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Flagstaff, AZ- On Saturday, March 14th, at approximately 12:50 PM the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Coordinator was notified by the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Patrol of a fatality in the back country near Doyle Saddle at approximately 11,400 feet elevation. The victim, identified as Dan Huebner a 53 year old Flagstaff resident had been on a backcountry ski tour with a friend. At approximately 10:45 AM Huebner collapsed below Agassiz Peak and just west of Doyle Saddle. Huebner’s skiing partner performed CPR for approximately 45 minutes with no change in Huebner’s condition. At that time he skied to the Arizona Snowbowl and reported the incident to Ski Patrol personnel.
The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit, Sheriff’s Detectives, the United States Forest Service, and Arizona Snowbowl coordinated a response to the scene and the recovery of Huebner. It was determined that the best course of action would be to ski and snowshoe to the victim’s location, conduct the investigation and prepare Huebner for extraction via a long line with the Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue helicopter.
Ski Patrol, Search and Rescue, and a detective arrived at the scene at approximately 4:30 PM. The DPS Air Rescue helicopter from Kingman responded to the Fort Valley Lodge and prepared for long line extrication. Huebner’s body was flown from the scene to the lodge at approximately 5:45 PM where custody was transferred to the Coconino County Office of the Medical Examiner.
Huebner and his ski partner were very experienced and well prepared for their ski activity. Back country winter travel has some unique hazards including the possibility of avalanche. Huebner and his partner were carrying the “Ten Essentials” and were additionally equipped with avalanche beacons, probes, and shovels. Both men had experience and training in the winter back country environment and are well respected in the back country skiing community.
Sheriff’s Detectives and the Medical Examiner are continuing this investigation. At this point there are no signs of foul play and there is a possibility that the victim died as the result of a preexistingmedical condition.
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Media Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089