Ski instructors and racers across the country are mourning the loss of beloved coach and educator Ron LeMaster, who was killed in a collision at Eldora ski area Tuesday.
“He was also a kind and generous person willing to drop everything to chat about skiing efficiency, mechanics and methodology,” Dave Schuiling, the education director of the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors, said in a statement. “For me and so many others in the industry, he was an amazing mentor and friend.”
Boulder County sheriff’s deputies said the 72-year-old LeMaster was skiing Tuesday morning when he collided with a snowboarder on Eldora’s intermediate Windmill run, one of eight runs on 22 acres open for skiing at the Boulder County ski area.
LeMaster was unconscious and not breathing when ski patrol reached him and began resuscitation efforts, according to the sheriff’s office. LeMaster was pronounced dead shortly before noon at the ski area. Police said the snowboarder, a man from Wellington not identified by name, was treated for injuries and interviewed by detectives.
The sheriff’s office said Wednesday that no charges had been filed but the investigation was ongoing.
LeMaster, who lived in Boulder, was renowned for his career in ski education. He wrote many guidebooks, including “The Skier’s Edge” and “Ultimate Skiing.” He was a gifted photographer, with his photos featured across ski media since the 1970s. He had degrees in mechanical engineering and computer science and he wrote many technical guides for the Professional Ski Instructors of America.
LeMaster was a ski instructor and race coach for more than 30 years, working with the U.S. Ski Team and ski schools at Aspen and Vail. His contributions to the technical art of skiing are immeasurable.
“I could’ve talked for hours with Ron about the inner workings of ski racing and the physics behind it all. In fact, I did,” NBC commentator and Ski Racing contributor Steve Porino told Ski Racing magazine, which featured LeMaster’s work for many years. “Mostly, I listened, and I will miss that honor dearly.”
LeMaster’s death is the first reported death at a Colorado ski area for the 2021-22 season. At least 11 skiers were killed in traumatic crashes in the 2020-21 season.