Sugarloaf's communication department within 90 minutes. We applaud Sugarloaf's handling of this unfortunate event in every way.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Avalanche study shows training and education don’t reduce risk in the backcountry

Who’s most likely to be swept away?

Avalanche study shows training and education don’t reduce risk in the backcountry

From University of Calgary


If you think the person most likely to be involved in an avalanche this winter will be a young hot-dogger who doesn’t know any better, think again.

Albi Sole, program co-ordinator for Public Avalanche Awareness Programs at the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre, has just completed his masters degree research profiling who’s at the highest risk of being involved in an avalanche incident. According to Sole, the most likely subject is a male backcountry skier, 25-29 years old, with a bachelor’s degree or higher and earning about $10,000 over the provincial average. Being accompanied by a woman tends to reduce the risk, while having taken avalanche training does not.

“The risk was at least as high among those who had training as those who didn’t,” says Sole. “The message here isn’t that avalanche training is the problem. It’s just that training opens the door to a recreational activity that is very valuable to this group. For these people the risk they take is more than compensated by the rewards they get. It would obviously be far more dangerous to do these sports without proper training.”

Sole also found that those who listed their primary motivation as “having fun” were seven times more likely to be involved in an avalanche incident than those with other motivations such as “social experiences,” or “physical exercise.”

Still, Sole feels the risk of being involved in an avalanche incident is generally overstated.

“The perception of risk is very high among the public because they have a fear of the wilderness and they tend to view avalanches as an ‘Act of God.’ In reality they are more often the result of unwise choices that people make.”

The amount of media attention given to avalanches also may influence this perception, says Sole. “Drownings are actually far more common. Going out into the wilderness carries about the same risk as being a motorist, but that’s a risk that society accepts.”

Sole says the number of deaths in the Canadian Rockies has been relatively stable for many years and points out that with far more people pursuing winter sports in the backcountry these days, the numbers actually indicate a downward trend in the risk per capita.

Interestingly, American statistics show the number of fatalities south of the border is actually increasing – a contrast Sole credits to better access to training, avalanche bulletins and notices in Canada, as well as heightened media coverage.

A deadly start to the 2008 season saw several avalanche fatalities in the first 10 days of January. Sole says that despite the tragedies, the season ended not much above average. “It was a bad year for avalanches and it took people a week or so to wake up to that and start taking proper precautions. The average person, however, was not at increased risk,” he said.
“People tend to focus on the risk, not the benefit,” says Sole. “When you look at the big picture, the potential risk of being involved in an avalanche is much less than the risk to your health from physical inactivity.”

Sole’s study questioned 447 skiers about their socio-economic status, attitudes and experiences on the slopes during one season. Of the people involved in the study, 35 had been involved in an avalanche incident. Only one had experienced injuries of any significance due to an avalanche.

Media availability:

Albi Sole will be available for interviews and photo opportunities this morning, Nov. 27, between 10-11 a.m. at the U of C Outdoor Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology.

For more information or phone interviews with Sole, contact:

Don McSwiney
Director of Communications
Faculty of Kinesiology
Phone: (403) 220-7652
Cell: (403) 852-7652

The University of Calgary is ranked top 10 in Canada for research income, fundraising, endowment, research competitions and national awards. For more information, visit:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Safety Improvements Called for at California Resorts 11/2007

This news release is from 2007 but important enough to reprint here and now. See our blog entry covering snowboard deaths and snowboard safety experts here.
Lauren, 12/26/10 
News Release

Father who Lost Daughter in Horrific Fall at Tahoe Resort
Spearheads Actions to Dramatically Improve Ski and Snowboard Safety

