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Whiteface death yesterday [December 2008]

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

A 44 year old New Jersey man was killed at Whiteface yesterday morning when he went off a connector, John's Bypass Trail, and hit the trees.

Not many details and the names have varied in the press accounts.

post #2 of 11
The same melt + refreeze pattern that has caused so many avalanches out east causes experienced skiers like myself to go off the edge, and sometimes get hurt, here on the east coast.
Prayers for the piece of mind of all who knew and loved the lost skier...
post #3 of 11
I posted this on Alpine Zone eqarlier from teh news account -- tragic

ublished December 29, 2008 11:10 pm - A New Jersey skier died on Whiteface Mountain Monday afternoon after exiting John's Bypass Trail and hitting a tree.

Skier dies in Whiteface accident


By LUCAS BLAISE
Contributing Writer

WILMINGTON — An out-of-town skier died on Whiteface Mountain Monday afternoon after exiting a connector trail and hitting a tree.

Gerald M. Reilly, 44, of Morristown, N.J., was skiing on John's Bypass Trail, a connector that's accessed from the top of Little Whiteface via the gondola.

In a news release, Ray Brook-based State Police reported that Reilly lost control, "exited the trail and entered an adjacent wooded area, striking a tree and coming to rest."

Reilly was transported to the base of the mountain by Whiteface Ski Patrol. He was pronounced dead at 12:36 p.m. at Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid.

An autopsy by Dr. C. Francis Varga, of Adirondack Medical Center Morgue in Saranac Lake, revealed Reilly died from traumatic internal injuries due to a skiing accident, the news release said.

According to Whiteface Mountain's Web site, 43 of 76 trails were open Monday, most of which were intermediate and beginner level.

Essex County Coronor Walter Marvin Jr. ruled the death to be an accident.

John's Bypass is a medium-difficulty trail, with wooded areas on both sides and a steep incline on the right.

The trail connects two intermediate trails Excelsior and Lower Cloudspin.

Warmer weather over the weekend may have affected mountain conditions.

Whiteface Mountain's Web site forecasted a mixture of loose and frozen granular snow for all its trails and wind gusts up to 15 mph Monday morning.
post #4 of 11
Very sad news indeed. Deepest condolences to his family.
I've skied Iceface many times and recall more than a few harrowing runs.
post #5 of 11
Sad news, I really hope the new year brings stoke in place of the gloom and doom that has prevailed over us lately!!
post #6 of 11
Condolences.

It was difificult yesterday at a lot of places in the East. That rapid freeze created some challenges. The heaps of scraped-off frozen granular on top of boilerplate made it very easy to catch an edge. It was like skiing through heavy sand at times, accompanied by exposed spots of blue ice.

Combine that with the heavy crowds at this time making their way along catwalks and passes and it can be challenging. Yesterday was a good day to slow down and take it easy.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post
Condolences.
Combine that with the heavy crowds at this time making their way along catwalks and passes and it can be challenging. Yesterday was a good day to slow down and take it easy.
I have to wonder if he waited a long time to get on the Gondola, and how frustrated he might have been... or if he was rushing to get back to the Summit Quad, feeling that the day was slipping away and he wasn't getting enough skiing done. I've had nasty falls on days when I got a late start and felt like I had to make up for lost time. We'll never know.
Hope his family will be ok, eventually.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post
I have to wonder if he waited a long time to get on the Gondola, and how frustrated he might have been... or if he was rushing to get back to the Summit Quad, feeling that the day was slipping away and he wasn't getting enough skiing done. I've had nasty falls on days when I got a late start and felt like I had to make up for lost time. We'll never know.
Hope his family will be ok, eventually.

Not sure what happened. Accidents happen. You don't have to be going particularly fast to slide off an edge on a congested catwalk or connector, just not paying attention. It's a long way down and lots of trees. You still have to pay attention when you are on one of those connectors, even when its not steep and relatively flat. It can be easy to forget that Skiing can be a dangerous activity and you need to always pay attention to your surrdounings.
post #9 of 11
1. His name was in fact Gerard Reilly, of Morristown, NJ--there on a skiing vacation with his wife, 4 small children and two other families who were friends.

2. Thank you for all of the condolences and nice words I see here.

3. I guess we will never know his frame of mind during all of this, although people who were there that day have been kind enough to post indication on the www for me of what the conditions were...not only was he was a decent skiier but he was over 6'4" tall and wearing a helmet---it may always be a mystery to us how he succumbed to his injuries so fast...

4. Yes, the Holidays for our family will be fked up for a very very long time.
post #10 of 11

i know this happened a long time ago but he was my neighbor and one of his daughters is my best friend:(

post #11 of 11

Welcome to epicski, @kickster8.  Sad.

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