Breckenridge ski death is Colorado’s first of 2016-17 ski season

Kevin Fixler
Summit Daily News

Breckenridge Ski Resort confirmed the death a 48-year-old man after an incident on an advanced trail Monday afternoon, marking the state’s first snow-sport fatality for the 2016-17 season.

Longmont resident Kevin Pitts reportedly hit a tree on Alpine Alley, a black run between the T-Bar and the Imperial Express SuperChair off Peak 8, a little after 1 p.m. The Summit County 911 Center received a call at 1:17 p.m. and Breckenridge ski patrol rushed Pitts, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision and who a friend called an expert skier, to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center’s Breckenridge Medical Center at the base of Peak 9. Following emergency care and evaluation, he was pronounced dead at that location at 1:42 p.m.

“Breckenridge Ski Resort, Breckenridge ski patrol and the entire Vail Resorts family extend our deepest sympathy and support to our guest’s family and friends,” John Buhler, vice president and COO of Breckenridge Ski Resort, said in the statement.

Pitts’ LinkedIn page lists him as director of product marketing in Oracle’s communications global business unit. He received his degree in history from Boston University in 1991 and an MBA from Colorado State University in 1998.

The county coroner confirmed his wife, Rebecca, and their two teenage children were with him at the resort. Pitts, a Colorado native who grew up in Loveland, would have turned 49 on Dec. 28.

Nine people died while skiing or snowboarding in Colorado last season, six of which occurred in Summit County. According to the National Ski Areas Association, a Lakewood, Colorado-based trade group representing the country’s resort owners and operators, there were 39 total fatalities nationwide during the 2015-16 ski year.

Four of those six Summit fatalities last year took place at Breckenridge, including the final three of the season — all in the month of April. The six in the county matched the same total during the 2013-14 season and topped the four from 2014-15.