Recalling Kevin Edwards, 14th to Die After Colorado Ski Resort Accident This Season

Boulder's Kevin Edwards shared this photo of himself on the ski slopes five days before his death at Loveland. Additional images below.EXPAND
Boulder's Kevin Edwards shared this photo of himself on the ski slopes five days before his death at Loveland. Additional images below.
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Update: Kevin Edwards, a 59-year-old from Boulder, has been identified as the man who died at Loveland Ski Area on April 28. Edwards, the fourteenth person to die as the result of an accident at a Colorado ski resort during the 2016-17 season, was a devoted athlete whose last Facebook post, shared five days before his death, testified to his love of the activity he was enjoying when he lost his life.

The note, which accompanied a collection of photos that includes the portrait at the time of his item, reads, "April skiing is so great and there is virtually no one there, even at Vail. Prima trees and Minturn Mile top (skinned back out)."

According to his obituary, Edwards was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1957 and settled in Boulder circa 1971. He worked as a lawyer for eleven years before founding a mail-order company called Ski Gear Direct. More recently, he practiced law for the State of Colorado as senior assistant attorney general.

Still, Edwards's passion was outdoor sports. He's said to have competed in more than 100 triathlons over the past three decades or so, including ten full Ironman races.

A photo of Edwards shared by the Boulder Triathlon Club.
A photo of Edwards shared by the Boulder Triathlon Club.
Facebook

He was also a member of the Boulder Triathlon Club, which remembered him with the following post:

It is with heavy hearts that we are letting you know that BTC member Kevin Edwards passed away on Friday while skiing in the mountains. Kevin was a long-time member of the Boulder Tri Club and our Male Masters Athlete of the Year several years ago. Please keep Kevin's family in your thoughts and prayers.

Edwards was just as passionate about skiing. Indeed, one of the many online tributes to him appears on the Facebook page for Pisteholics Anonymous, a group of folks who proudly admit to suffering from pisteholism, defined as "a broad term for any skiing disorder that results in problems.... In a medical context, pisteholism is said to exist when two or more of the following conditions is present: a person skis a large amount over a long period of time, has difficulty cutting down skiing activities, acquiring and skiing powder takes up a great deal of time, vertical ski descents are strongly desired or compulsively sought, skiing results in not fulfilling 'real life' responsibilities, skiing results in family problems or Angry Spouse Conflict (ASC), skiing results in risky backcountry behavior, Extremely Radical Line Syndrome (ERLS), withdrawal from skiing results in Powder Video Downloading Compulsion (PVDC), wax withdrawal, or Epic Powder Tolerance Apathy (EPTA)."

One pisteholic writes: "In 1981, well before I knew her, my wife, Carol Glassman, graduated from D.U. law school and hung a shingle in Boulder with her friend and classmate, Kevin Edwards. The law firm of Edwards and Glassman grew and prospered for eight years until, right about the time I married Carol, Kevin decided that skiing, motorcycles, triathlons, bike races and other outdoor pursuits suited him better than practicing law. Kevin and Carol stayed in touch, and had a playful, respectful friendship long after their business partnership ended. On Friday, April 28, 2017, Kevin's exuberant life ended in a skiing accident at Loveland. It's tempting to feel that it was the 'right way' to go. It may have been. He was doing what he loved. But it was too soon. Kevin leaves behind a teenage daughter and a loving, extended family of pisteholics."

This 2015 photo of Edwards is one of many images shared on a tribute published on the website glutenfreesnowboarder.com.EXPAND
This 2015 photo of Edwards is one of many images shared on a tribute published on the website glutenfreesnowboarder.com.

Among the most heartfelt salutes to Edwards is "Kevin Edwards 1957-2017," written by Brad Gilbert and published on the website glutenfreesnowboarder.com.

The piece includes more than a dozen photos, as well as multiple videos, of Edwards and his pals in action. Accompanying them are reminiscences by Gilbert that start like this:

I lost my ski partner last week, in the same place I met him originally, deep in the woods. I met Kevin in 2001 when I was skiing alone deep in some remote woods at the Keystone ski area. As I was coming out of the woods I saw a man below coming out of the same area so I decided to introduce myself. We got on the lift together and discovered that we lived less than a half mile apart in Boulder, had a kid the same age and were both powder fanatics. We proceeded to ski another 3 runs in the same area and cemented the deal that became the basis of our relationship. I would show him where the powder was and he would tow me out of the flats....

