Mountain biker, 62, dies on expert Valhalla trail at Snowmass ski area |

Mountain biker, 62, dies on expert Valhalla trail at Snowmass ski area

Summer mountain biking trail map of Snowmass ski area.
Aspen Skiing Co.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with the identity and age of David Eckardt, according to information from the Pitkin County Coroner’s initial report released Monday.

A 62-year-old man died Saturday afternoon while mountain biking on an expert trail at the Snowmass ski area, officials confirmed Sunday.

The man, whose name and cause of death will be released by the Pitkin County coroner, was on the Valhalla trail and appeared to be riding alone when the accident happened, Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said Sunday morning. He said there were no witnesses and their accident investigation will continue Sunday.

Skico patrol received a call at 1:10 p.m. Saturday from a biker who found the man, Hanle said.

“Another rider was first on-scene and then an off-duty patroller came up at 1:12 p.m. and started to assist and started CPR,” he said.

The mountain patrol and medical team was on the scene at 1:20 and continued CPR for 25 minutes before stopping, Hanle said. The Snowmass fire department also went to the scene to assist, chief Scott Thompson said.

Snowmass Village Police Chief Brian Olson said because there was no crime involved, the investigation will be in the hands of Skico.

The Valhalla trail is located on the Elk Camp side of the ski area, which provides lift access to mountain bikers during the summer. It was not released which part of the trail the man was on Saturday when he died.

It is the second mountain-biking death on the trail in just over a year. A 67-year-old man from Kentucky died on the Valhalla trail in July 2017.

David Duff, who owned a home on McLain Flats Road, fracture his neck on July 3, 2017, when he went over a jump on the Valhalla trail and then lost control when he landed on a second jump, officials said last summer.

His was believed to be the first death at the Snowmass mountain bike park trails, Hanle said at that time.

The trail is a categorized as a black trail that is just under three miles long with a 1,400-foot vertical drop and is suggested for advanced riders, according to the resort’s website. The trail features berms, jumps, bridges, tabletops and a wall ride.