13-Year-Old Skier Dies In Vail Avalanche

Ranger: Teen Was Skiing Closed Expert Run

A 13-year-old boy died in an avalanche while skiing a closed area on Vail Mountain Sunday, authorities said.

The victim was identified as Taft Conlin, of Eagle, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis told the Vail Daily.

The teen was caught in the avalanche on Upper Prima Cornice, a double-black-diamond run on Vail Mountain, U.S. Forest Service ranger Don Dressler told the newspaper. The area was closed to skiers, he added.

The call came in to Vail Ski Patrol at around 1:40 p.m, and Ski Patrol responded immediately, according to a statement from Vail Mountain.

"There were two in the party skiing together," Dressler told the Daily. "One was able to ski for help."

The Ski Patrol found the boy and started to perform CPR, Dressler said.

"Ski Patrol provided advanced life support and transported the patient to an awaiting ambulance," the resort statement said. “He was then transported to the Vail Valley Medical Center. The incident is under investigation."

"Vail Mountain, the Vail Ski Patrol and the Vail Resorts family extend their deepest sympathy and support to the family and friends of the skier," the resort's statement said.

Asked if the skiers ducked a no-skiing-area rope, Dressler told the newspaper, "That's what it appears to be."

“A message that we can convey with this horrible accident is that we stress that people obey signs and closures and allow ski patrol to manage the mountain to the best of their ability,” Dressler said.

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