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Authorities ID Snowmass ski patroller killed by avalanche

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SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. – The Snowmass ski patroller who died Sunday after being swept over a cliff by a small avalanche has been identified.

According to a spokesperson with the Aspen Ski Company, 49-year-old Patricia Hileman of Snowmass Village was skiing alone in a permanently closed area known as the Ship’s Prow Glades, when the avalanche was triggered.

Hileman, who had been working at Snowmass for 26 years, was overdue to her station and that’s when a search was initiated at about 12:45 p.m., the company said.

Patrol located the the victim at approximately 1:23 p.m. and medical treatment was initiated immediately. However, Hileman was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:37 p.m. and was taken to the Snowmass Clinic.

The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office will perform an autopsy to determine the victim’s cause of death, which is still under investigation.

“This is a shocking and tragic accident that deeply affects everyone in the company,” said Mike Kaplan, president and CEO of Aspen Skiing Company. “Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with her family and friends at this time.”