Autopsy reveals that skier suffocated at Steamboat’s Howelsen Hill
March 23, 2011
Steamboat Springs — An autopsy performed on the Boulder man who died Thursday while skiing at Howelsen Hill has confirmed what investigators initially suspected — that Cooper Larsh suffocated in a snowbank.
Larsh was reported missing by his mother when the dowtown ski area was closing. Larsh was on spring break from the College of Wooster in Ohio and vacationing in Steamboat with his mom, who lives in Boulder.
Ski patrol began searching for Larsh, who was skiing alone, and found him at about 9:30 p.m. partially buried head-first in deep snow near the Alpine slide, an area off limits to skiing.
Steamboat Springs Police Department Detective Nick Bosick said it appeared Larsh hit a bump, went airborne, landed, hit another bump, ejected from his skis, went airborne again and landed head-first in a snowbank.
Larsh's stepfather, Mark Squillace, said Larsh was an advanced skier who had skied at Steamboat Ski Area on numerous occasions but had never skied at Howelsen Hill.