An unidentified man died Tuesday at the Steamboat Ski Area. The cause of death is under investigation.

File photo

An unidentified man died Tuesday at the Steamboat Ski Area. The cause of death is under investigation.

Skier dies on slopes

Pennsylvania man found near Cowboy Coffee run at about 1 p.m.

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Recent deaths at the Steamboat Ski Area

Feb. 20, 2005 - Thomas Dolven, 46, of Denver died after falling headfirst into deep snow near the bottom of Chute 2 on the upper mountain

Feb. 26, 2002 - Norma Raye Teague, 63, of Spring, Texas, died two days after falling on the Headwall trail and suffering an internal abdominal injury

Feb. 11, 2001 - James Lee, 22, of Westminster died after hitting his chest and head on a table-top jump in the Bashor terrain park

Dec. 16, 2000 - Matthew Westley, 23, of Steamboat Springs suffocated after falling headfirst into deep snow off the Frying Pan trail in Morningside Park

- compiled from Steamboat Pilot & Today archives

— A Pennsylvania man died Tuesday in Morningside Park at the Steamboat Ski Area. The man fell into a tree well but the exact cause of death is pending an autopsy, Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said.

Mark Joseph Stout, 45, of Ottsville, Pa., was skiing with his 15-year-old daughter and friends when he fell behind the group at about 11:30 a.m. on the intermediate Cowboy Coffee run, Ryg said. Stout's family and friends waited for him at the bottom of the run and then reported him missing to Steamboat Ski Patrol. Patrollers conducted a search and found Stout at about 1 p.m. Patrollers administered CPR at the scene but were unable to revive Stout. He was pronounced dead at 1:25 p.m., Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokesman Mike Lane said.

"He didn't hit the tree, he just went in headfirst into a tree well," Ryg said. "He suffered no apparent trauma to his body."

Ryg said that while suffocation or a heart attack could have caused the death, an autopsy is still pending.

"We don't know exactly why he died," Ryg said. "We'll find out in the next couple of days."

A tree well is the hole or depression that forms around the base of a tree when low branches prevent snow from filling in and creating snowpack around the trunk.

Lane said there were no witnesses to the accident. He was not sure if Stout was wearing a helmet.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they deal with this difficult time," Lane said. "We are attempting to do everything we can to support them."

Tuesday's accident is the first fatality at Steamboat Ski Area since February 2005.

Colorado, where about 10 people die on ski slopes each year, has seen several recreation-related fatalities in recent weeks.

A Vail skier was killed in a Saturday avalanche in the East Chutes area outside the boundaries of the Vail ski resort. Jesse Brigham, 27, was killed Jan. 4 during an avalanche in the same area.

University of Northern Colorado student Lygon Stevens, 20, is presumed dead after a Jan. 10 avalanche on Little Bear Peak in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where she was hiking with her brother.

Logan Jameson, 19, of Durango died near Purgatory ski area after falling off a cliff outside the ski area's boundaries Jan. 6.

Benjamin Trichler, 11, of Oxfordshire, England, died after a Jan. 3 accident on an intermediate run at Breckenridge Ski Resort.

Mitchell Maltsberger, 15, of Oologah, Okla., died Dec. 28, 2007, after he hit a tree on an intermediate run at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Comments

reilz 6 years, 3 months ago

I knew Mark from work and had the opportunity to get aquainted with his son matt.Please know that you are in my prayers always. God bless and God's speed

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Marie Menk 6 years, 3 months ago

Moning Side can be scary deep...easy for people to flat out in the recent deep snowfall. I can see where it would be easy to get stuck, fall head first into a tree well or just plain get exhausted. Even after skiing here for 30 seasons, Morningside is one place that I do not go into without losing sight of a buddy skier. Maybe warnings can be posted as such. Condolences to the family of the man who lost his life here.

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seeuski 6 years, 3 months ago

What a terrible tragedy, we are all vulnerable to these conditions and ironically some friends and I had discussed these dangers while riding the gondi up this morning. Prayers go out to this mans daughter and family.

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Troubled 6 years, 3 months ago

There should be more education and warning signs around the ski area about tree wells for the public. All of my friends that aren't from around here, even Denver, have never heard of them before and wouldn't know what to do if they got stuck in one. One of my guests got stuck in one this weekend. Luckily he had a friend with him that went and got ski patrol.