Organization invites California ski resorts to collaborate for positive change
Sacramento, CA — A father who lost his daughter in a tragic snowboarding accident at Alpine Meadows in 2006 is taking action to ensure individuals and families are aware of safety risks at California ski resorts and that safety improvements are made to prevent avoidable injuries and deaths.
Today at a Capitol press conference, Dan Gregorie, MD, MsM was joined by Assembly Member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) to announce the launch of the California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization (CSSSO). Formed in memory of Dr. Gregorie’s daughter, Jessica, the CSSSO will promote increased ski and snowboard safety throughout California and seek to work collaboratively with California ski resorts to establish best-practice safety standards, policies and procedures uniformly across the state.
“The vast majority of the public is poorly informed about serious risks facing consumers and staff at California ski resorts,” said Dr. Gregorie. “Unlike most states with major ski resorts, California has no ski safety statute and no proactive oversight of ski and snowboard safety standards. We intend to work collaboratively with all parties involved to improve safety for winter-sports enthusiasts and, hopefully, significantly reduce the number of preventable ski and snowboard tragedies.”
“I commend Dr. Gregorie for working to improve consumer protection and safety at our ski resorts and his willingness to work with the California ski industry to reduce the incidence of ski and snowboard accidents in a proactive and substantive way,” stated Jones. “While it is never easy to foreshadow tragedy in any circumstance, I support preventive measures that diminish the inherent risks in any sport. Dr. Gregorie is to be applauded for turning his deeply personal tragedy into an organization that can help save lives and substantively increase ski and snowboard safety.”
Jessica Gregorie, an athletic and safety-conscious 24 year old was walking with her snowboard across the High Beaver Traverse at Alpine Meadows on February 5, 2006, when she slipped on the steeply sloped, icy terrain and rapidly accelerated into an uncontrollable slide over a cliff into the Granite Chief Wilderness area of the Tahoe National Forest. There were no signs posted to warn snowboarders and skiers of the potentially icy surface along the traverse or of the undetectable cliff below. In addition, Alpine Meadows provided no rope guidance across the steeply sloped traverse and no fencing above the treacherous cliff below.
After Jessica died, Dan and Margaret Gregorie sought information about their daughter’s death. Alpine Meadows (since sold to new owners) gave the Gregories a brief, factual summary of what happened and also sent them a copy of the ski-pass agreement. More than a year after Jessica’s death, there have been no significant safety improvements or changes to the area where she slipped to her death.
“The California ski industry enjoys unusually strong liability protections through a common-law doctrine of “assumed risk” as well as contractual-negligence waivers included on ski-pass purchase agreements,” said Dr. Gregorie. “Often the skier or boarder is not aware of the unknown risks they are supposedly ‘assuming.’”
Dr. Gregorie believes there is a clear and pressing need for CSSSO to serve in the public’s interest as a non-governmental, public-service organization. CSSSO will be positioned to:
  1. Monitor and inform the public regarding safety issues related to skiing and snowboarding at California resorts;
  2. Serve as an educational resource to the public and industry on best safety practices;
  3. Inform legislators regarding best-practice legislation and regulation in other states; and,
  4. Advocate for the passage of best-practice skiing and snowboarding safety legislation in California and partner with health and safety organizations working to ensure the safest possible recreational and work environments for the public and mountain operations’ personnel.
Dr. Gregorie has named prominent Californians to serve as trustees on the CSSSO board. They are:
  • San Francisco Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, a nationally known disability rights and public servant who has advocated on both national and local issues facing disabled Americans. Supervisor Alioto-Pier has been unable to walk since a ski-lift accident in 1981 when she was 13.
  • John Long, the founder of Highridge Partners in Los Angeles and a widely acknowledged industry leader in real estate investment.
In addition, Stan Gale, a ski-safety expert from Colorado affiliated with the International Society for Skiing and a National Ski Patrol member, has agreed to serve on the board.
Of special note, Congresswoman Mary Bono, whose late husband, U.S. Representative Sonny Bono, was killed on January 5, 1998, when he hit a tree while skiing at Heavenly Valley resort, has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity to the newly formed CSSSO board.
CSSSO will operate as a non-profit corporation based in San Francisco. Dr. Gregorie said the organization will seek to enter into cooperative and collaborative relationships with California ski resorts to establish best-practice safety guidelines in an ongoing effort to protect the well-being of winter-mountain sport enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.

Lisa Yates (916) 552-2650 or Cell: (916) 215-9550
Lori Aldrete (916) 552-2650 or Cell: (916) 501-2654 11/19/2007

Friday, December 24, 2010

Snowboard Deaths Reported on Google

The Wall Street Journal ran this headline on December 12, 2010:  
"Ski injuries decline, but fatalities hold steady" and the article added "According to the National Ski Areas Association, 25 skiers and 13 snowboarders died during the 2009-10 season out of 59.8 million skier/snowboarder days."

As a snowboard journalist and snowboard safety advocate, Lauren Traub Teton has been tracking snowboard deaths on her website for years. She feels this information should be brought to light, not swept under the rug, in hopes that these tragic snow deaths can be reduced or eliminated. Less serious but worthy of consideration are the non-fatal accidents that occur on snow and Ms. Teton says knowledge is power toward making time on the snow safer for all.

Snowboard Deaths, Close Calls, and Related Snowboard Safety Article Headlines from Google from 2007 to Present
(Some incidents have multiple entries below when they came up on Google more than once. This list may have accidental omissions)

See the snowboard deaths from 12/04 to 1/08 on the snowboard website

First Tracks!! Online Ski Magazine :: The ski and snowboard world ...  Snowboarder Dies in 40-Foot Plunge ( 70 more words ) ·

 Child skier, snowboarder killed in Wyo. collision - Beaumont ...  Dec 25, 2010 ... (AP) â ” A 5-year-old girl and a 22-year-old man died after a Christmas Eve skiing collision at a ski area outside Casper, and the girl's ... collision-920443.php - Cached

First Tracks!! Online Ski Magazine :: The ski and snowboard world ...  Snowboarder Dies in 40-Foot Plunge ( 70 more words ) · Pagosa Springs, CO - A 35-year-old Tucson man died while snowboarding at Colorado's Wolf Creek ski area on Saturday when he plunged off a 40-foot cliff.

