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Ski Patrol Director Killed in Avalanche

Ski Patrol Director Killed in Avalanche

[ November 23, 2010 - 2:06pm ]
Wolf Creek
The director of the Wolf Creek ski patrol was killed in an in-bounds slide Monday morning while working to control avalanche danger at the resort.

Scott Kay, director of the Wolf Creek ski patrol, was buried and killed in an avalanche early Monday morning while doing control work within the resort boundary. He was 41.

A statement from the ski area said: “Our Wolf Creek Ski Patrol Director, while working to protect others, was caught in an avalanche which, to our great sadness, he did not survive. Wolf Creek's management and all its employees wish to express our deepest regrets at this loss of a wonderful man and close friend. Our sympathy and condolences go out to his wife and two children.”

Kay’s death is the first avalanche-related fatality of the 2010-11 winter in the U.S.

Due to strong winds and heavy snowfall the Colorado Avalanche Information Center had issued an avalanche watch in the area through the 22nd. On Monday, in the South San Juan region, where Wolf Creek is located, CAIC said, “New snow and high winds have created dense slabs of snow resting on weak faceted layers. Slopes that face northwest, north, northeast and east will be the most dangerous. High avalanche danger means both natural and human triggered avalanches are likely.” 

Kay was a long-time patroller. "He’d been there for a long time and knew the mountain really well, and he’s got a couple young kids...there’s sadness today in the ski community," Dale Atkins, president of the American Avalanche Association, told Powder Magazine.

Wolf Creek closed for the remainder of the day Monday in his honor, but re-opened on Tuesday, also in his honor.

A memorial fund was set up for his wife and children at a local church: Saint Patrick's Episcopal Church, 225 South Pagosa Boulevard, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

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