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Boulder skier dies in freak accident at ski area

A 22-year-old skier died Dec. 8 in a freak accident at Wolf Creek Ski Area, east of Pagosa Springs.

Alex Singer, 22, of Boulder, was found at approximately 10 a.m. Wednesday by an unidentified snowboarder from Durango, at a site approximately 150 feet from the Treasure ski lift at the area.

According to Davey Pitcher, of Wolf Creek Ski Area, the Durango snowboarder stopped to look up the hill for some friends and spotted a pair of ski boots and skis protruding from the snow near a tree well.

According to Pitcher, the tree where Singer was found, “was within sight of the lift, but he was hidden so well that he couldn’t be seen from the lift or from uphill.”

Pitcher said Singer had apparently skied into the downhill side of the tree well Tuesday. A major winter storm was underway at the time.

Mineral County Coroner Charles Downey reported the official cause of death as asphyxiation and hypothermia. Autopsy results were received by the coroner at noon, Thursday. Downey reported no evidence of trauma was discovered during the autopsy.

Downey said the exact time of death could not determined, but noted that Singer had purchased a half-day lift ticket for use Tuesday afternoon, and that Singer’s car had remained in the parking lot at the ski area Tuesday night.

Pitcher said Singer, originally from New York State, was reportedly training to be a member of the ski patrol at Copper Mountain Ski Resort, in the I-70 corridor.

“The young man was probably a good skier,” said Downey, “and that makes it even more difficult to determine why this happened. It was an accident, and probably the very definition of an accident.”