Mountain news brief: Snowmass staffer dies in avalanche

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— The Aspen-area community is mourning the loss of a ski patroller who died after being swept off a cliff in an avalanche.

Forty-nine-year-old Patricia Hileman died Sunday while skiing alone in a closed area at Snowmass ski area known as the Ship's Prow Glades. It's the first avalanche death in Colorado this season.

The Aspen Skiing Company said she was found by fellow members of the ski patrol after she failed to show up at her station. Company president Mike Kaplan extended his deepest sympathies and condolences to her family and friends.

The Aspen Daily News reported that Hileman took fourth place in a 2010 winter uphill race at Snowmass called the Mother of All Ascensions.

The avalanche danger is considerable in much of western Colorado after several rounds of storms.

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