Two men die in weekend ski incidents |

Two men die in weekend ski incidents

by Kevin MacMillan
Search crews are seen Sunday morning looking in the area of the avalanche at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.
Courtesy WCSO |

A 35-year-old North Shore ski instructor died Dec. 11 after an accident at Northstar California Resort, officials said Monday.

Incline Village resident Dennis Baltimore was skiing down the resort’s Village Run at about noon when “he was forced to take evasive action to avoid someone who lost control in front of him on some ice,” according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

“Dennis veered left off the run through some trees and came to rest in a ditch,” according to authorities, who earlier had indicated Baltimore had hit several rocks and crashed into a creek.

“Witnesses contacted Ski Patrol and first responders who administered lifesaving efforts, but sadly Dennis succumbed to his injuries at the scene.”

At the time of the accident, Baltimore did not have a student with him, and he was wearing all of his safety equipment, including a helmet.

“Northstar California Resort, Northstar Ski Patrol and the entire Vail Resorts family extend our deepest sympathy and support to our employee’s family and friends; we are all devastated by the loss of this member of our team,” Nadia Guerriero, Northstar California Resort’s vice president and general manager, said in a statement.

The Village Run at Northstar was open for skiing Monday and Tuesday, according to the resort’s terrain report.

Sunday’s incident marked the second ski-related death over the weekend in the Lake Tahoe region.

Earlier Dec. 11, rescue crews found the body of a skier who had been swept under an avalanche on Dec. 10 in a closed section of the Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe resort between Reno and Incline Village.

Thomas Barker, 64, of Aptos, Calif., was identified as the victim by the Washoe County Medical Examiner and Coroner’s Office on Tuesday.

Barker was reportedly found in 8-10 feet of snow.

The cause of death is pending investigation, which often takes several weeks before results are known.

Barker reportedly did not have any safety gear on him. According to the Associated Press, Mt. Rose spokesman Mike Pierce said one skier saw Barker get caught in an avalanche Dec. 10 on Jackpot Chute, a closed area of the resort.

According to the Sierra Avalanche Center, the avalanche was 350 feet wide and reached 10 feet deep in some places.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office crews suspended the search the afternoon of Dec. 10 due to continued avalanche threat. The search resumed at about 9:15 a.m. Dec. 11.