Teen snowboarder dies at Mt. Hood Meadows
HOOD, Ore - A fifteen-year-old snowboarder died Wednesday night at Mt. Hood Meadows. Members of the Ski Patrol found the teen face down in the snow at about ...
See all stories on this topic »

more headlines are being added here

Teen snowboarder killed
WIVB - Buffalo,NY,USA
ISCHUA, NY (WIVB) - A 19 year old Cattaraugus County man died while snowboarding Tuesday in the Town of Ischua. Cattaraugus County Sheriff Dennis John says ...
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Snowboarder, snowmobile collide at The Canyons
Park Record - Park City,UT,USA
A Park City snowboarder was in intensive care Tuesday after he was struck Friday by a snowmobile a resort employee was operating at The Canyons, ...

Hyde Park Man Dies From Injuries In Canadian Avalanche
CINCINNATI - A Hyde Park man was killed last week after he was trapped in an avalanche while snowboarding in Canada. Canadian Royal Mounted police said ...

Black slope leaves German snowboarder dead
Austrian Times - Vienna,Austria
A German snowboarder died of his injuries yesterday (Mon) after falling and hitting an obstruction near Söll in Tyrol's Kufstein district. ...
See all stories on this topic   

Details of Snowmass snowboard accident still unclear
Aspen Daily News - Aspen,CO,USA
Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said ski area officials don't have any answers yet about what happened to the 27-year-old snowboarder who was found at ...
See all stories on this topic

Snowboarder injured at Snowmass
Aspen Daily News - Aspen,CO,USA
A 27-year-old snowboarder was seriously injured at Snowmass Ski Area and taken to Aspen Valley Hospital on Saturday afternoon, after companions found him at ...
See all stories on this topic
The Province
Avalanche season claims one more
The Province - Vancouver,BC,Canada
Aaron Fauchon, 26, was snowboarding alone on Whistler Mountain in an out-of-bounds area on New Year's Day when he was killed in an avalanche. ...
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Late snowboarder Kyle Suske had been cautious, friends tell sister
Wausau Daily Herald - Wausau,WI,USA
By Amy Olson • Wausau Daily Herald • January 10, 2009 The death of a longtime snowboarder despite taking precautions is upsetting for local snow sport ...
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Snowboarder injured in BC avalanche
Calgary Herald - AB, Canada
A snowboarder was severely injured Thursday when he was buried in an avalanche in northwestern B. c. The 39-year-old man was helicopter-snowboarding with ...
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OU student declared brain dead following snowboarding accident
Colorado Daily - Boulder,CO,USA
AP OKLAHOMA CITY — A University of Oklahoma student who suffered a massive head injury while snowboarding in Colorado has been declared brain dead, ...
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Autopsy shows 25-year-old Kyle Suske of Wausau died from blunt ...
Wausau Daily Herald - Wausau,WI,USA
The 25-year-old was heading down the slopes of Granite Peak Ski Area on his snowboard when he crashed at about 7 pm An autopsy performed Thursday suggested ...
See all stories on this topic  

Snowboarders escpe Brighton avalanche
ABC 4 - Salt Lake City,USA
BRIGHTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Two buddies, eighteen and nineteen year old from Cottonwood Heights were snowboarding down fresh powder and triggered an ...
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Snowboarding Among Top Sports For Injuries
Post Chronicle - USA
by Staff Snowboarding is among the top 10 sport and recreational activities causing injuries to children, US physicians say. The are injuries severe enough ...
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'God ... was watching over him'
Globe and Mail - Canada
Explaining how Mr. Martin got lost, his mother said he "unknowingly" went out of bounds while he was snowboarding. She said his current focus is to spend ...
See all stories on this topic
Snowboarder killed in avalanche at site of 2010 Winter Olympics
Times Online - UK
A snowboarder has been killed in an avalanche at the Canadian ski resort on Whistler Mountain which will host the alpine events for the 2010 Winter Olympics ...
See all stories on this topic
Two dead as three avalanches hit BC resort
Calgary Herald - AB, Canada
The man was snowboarding in the Secret Chutes area near Whistler's Symphony Bowl. Police were withholding his identity pending notification of next of kin. ...
See all stories on this topic
'Wonderful' to be alive, says snowboarder lost for days on BC mountain
The Canadian Press - VANCOUVER, B.C.
Martin became lost while snowboarding Sunday and spent the next several days seeking shelter and trudging through deep snow looking for a way out. ...
See all stories on this topic
Snowboarder lost for 3 days found alive
International Herald Tribune - France
AP VANCOUVER, British Columbia: A snowboarder who was lost for three days on a frigid, snowy western Canadian mountain said Thursday that it is wonderful to ...
See all stories on this topi

