Jason Varnish, of New Jersey, died Thursday on Vail Mountain, coroner Kara Bettis confirmed.
Skiers in the area witnessed CPR being performed on Varnish at the base of Chair 37 in Blue Sky Basin. Varnish may have been involved in an incident involving the chair itself before, according to second-hand accounts from skiers in the area. Blue Sky Basin was closed for the day following the incident. Varnish’s cause of death will be released pending autopsy, Bettis said.
Vail Resorts released a statement Thursday: “Vail Mountain confirms that ski patrol responded to a serious incident at Blue Sky Basin this morning involving a 48-year-old man from New Jersey. Upon arrival, they provided CPR and other emergency care on scene. The guest was then transported to Vail Health Hospital.”
“Vail Mountain and the entire Vail Resorts family express our sincere condolences and extend our support to the guest’s family and friends,” said Beth Howard, chief operating officer.