A service celebrating Edwards's life is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday, May 5, at Calvary Bible Church, 3245 Kalmia Avenue in Boulder. A reception will follow the service. His obituary stresses that "all whose lives were touched by Kevin are welcome."

Continue for our previous coverage.

Cole Barker died after a skiing accident at Loveland in March.
Cole Barker died after a skiing accident at Loveland in March.
GoFundMe file photo

Original post, 9:14 a.m. May 2: The Loveland Ski Area has confirmed that a thus-far-unidentified male skier died at the resort on Friday, April 28. The man is the fourteenth person to perish as a result of an accident at a Colorado ski area during the 2016-2017 season, and the second to lose his life at Loveland in just over a month.

That this news is only coming out now is explained by the arcane manner in which such tragedies are handled in the state. As we've noted in our previous coverage of Colorado ski area deaths, no state or federal agency officially gathers information about resort casualties. Hence the task is left to the ski areas themselves or industry groups such as Colorado Ski Country USA, which is associated with 22 resorts in the state, or the National Ski Areas Association, a Lakewood-based organization that compiles an annual list of deaths across the country sans names, locations or specific details.

These groups do their best to release the smallest amount of information possible about each episode, which tends to minimize negative publicity that inevitably accompanies such accidents. But this approach can lead to some deaths being effectively concealed from the general public. For example, Westword was the first news agency in Colorado to report that Jim Bell, a firefighter from Kansas, died after a ski accident at Crested Butte in February — but a Colorado Ski Country representative said he was unaware of Bell's identity when we contacted the group for an April 18 post.

Five deaths during the 2016-17 season were associated with the Breckenridge ski area, where another four people died skiing in 2015-2016. They are Kevin Pitts, who died on December 19, 2016; Sean Haberthier, who died on January 13; Ricardo Cohen, who died on February 10; Tess Smith, who died on March 6; and Logan Goodwin, a twelve-year-old who died from injuries sustained at Breck on April 8.

The other victims of ski-area-related fatalities this season are San Antonio mom Kelly Huber, age forty, who fell to her death from Granby Ranch's Quick Draw Express ski lift on December 29, 2016; Alicyn Mitcham, a seventeen-year-old from Colmesneil, Texas, who died after crashing into a tree while skiing at Winter Park Resort on February 15; Andrew Garcia, who died from a snowboarding accident at Buttermilk, an Aspen Skiing Company resort on February 23; Kressyda Ming, a New Mexico mother of five, whose death at Purgatory, in southwestern Colorado not far from Durango, took place on February 25; Tien Tran, a Buckley airman from Hawaii, killed while snowboarding at Eldora on March 7; Michael Black, who succumbed to injuries sustained at Wolf Creek resort on March 21; Cole Barker, who died on March 24 after a Loveland ski area crash.

The latest fatality means that Loveland is the only Colorado ski area other than Breckenridge with multiple deaths this season.

At approximately 12:35 p.m. on the 28th, according to John Sellers, a spokesman for Loveland Ski Area who corresponded via e-mail, an incident involving a male skier took place on the resort's West Ropes run. Specifically, representatives of the on-duty ski patrol were informed that an individual was missing.

The man was located at around 1:07 p.m., at which point rescuers attempted to administer CPR. However, Sellers confirmed that resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and that the skier was pronounced dead at the scene. He added: "Loveland Ski Area wishes to extend its deepest condolences to the friends and family of the skier."

Sellers referred further questions to the Clear Creek Sheriff's Office, where a representative said the matter remains under investigation and no information can be released at this time. As such, we don't yet know the victim's identity or details about the accident, including whether or not he was wearing a helmet.

Many ski areas in the state have already shut down for the season, but not Loveland, whose closing day is listed as May 7.

The total of deaths at Colorado ski resorts this season (fourteen) is the highest since the 2011-2012 season, when 22 people died.


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