Avalanches kill 2 at Canadian ski area
The Associated Press
Police said the latest fatality occurred Thursday when a 26-year-old man on a snowboard was swept away on Whistler mountain. A day earlier, a 37-year-old ...
See all stories on this topic
Ont. snowboarder narrates survival tale - Don Mills,Ontario,Canada
A file photo of Ontario snowboarder James William Martin. His cellphone was in his truck in the parking lot. Spotting a flashing marker, he began trudging ...
See all stories on this topic

Snowboarder Teter hits the halfpipe for a cause
Kansas City Star - MO,USA
Most snowboarders have an iPod inside their parka as they fly above the halfpipe, letting the music carry them across the ice and snow and into another ...
See all stories on this topic
Board Makers Offer the Green Option
New York Times - United States
During a recent tour of the Burton snowboard factory in Williston, Vt., the parts of Burton’s first green snowboard, the Eco Nico, were displayed on a ...
See all stories on this topic
Avalanches kill 2 at Canadian ski area
The Associated Press
Police said the latest fatality occurred Thursday when a 26-year-old man on a snowboard was swept away on Whistler mountain. A day earlier, a 37-year-old ...
See all stories on this topic
Ont. snowboarder narrates survival tale - Don Mills,Ontario,Canada
A file photo of Ontario snowboarder James William Martin. His cellphone was in his truck in the parking lot. Spotting a flashing marker, he began trudging ...
See all stories on this topic
Hudson Launches Official Snowboard Riot Website
WiiWare World - Loughborough,UK
Hudson has just launched the official site for their upcoming WiiWare title Snowboard Riot. The game takes place on a volcanic island that is covered in ...
See all stories on this topic
Soldier Karl shows off snowboard skill
Northampton Chronicle & Echo - Northampton,England,UK
County soldier Karl Marriott has taken part in the Army Snowboarding Championships in the Austrian Alps. The 21-year-old Guardsman, who is serving with the ...
See all stories on this topic
Video captures man stealing snowboard
The Wenatchee World Online - Wenatchee,WA,USA
WENATCHEE — A 21-year-old Wenatchee man apparently caught on a video camera stealing a snowboard at Mission Ridge was arrested Wednesday.
Don't let this happen to YOU!
Lock your snowboard and register the serial number!

Snowboarder found alive in 'miracle' rescue
Calgary Herald - AB, Canada
By Chad Skelton and Allison CrossDecember 31, 2008 9:37 PM VANCOUVER — An Ontario snowboarder stranded for three days on an icy Vancouver mountain struggled ...
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No leads in search for missing snowboarder in Vancouver
Calgary Herald - AB, Canada
Authorities initially thought Martin went snowboarding at the resort on Saturday, but Morton said the investigation has led police to believe the missing ...
See all stories on this topic

Ontario snowboarder missing in BC
Toronto Sun - Ontario, Canada
By DON PEAT, Sun Media Poor weather is preventing a ground search for a 21-year-old Ontario snowboarder missing on a British Columbia mountain. ...
See all stories on this topic
A deadly start to the 2008 season saw several avalanche fatalities in the first 10 days of January. Sole says that despite the tragedies, the season ended not much above average. “It was a bad year for avalanches and it took people a week or so to wake up to that and start taking proper precautions. The average person, however, was not at increased risk,” he said.
Read this study from the University of Calgary about avalanche safety here.

Last joyful message before fatal fall at ski resort
The Canberra Times - Canberra,Australian Capital Territory,Australia
He was snowboarding at the Chilean ski resort of Portillo, and having a ball. "Life really doesn't get much better than this," he wrote. ...
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Aussie's fatal ski-lift slip
The Age - Melbourne,Victoria,Australia
Mr Fine, a snowboarder from Petersham in Sydney's inner west, slipped from a poma, or T-bar, ski lift. His father, Michael Fine, said his son got caught on ...
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Australian killed skiing in Chile
Melbourne Herald Sun - Australia
A 32-YEAR-old Australian man died when he fell while making his way down a dangerous ski run on a mountain in Chile, the Australian embassy said. ...
See all stories on this topic


Two bodies found of snowboarders missing since Jan.
Denver Post - Denver,CO,USA
MINERAL COUNTY — The bodies of two snowboarders missing since January were found Monday, according to authorities. Michael George and Kyle Kershen, ...
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Bodies of missing snowboarders found in SW Colo - Grand Junction,CO,USA
(AP) - The bodies of 2 men last seen snowboarding at Wolf Creek Ski Resort in January have been found. It was unclear whether their bodies were found within ...
See all stories on this topic

Snowboarder dies after Lake Louise fall - Toronto,Ontario,Canada
A 23-year-old Calgary man has died of injuries he suffered while snowboarding with friends at Lake Louise this week. Desmond John Prins fell down a steep ...
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Aspen remembers fallen snowboarder
Summit Daily News - Frisco,CO,USA
Tuesday’s Snowmass mountain memorial ceremony for fallen snowboarder Wallace Westfeldt was far from somber. It was held in the shadow of “the Wall” section ...
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Coroner's officials: Snowboarder suffered internal bleeding - Grand Junction,CO,USA
(AP) - Coroner's officials say a snowboarder who died after jumping off a cliff in the backcountry during a film shoot died of internal bleeding

