A 22-year-old woman employed by the Aspen Skiing Co. was killed Thursday afternoon when she hit a tree while skiing the Elk Camp section of Snowmass, the company said in a statement.
The victim was identified as Kiera Tongish by the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office.
Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said she was working her second season in the ticketing department.
“This is a shocking and tragic accident that deeply affects everyone in the company,” the Skico said in the statement. “Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with her family and friends at this time.”
Tongish was skiing with at least one friend, Hanle said. She was not working at the time of the accident.
A witness on the Elk Camp chairlift told the Skico the she lost control while on the upper third of the Grey Wolf trail, then struck a tree. “The witness did say she was skiing fast,” Hanle said.
She was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident but suffered “massive trauma,” according to Hanle.
The ski patrol was called at 1:41 p.m. by a witness on the chairlift. The ski patrol was on the scene within minutes but Tongish was unresponsive. They started CPR and other measures before loading her into a rescue sled. Patrollers continued treatment and transported her to an ambulance that took her to Aspen Valley Hospital.
“Skico employee killed while skiing off-duty at Snowmass” Glenwood Springs Post Independent 3 Dec. 2010