Body of Crystal Mountain Missing Skier Found in Tree Well

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 16, 2011 10:44 am

The ski patrol director states that searchers found the body of a skier missing since March on Wednesday in a tree well on Crystal Mountain.


An employee cut through some trees Wednesday and found the remains of 40-year-old Paul Melby of Lakewood, Wash. He had reportedly been missing since March 1st while skiing alone at Crystal Mountain. Earlier efforts to locate him were unsuccessful as search crews combed the mountain for seven days, without finding any sign of the experienced skier. A renewed search effort though, was launched earlier this month as the deep pack of snow began to melt away.


Paul Melby’s remains were found about 100 yards from a ski run at the 5,600-foot level.

The area was previously searched, but snow has since melted away.


Shortly after noon on Wednesday, his body was discoved. Melby was believed to have been suffocated after finding himself trapped in a tree well. His body was found upside down in the tree well, and his death is the first at Crystal Mountain since 1993.



“We wish to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers and professionals who put in many hours of tireless effort to return Paul to his family,” resort officials said in a prepared statement. “Our thoughts are with all of ‘Melby’s’ friends and family as they finally get to say goodbye. He will be deeply missed.”


(Photo: Courtesy of Crystal Mountain)