Sportsman comes to terms with paralysis
Oxford Mail - Oxford,England,UK
By George Hamilton After dislocating his neck in a snowboarding accident and 'dying' three times, you could be forgiven for thinking Tom Nabarro should be ...
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Extreme boarder dies in cliff fall
Rocky Mountain News - Denver,CO,USA
Westfeldt was a rising snowboarding star who placed third at last month's Colorado Freeride Championships at Snowmass. He also ranked third among men in the ...
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Ski Accident
By samfrans
During the 2006/07 season, 22 fatalities occurred out of the 55.1 million skier/snowboarder days reported for the season. Eighteen of the fatalities were skiers (15 male, 3 female) and 2 of the fatalities were snowboarders, both male. ...
“According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA): During the past 10 years, about 37.1 people have died skiing/snowboarding per year on average. During the 2006/07 season, 22 fatalities occurred out of the 55.1 million skier/snowboarder days reported for the season. Eighteen of the fatalities were skiers (15 male, 3 female) and 2 of the fatalities were snowboarders, both male. In two of the cases the equipment used was reported as unknown. The rate of fatality converts to .40 per million skier/snowboarder visits.”
Chevron Says... - 
Indiana snowboarder, 28, dies of injuries from Keystone fall
Denver Post - Denver,CO,USA
By The Denver Post A 28-year-old woman died eight days after she was injured in a snowboarding accident at Keystone Resort in Summit County, authorities say ...
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Parents of missing snowboarder arrive in Whistler - Hamilton,Ontario,Canada
WHISTLER - The parents of a 25-year-old Japanese snowboarder who disappeared last Thursday morning now are at the ski resort and were briefed today about ...
See all stories on this topic
Missing Japanese snowboarder a 'really nice girl' - Hamilton,Ontario,Canada
WHISTLER - The 25-year-old Japanese snowboarder who has been missing for five days came here to study English because she had a passion for snowboarding, ...
See all stories on this topic
Snowboarding student still missing
CKNW - Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada
WHISTLER-BLACKCOMB/CKNW(AM980) - More resources will be used in the search for a missing snowboarder on Blackcomb Mountain. Constable Afzeel Yakub with ...
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A halo to keep her safe
Bismarck Tribune - ND, USA
LAUREN DONOVAN/Tribune Brooke Kilber of Hazen can only count herself lucky, even though a spring break snowboarding trip left her in a surgically placed ...
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Skier dies after collision at Canyons resort - Idaho Falls,ID,USA
It is the third fatality at the state's largest ski and snowboard park this season. On Dec. 17, a Park City man was killed after a tree collision. ...
See all stories on this topic 

Search on for boy, 12, caught in Quebec avalanche - Canada
The boy was believed to have been snowboarding near Thetford Mines., a small town in south-central Quebec. Firefighters and members of the community are ...
See all stories on this topic

Two Belgian snowboarders killed in Austrian alps
Earthtimes - London,UK
Vienna - Two holidaymakers from Belgium were killed during a snowboard outing in Austria's Ziller valley on Tuesday, police said on Wednesday. ...
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British Snowboarder Killed In France
4RFV - Belfast,Northern Ireland,UK
He had been snowboarding on a 8500ft-high off-piste stretch and it is believed that the accident happened when the man removed his snowboard to walk across ...
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Yorkshire dealmaker in tragic snowboarding accident
The Business Desk - Leeds,England,UK
By David Parkin - Editor ONE of the most popular and dynamic figures in the Yorkshire corporate finance community has died in a snowboarding accident in the ...
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Snowboarding accident sends youth to hospital
CBC Prince Edward Island - Charlottetown,Prince Edward Island,Canada
A 16-year-old Bonshaw, PEI, resident is in Moncton Hospital with head injuries after a snowboarding accident at Brookvale Provincial Ski Park Thursday ...
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 GI man dies from snowboarding injury
Niagara Gazette - Niagara Falls,NY,USA
The accident occurred about 8 pm when Carr was snowboarding off Cindy’s Run at the ski resort in Ellicottville, said Bonnie Koshchir, vice president of ...
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Grand Island Snowboarder Dies After Skiing Accident
WIVB - Buffalo,NY,USA
(Buffalo, NY, February 20, 2008) - - A Grand Island man has now died of his injuries after a snowboarding accident at Holiday Valley. ...
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Snowboarder in critical condition
New Jersey Herald - Newton,NJ,USA
VERNON — A North Brunswick man was in critical condition Sunday night after being involved in a snowboarding accident at Mountain Creek Resort on Saturday ...
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UC victim identified; very drunk
Cincinnati Enquirer - Cincinnati,OH,USA
Two students snowboarding on ice in the area saw her and ran into Daniels Hall nearby to call 911, police said. Police said it appears she fell 15 to 20 ...
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Former Idaho linebacker recalls night lost on ski hill
Twin Falls Times-News - Twin Falls,ID,USA
But on Monday, Skinner said he would have gladly given up everything to survive the night he spent lost in the Idaho backcountry after a snowboarding run ...
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Skiers and Snowboarders Put Their Lives At Risk
Travel Connect - London,England,UK
According to a new study, adult skiers and snowboarders are becoming increasingly jealous of others abilities on the slopes, leading to dangerous behaviour ...
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2/9/08 from and article by Robert Booth, The Guardian
Off-piste casualties cast a shadow over Alpine ski resorts

