March 17, 2015

CB Local Passes in Ski Accident


We are sad to report the passing of Zane Mason, a 33-year-old local raised and living in Crested Butte.  Details of the cause of death remain unclear, but Mason’s body was found at the bottom of Terminator Chutes outside the boundary at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.  Our thoughts go out to the Mason family and the Crested Butte family.  Below is the police report, as well as the CBMR press statement on the fatality.

Photo: Brandon Maxwell

Contact: Marjorie Trautman, Public Information Officer, 970-349 6516,

Skier Death, Recovery Operation

Mt. Crested Butte, Gunnison Country, Colorado

Gunnison National Forest

On March 16, 2015, Zane Tristan Mason (date of birth 8/25/1981) age 33 of Crested Butte, Colorado, died as a result of a fall while skiing outside the boundary of the Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) in the Gunnison National Forest.  Mason’s unresponsive body was spotted by a paraglider, who was flying overhead, at the base of a rocky chute which ends in a 250 cliff.  Authorities were notified of the skier and his location at approximately 3:05 p.m. on March 16, 2015.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort dispatched a Hasty Team of three Ski Patrol personnel to the reported area which was reached at approximately 3:45 pm.  A fatality was confirmed and Mason was identified by his CBMR ski pass.

Crested Butte Search and Rescue was placed on a standby hold status while safety conditions of the target area and the access to it were assessed.  It was determined that due to the significantly unstable conditions, unsupported snow and falling rock debris, the impending loss of daylight, and to ensure the safety of all involved rescue personnel, that the recovery of Mason’s body would take place at first light the following morning.

At approximately 6:00 a.m. on March 17, 2015, Crested Butte Search and Rescue teams assembled to complete the recovery of Mason’s body.  SAR Teams followed the route determined by the Hasty Team the previous day and accessed the location via the Crested Butte Mountain Resort lift system and in bounds terrain.  The recovered body was transported to the area of McCormick Ranch in Crested Butte Colorado, and given to the County Coroner at approximately 9:00 a.m. By 10:40 a.m. all rescue personnel were safely out of the field.


For Immediate Release


MT. CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – March 17, 2015 – At approximately 1:30 p.m. yesterday, a male was seen leaving the peak of Crested Butte Mountain, passing underneath the rope line that designates the resort’s boundaries. Unfortunately from later information received, this individual was found nonresponsive.

Crested Butte Ski Patrol lead the Crested Butte Search and Rescue team to the scene, where they worked together to care for the deceased.

“It is with great sadness to hear of a life lost, whether it happens within our boundaries or outside of them,” states Erica Mueller, resort spokesperson. “Our hearts go out to the individual’s family and friends, wishing them a lot of strength during this difficult time.”

The incident is now under investigation with the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office. For more information, please contact the Sheriff’s office at 970-641-1113.

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Media Contact:

Erica Mueller, Dir. of Innovations and Relations

(970) 846-2655 – Mobile
(970) 349-2205 – Office

About the Author

1. Ed Dujardin
After moving out west for college, Ed took summer school so he could spend winters in Crested Butte. These days, he coaches the Western State Colorado University Freeride Team, and spends as much time as he can fishing the incredible rivers of the area.