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Woman, 22, dies at Aspen Highlands ski area after colliding with tree

The woman was skiing on an intermediate run Saturday morning and was pronounced dead at the scene
Aspen-Highlands ski area on Dec. 21, 2021, in Aspen. (Hugh Carey, The Colorado Sun)

A 22-year-old woman died Saturday morning at Aspen Highlands ski area after running into a tree, according to the Aspen Skiing Company.

The woman’s name and hometown have not been released as the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office was locating the next of kin as of Saturday evening.

The woman was skiing on an intermediate trail known as the Exhibition run when she hit a tree at 11:26 a.m., according to Skico.

When ski patrol arrived on scene, the woman was unconscious and unresponsive and “advanced lifesaving measures were initiated immediately.” Ski patrollers contacted an emergency room doctor at Aspen Valley Hospital, and the woman was pronounced dead on the scene at 12:02 p.m., according to the news release.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time,” Skico officials said in the news release.

Aspen is in the spotlight this weekend with the Winter X Games at nearby Buttermilk ski area.

It is at least the third known skier death this year at a Colorado ski resort. A 69-year-old Vail ski instructor died after he was found unresponsive on the ski area’s Born Free run Dec. 28. A 47-year-old snowboarder from Colorado Springs died after hitting a tree on an intermediate run at Breckenridge ski area on Jan. 2.

Last season at least 17 people died at Colorado ski areas, including a 70-year-old Basalt man skiing at Aspen Highlands. He collided with a tree on Jan. 3, 2023, and died two days later. He was not wearing a helmet.

A 54-year-old man from Hungary died just outside the Highlands boundary when he was caught in a large avalanche on March 3, 2023.

On Jan. 22, the first backcountry death of the season in Colorado was reported when a 67-year-old snowboarder was caught in an avalanche near Ophir.

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