British doctor's accident takes toll to 30 fatalities this year
"Twenty-nine other skiers and snowboarders have been killed in the Alps this year - a number ski professionals believe is worryingly high. Monica Davis, 35, from Derbyshire, went off-piste in Germany last month and fell into a canyon. Her frozen body was found the next morning. A third Briton, David Monk, 46, from Hertfordshire, was killed after using a piece of ski barrier to sledge down a mountain in the Italian Alps.
In France, at current rates, the death toll will exceed that of last year. In the past three months, there were eight deaths and countless near misses. Yet attempts to educate mountain users in the dangers of "hors piste" are falling on deaf ears."

Lost for 12 hours, snowboarder found alive (subscription) - Lewiston,ME,USA
CARRABASSETT VALLEY - A snow-making employee at Sugarloaf/USA, who said Thursday that he wanted to do some snowboarding before going to work, ...
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British doctor dies in 260ft snowboard plunge in French alps
Daily Mail - UK
A British doctor plunged 260ft to his death while snowboarding in the French Alps in an off-limits area described as "extremely dangerous". ...
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Dad dies in snowboard tragedy
Basingstoke Gazette - Basingstoke,England,UK
The 40-year-old died yesterday after falling 80m (260ft) from rocks in the popular Val d'Isere ski resort, the Daily Echo understands. ...
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Snowboard tragedy doctor named
Hastings Observer - Hastings,England,UK
A Winchester doctor who died in a snowboarding accident in the French Alps has been named in reports as anaesthetist Dr Robert Bruce. The 39-year-old, ...  

 UK snowboarder killed in France
BBC News - UK
A 40-year-old British man has been killed after falling 80m (260ft) from rocks while snowboarding in the French Alps, the BBC has learned. ...
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Three Snowboarders Missing in Yosemite Valley - Sacramento,CA,USA
Rescuers are looking for two teens and a young man who didn’t return from a snowboarding outing in Yosemite National Park on Monday. ...
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7 missing snowboarders found alive
The Daily Yomiuri - Osaka,Japan
HIROSHIMA--Seven snowboarders who had been missing in the mountains near a ski resort in Akiotacho, Hiroshima Prefecture, since Sunday, were rescued near ...
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7 snowboarders missing at Hiroshima Pref. ski resort
The Daily Yomiuri - Osaka,Japan
HIROSHIMA--A rescue team suspended its search for the day on Monday for a group of seven snowboarders apparently lost in the mountains near a ski resort in ...
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Local student dies in snowboard accident
KONP.COM 1450 - Port Angeles,WA,USA
(Port Angeles) - A Peninsula College student died in what's being described as a freak snowboarding accident. 20-year-old Jared Nagel died at Stevens Pass ...
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West Salem grad dies while snowboarding
Salem Statesman Journal - Salem,OR,USA
BY JILLIAN DALEY A 2006 West Salem High School graduate died Saturday in what appeared to be a snowboarding accident. Jared Nagel, 20, died in Stevens Pass, ...
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Full recovery expected for student who broke neck
Vail Daily News - Vail,CO,USA
James, who competed in slopestyle and halfpipe for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, broke his neck diving into a lake this summer. Doctors thought it was likely ...
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Snowboarder killed at Stevens Pass
A snowboarder was killed in an accident in the Cascades on Saturday, officials said Sunday. The King County Medical Examiner's Office said the man fell off a jump at a snowboarding park.
KOMO 1000 - News - Local - 

Witnesses describe chaos at Reno party where Truckee snowboarder ...
(AP) - Witnesses described fear and chaos at an off-campus Halloween party the night three people were shot dead, including Truckee snowboarder Charles Coogan Kelly, according to grand jury testimony.

Brain Injuries on the Rise in Winter Sports
Best Syndication - Pinon Hills,CA,USA
(Best Syndication) According to research recently published in the journal Injury Prevention, brain injuries caused by skiing and snowboarding are on the ...

