A 70-year-old Durango man died Friday while skiing at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.
Ken Portz, an Adaptive Sports Association volunteer at Purgatory Resort, was reportedly at the ski area with a group of friends for a yearly vacation, said Adaptive Sports executive director Ann Marie Meighan.
“Ken was definitely a member of our family at Adaptive,” Meighan said. “We’re all pretty heartbroken.”
Calls to the Park City Police Department were not immediately returned Monday morning.
Emily Summers, spokeswoman for Deer Valley Resort, said the 70-year-old man was skiing in a racecourse about noon Friday when he fell and collided with a pole in the finish area.
The man and his group had rented the racecourse, an intermediate run, for private use Friday. Conditions were sunny and clear, she said.
Portz was taken to an area where he was able to be transferred to a helicopter that flew him off the mountain. It is unclear when Portz was pronounced dead.
The Utah Office of the Medical Examiner declined to comment for this story.
The Deseret News reported Portz was flown in critical condition to the University of Utah Hospital in Park City but did not have information whether he died during the flight or at the hospital.
Meighan said Portz had volunteered with Adaptive Sports for more than a decade. Adaptive Sports provides outdoor, sport and recreational experiences for people with disabilities.
According to his Facebook page, Portz was retired from California Federal Bank.
“He was incredibly passionate about skiing, and just really loved to share that, really with anyone, but especially with folks with disabilities who couldn’t necessarily ski without Adaptive or our volunteers,” Meighan said.
Portz was a former ski racer who worked with higher-level skiers at Adaptive Sports, prepping them for local and regional races, she said. He also worked with military veterans and children with cognitive disabilities.
“He was just good working with everyone,” she said. “He was incredibility passionate and giving, and just a really amazing man.”