Steamboat Springs Speaking from their home in Auburn, Mass., Sunday, Stephen and Pamela Daniel remembered their son as an upbeat, kind student who was close with his friends and three brothers. He loved skiing, snowboarding and motorcycles and had come to Colorado for a weeklong ski trip with friends.
"He was the best thing," Stephen Daniel said of his son, Jared.
Jared Daniel died Friday after falling into a tree well on the intermediate Snooze Bar trail in Morningside Park at Steamboat Ski Area. He was 22.
A tree well is the unstable 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. Daniel's cause of death is expected to be suffocation, though the investigation is ongoing, Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said Friday. The incident was the second snow immersion death at the ski area in 10 days.
Mark Joseph Stout, 45, of Ottsville, Pa., died under similar circumstances at the Steamboat Ski Area, also in Morningside Park, on Jan. 15.
Daniel was a student at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Mass., and did framing work as a carpenter. He was in Steamboat Springs to visit a friend with childhood buddy Connor Ryan.
"Jared was probably the most loyal kid you ever met," Ryan said. "He always had a smile on his face. He was always looking to have a good time and looking out for everybody else but himself, really."
Daniel had been a skier for many years and had picked up snowboarding within the last season, Ryan said, adding that Daniel was "a great snowboarder." Ryan said he had filmed much of their trip, to "try to remember the good times." On Sunday afternoon, he was working from the Daniels' home to create a page in Jared's memory on the social networking site Facebook.com.
Pamela Daniel said Jared was "very excited" to get to Colorado, and had called when he got to the state to tell her how beautiful it was.
"He was having such a good time. He was just an angel and loved by so many people here," she said.