Missing Snowbowl snowboarder found
KPNX-12 - Phoenix,AZ,USA
He went snowboarding with a group of people at Snowbowl Tuesday and got separated from his group while to cover the third gulley, which is consider out of ...
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How safe are Colorado’s ski/snowboard slopes?
The Coloradoan - Fort Collins,CO,USA
20, a 33-year-old snowboarder who was killed in an accident at Breckenridge’s terrain park. The doctor from Kansas fractured his neck after going airborne ...
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He flew right into trouble at ski resort
Los Angeles Times - CA,USA
He spent much of the night trudging through a mountain stream in 22-degree cold, the insides of his snowboarding boots soaked with water. ...
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Avalanches near Los Angeles claim another victim
Xinhua - China
The victim was identified as veteran character actor Christopher Allport who was snowboarding when avalanches struck the Mountain High ski resort in the San ...
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Snowboarder thought only of daughter while awaiting rescue
Press-Enterprise - Riverside,CA,USA
By JOHN BERRY and WIILIAM WILSON LEWIS III A 24-year-old snowboarder said this morning that all he could think about was his 5 ½-month-old daughter, ...
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Michigan lawmakers push helmet requirement for skiers, snowboarders - MI,USA
by CLAY TAYLOR | Capital News Service LANSING - Downhill skiers and snowboarders without head protection may find a hefty fine waiting for them at the ...

Kansas Man Dies After Snowboarding Accident - Denver,CO,USA
Police did not release how the man died, but said he was involved in a snowboarding accident in the Park Lane Terrain Park on the intermediate run. ...
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Student from Philadelphia killed in Maine snowboarding accident
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader - Wilkes Barre,PA,USA
A snowboarding accident at western Maine's Sugarloaf ski resort has claimed the life of a 19-year-old Colby College freshman from Philadelphia. ...

Snowboarder Dies At Sugarloaf
WMTW - Auburn,ME,USA
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine -- A Colby College student is dead after a snowboarding accident at Sugarloaf ski resort in Carrabassett Valley. ... 

Two Snowboarders Still Missing in Wolf Creek
Two snowboarders from Albuquerque, two snowboarders from Santa Fe, and two families of snowmobilers from Farmington went missing in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico during the storm. Avalanches throughout southern Colorado ...
NewWest.Net Travel & Outdoors -

Snowboarder Flown To Hospital After Injury
DANBURY, NH (AP) -- Officials say a young snowboarder from Massachusetts was flown to the hospital with serious injuries after an accident at New Hampshire's Ragged Mountain Ski Area. - NEWS CENTER Regional News -

NZ snowboarder dies in French Alps avalanche
New Zealand Herald - New Zealand
Mr Hedlund's mother Christine Smith from Milford told the Herald that her son was snowboarding, away from the crowds and chair-lifts. ...
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Couple Lost in Wilderness Say It Helped Their Relationship
ABC News - USA
(AP Photo/Albuquerque Journal, Eddie Moore) An engaged couple who got lost while on a backcountry snowboarding trip said that the three nights they spent ...

Stranded snowboarder uses cell phone to get rescued
Sacramento Bee - CA, USA
By Clint Swett - A snowboarder mired in deep snow was rescued by El Dorado County Sheriff's deputies Saturday evening after straying ... 
Hundreds honour snowboarder
Globe and Mail - Canada
BIG WHITE, BC — The memorial service for Australian snowboarder Leigh Barnier was packed to overflowing last night, with 250 friends and colleagues from the ...
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Laptop Of Brighton Graduate Killed While Snowboarding Stolen
WHMI - Howell,MI,USA
28 year old Eric McConeghy (pictured) was killed in a snowboarding accident December 28th. He landed head-first into a snow bank near the base of Mt. Hood ...
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Search resumes in 'horrible' weather for missing snowboarders
(AP) - Searchers in the Creede, Colorado, area braved a winter storm today in the search for two Albuquerque men missing who disappeared while snowboarding ...
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Rescuers find missing snowboarders near Ashland
By The Associated Press
ASHLAND -- Two snowboarders got confused in heavy snow at the Mount Ashland ski area, got out of bounds and got lost. But several hours later, after nightfall, searchers found them, wet, cold and dug into the snow. After they...
Breaking News Updates - -

