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Missing Carbondale man found dead in backcountry near Snowmass

David Cross, 32, died in “very hazardous terrain” in the West Willow area


A missing Carbondale man was found dead Thursday after a two-day search at Snowmass Resort, according to a Pitkin County officials.

Rescue personnel found David Cross, 32, deceased in “very hazardous terrain” in the West Willow area off Snowmass Ski Area, according to a news release. Cross had snowboarded into difficult backcountry terrain that can be accessed near Hanging Valley Wall at Snowmass. Snowmass Ski Patrol located the body by following a single track in the snow.

An attempt to recover the body will take place Friday. Difficult terrain, time constraints and safety concerns prevented a recovery mission Thursday, according to the release.

David Cross

Cross was last seen alive at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday boarding the resort’s Village Express lift; a friend reported him missing Tuesday afternoon but search efforts were unsuccessful Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday’s search began inbounds at Snowmass Ski Area before venturing into the backcountry. Snowmass police led the search with assistance from Aspen Skiing Co., Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen, according to the release.

As of Thursday evening, it was unclear how Cross died; the Pitkin County coroner will complete an evaluation after the recovery to determine the cause of death.

Cross was in his third season working for Skico, according to Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle.

“David was a passionate snowboarder with a keen sense of adventure. He will leave a huge hole in the lives of all those who knew him and worked with him. Our deepest condolences go out to David’s family and friends,” Hanle wrote in a statement.

“If you worked with David or knew him outside of work and are struggling with his loss, please reach out to someone for help. These tragedies hit particularly hard in our small tight knit community and we need to all stay connected and supportive,” he wrote. “Thank you to all the men and women across the multiple agencies and organizations who jumped in to assist in the search efforts. Your help does not go unnoticed.”

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