CU senior Alex H. Singer, 22, was found dead around 10 a.m. Wednesday by a skier at the Wolf Creek ski area in Mineral County.
Mineral County Coroner Charles Downing said that the cause of death has been determined to be asphyxia and hypothermia.
Downing said that because no one present at the time of the accident and saw what happened, no one really knows exactly what occurred.
“He fell into a tree well that in itself was pretty deep and we had had a lot of snow on Monday and Tuesday, and the snow around the tree was real soft,” Downing said. “For some reason he probably fell in head first and probably couldn’t get out.”
The skier who found Singer’s body was alerted to the incident by a pair of skis he saw sticking out of the snow, Downing said.
Singer had been skiing by Tuesday, a fact that was made known by the purchase of a half-day lift ticket that allowed him to start skiing at 12:30 a.m. that day. His vehicle spent Tuesday night in parking lot and was found the next morning. For these reasons, Downing said, they assume the accident occurred Tuesday afternoon.
“If he had been OK on Tuesday he could have gone to his car and left, probably,” Downing said.
Downing said that they believe Singer was skiing alone.
Singer, an ecology and evolutionary biology major, was “a good student and valued member of our community,” said Deb Coffin in a recent statement released to the CU community.
In the same statement, Coffin said CU is offering counseling to anyone who is impacted by the event through the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to Alex’s family, friends and classmates,” Coffin said.
Stay tuned to the CU Independent as more information becomes available.
Contact CU Independent Deadline News Editor Emily Zarka at Zarka@colorado.edu.