Two snowboarders lost in 49 inches of snow
Rocky Mountain News - Denver,CO,USA
Michael George and Kyle Kerschen, both 27, of Albuquerque, have been missing since Friday after they went snowboarding. Neither man was prepared for a long ...
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Mom: Snowboarders not ready for all this
Albuquerque Tribune - Albuquerque,NM,USA
Two Albuquerque snowboarders who have been missing at Wolf Creek Ski Area in Colorado since Friday were not equipped to spend several nights on the snowy ...
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 Doctor warns about in-bound skiing or snowboarding injuries
News1130 - Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - The risks are plain for those who insist on challenging Mother Nature out-of-bounds but staying inside the lines doesn't guarantee ...
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BC snowboarders have to pay for rescue - Canada
Meanwhile, a father and son who had to be rescued after snowboarding out of bounds at a North Vancouver resort last month have been told to cover the ...
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Woman dies after 450ft Alps fall - United Kingdom
The following morning her snowboard was found, which led them to her body. The police spokesman said: "She discovered that the conditions were too difficult ...
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 Briton killed in German snowboarding accident
Reuters UK - UK
BERLIN (Reuters) - A British woman has died in a snowboarding accident in the Bavarian Alps after she became separated from her party, German police said on ...
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Avalanche near a Canadian ski resort kills one man, seriously ...
International Herald Tribune - France
The injured man, who was on a snowboard, was in a hospital in Vancouver with injuries that were not life threatening, Staff Sgt. Steve Leclair said. ...
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Snowboarders survive adventure in Wyoming
Two Hudson snowboarders took a treacherous ride down a Wyoming mountain Christmas Eve and survived to tell about it.
Hudson Star-Observer : Hudson -  

Snowboarding Brit dies in Alps
The Sun - London,UK
By LUCY HAGAN A BRITISH snowboarder plunged 500ft to her death after texting an SOS message to a pal. Monica Davis, 35, alerted her friend after realising ...
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English snowboarder dies in accident in German Alps (Pressemitteilung) - Wien,Austria
AP BERLIN (AP) - A snowboarder from England died after she fell down 150 meters (164 yards) off a marked slope in the Alps and spent the night outdoors, ... 

Father and son snowboarders lucky to be alive
A 46 year old man and his teenaged son went out of bounds on Grouse Mountain Saturday afternoon and North Shore Search and Rescue had to be called in to get them out of a very dangerous area.
CKNW Vancouver - 

Lost brothers create Lakeshore scare
Leelanau Enterprise - Leland,MI,USA
Ryan Yost, 16, and his older brother, Curtis, 21, went to The Homestead to snowboard Sunday, but decided to try the Dune Climb within the National Park ...
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Son Of Long-Time Brighton Teacher Killed While Snowboarding
WHMI - Howell,MI,USA
12/29/07 - The son of a long-time Brighton teacher has been killed in a snowboarding accident out west. 28 year old Eric McConeghy was killed after landing ...
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Michigan man dies in snowboarding accident
WOOD-TV - Grand Rapids,MI,USA
HOOD PARKDALE, OREGON -- A young man from Michigan died Thursday after a tragic snowboarding accident. Eric McConeghy, 28, originally from Brighton, ...
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Doctors want people to be safe outdoors this winter
KVAL - Eugene,OR,USA
Doctors are offering advice to keep you out of the emergency room though wear a helmet when your skiing or snowboarding. One doctor told us while he sees ...
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Brighton native dies in snowboarding accident
The Ann Arbor News - - Ann Arbor,MI,USA
An avid snowboarder who grew up in the Brighton area was killed Thursday in a freak accident while snowboarding with friends near the base of Mount Hood in ...
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Snowboarder dies at Mount Hood Meadows
(AP) - A Hood River deputy says a snowboarder at Mount Hood Meadows was alive after falling head first into a tree well but suffocated as 3 of his friends ...
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No one's at fault in most ski collisions
Salt Lake Tribune - United States
Over the past 10 years, an average of 37 people have died annually snowboarding or skiing within ski-resort boundaries, according to the National Ski Areas ...
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Man slain at party was snowboarding star
Reno Gazette Journal - Reno,NV,USA
Kris Walters of San Francisco, who went snowboarding with Kelly, said his partner would push the sport to the limit. A 70-foot drop, which his peers thought ...
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Rising star dimmed
Nevada Appeal - Carson City,NV,USA
After attending Truckee High School, Kelly pursued a passion for snowboarding. He was skilled enough to attract local sponsorship by NJB clothing and ...
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Alum Jessica Gregorie Dies in Skiing Accident 

Feb 24, 2006 ... Jessica Margaret Gregorie '03 died after a skiing accident in Lake Tahoe, Calif., on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006. Gregorie was born March 17, 1981, ...

Snowboard Safety Gear
How are you protecting your wrists and tailbone?
The wrist guard designed by a doctor and tested and proven to reduce snowboard  wrist injuries is available in a wrist guard or built into a quality glove, at

Snowboarders fall on their butts a lot, especially beginners. Tailbone protection like Azzpadz helps protect the tailbone. Azzpadz are the only hard-shell tailbone protectors sold for snowboarding. Get Azzpadz Tailbone Protection here.
See how invisible Azzpadz are beneath snow pants in our video Snowboard Safety Tips. says "
Bruising the tailbone, or the coccyx, is a painful condition that can leave its sufferers unable to comfortably sit or sleep. Identifying a bruised tailbone is easy. The pain is intense and concentrated in the seat area and bowel movements and sex can be painful. - Cached - Similar
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Father who Lost Daughter in Horrific Fall at - California Ski ... Jessica Gregorie, an athletic and safety-conscious 24 year old was  ...
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