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hasue 6 years, 3 months ago

I recently helped a man dig out and right himself in the Frying Pan, he was about to go headfirst into a tree well. He was panicked and said he felt like he was drowing and I told him someone did drown in that same area six years ago. It takes just one swim back there in Morningside to make you aware of the dangers of deep snow. Since the locals are aware we should always be on the lookout for people in trouble. Please assist those who are stuck and educate them about deep snow. As many have said, 'this is not Disneyland'. There should be signs promoting the buddy system in Morningside. Our whole community mourns for the family.

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love_boat 6 years, 3 months ago

Well stated hasue, what a tragedy for this family. Years ago my then-boyfriend yelled at me for skiing off on my own in the trees without keeping him in sight. I was new to powder and trees and didn't realize the problems and potential danger with deep powder if you fall or lose a ski or even just losing momentum and getting stuck. Now that I've struggled out of a few powder swims and spent 30 minutes locating a submerged ski, I understand the danger. One stumble can totally exhaust you even if you are in great physical condition.

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dudgeonmaster 6 years, 3 months ago

It would be good if Steamboat as a community could do something for the family. Does anyone know how to set up a fund for them, or have any other suggestions?

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seeuski 6 years, 3 months ago

It is very difficult and really impossible to prevent all dangers while skiing. In March 2006 on Lower High noon I pulled a young girl out of the snow, she was skiing along the edge of the trees on skiers right a few hundred feet below Rondezvous saddle (not in the trees) and fell head first punching a hole through the snow to a stream of water that was draining melt off invisibly under the snow pack. If she was not wearing a helmet she would have possibly drowned as the water level was 1 inch from her nostrils as she was in an upside down fully erect position with no chance to move. In Dec. 1996 I was personally pulled out of a tree well in the Morningside area that encompassed two trees and the gap between them that I was using to ski thru them.I skied into it upright and the roof of the snow was about 4 feet above my head, below my skies that were supporting me by the tips and tails at either edge of the well, was a river of water. I don't like to think about what would have been had I fallen in and not skied in. The only way to be sure of a safe experience is to stay in the groomed areas.

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anglsa 6 years, 3 months ago

I have skiied Morningside several years and seldom saw any patrol members on that side. That might slow down some of the "too adventurous" on that side. Agreed, I think it is an area that you should have your buddy system in place. There are too many spots you can't even hear someone calling to you. It is unfortunate this accident happened, but with the huge amount of snow this year, skiers have to be extra cautious. What a sad day for his family!

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 3 months ago

wow, I have heard more tree well stories this year, the snow is great but I agree there needs to be warnings and education regarding tree wells, and the extracation problems involved, we all need to keep an eye to the edges for people, we have heard of kids getting gobbled up and in trouble till sombody spots them, very scary, so sad to hear about a death, I am sorry for all, God Bless............

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seeuski 6 years, 3 months ago

http://www.treewelldeepsnowsafety.com/ This web site should be read by all. Posted by josh on the ski area forum.

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KELLYMEYER 6 years, 3 months ago

We have just heard the tragic news about Mark Stout. He is from my hometown and someone my husband and I have known for many years. He was a great skier which just shows how careful everyone must be when skiing. Always ski with a partner. I know his wife is absolutely devestated as are his children and family. He comes from a large family and our hearts and prayers go out to each and every one of them. What makes this so difficult is that my family is heading to Steamboat this Friday for a family vacation, with our heads held a little lower. If there is something we can do while we are out there, please let me know. I can be reached at KDM4137@aol.com. Please keep this wonderful family in your thoughts and prayers! Mark was a wonderful husband, father, brother, son, friend and businessman.

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madmoores 6 years, 3 months ago

rioromo, Just curious but what was this gentleman's connection to Craig? There is nothing mentioned about it and it said he was from Penn.? Again, just curious and of course my condolences to the family during this difficult time.

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rioromo 6 years, 3 months ago

We were Mark's friend and neighbor here in Craig. We are overwhelmed by the comments posted to this article. We'd like to respond to dudgeonmaster's comment posted on 1/16 at 9:05 am. Your comment is extremely thoughtful. The following is a quote from Mark's Pennsylvania obituary: "memorial contributions in Mark's name may be sent to St. Michaels Building Fund, 678 School St., Craig, CO 81625, Attention: Father Jim Fox". Mark was a very, very generous man. A donation made in his name would be a memorable way to pay tribute to him. A special thank you needs to be given to The Grand Hotel who took care of the Stout family during this horrible tragedy.

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rioromo 6 years, 3 months ago

In response to madmoores comment, Mark has been bringing his family to SBS for ski vacations for numerous years. He bought land in Craig, built a vacation home and continued to ski in SBS.

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