Robert Douglas Harrington Obituary: 58-year-old Bend skier dies after falling into tree well in Mt. Bachelor

Robert Douglas Harrington Accident: 58-year-old Bend skier dies after falling into tree well in Mt. Bachelor.

A Bend man suffocated after falling into a tree well at Mt. Bachelor on Tuesday, according to information released by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) on Wednesday.

58-year-old Robert Douglas Harrington was named as the victim.

Harrington was discovered unconscious in the West Bowl ski area on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., according to DCSO. As rescue workers arrived, a citizen tried CPR and other life-saving measures.

Harrington was brought to the on-site medical facility at Mount Bachelor, but he did not make it.

According to DCSO, Harrington was a passionate skier and had on a helmet when the event occurred. About thirty minutes after he had first boarded the Northwest Express lift, someone discovered him unconscious.

Harrington was suffocating from snow immersion, according to the sheriff’s office. The helmet was undamaged, and there was no additional indication of injuries.

A statement from the ski resort confirmed the death.

A representative for Mt. Bachelor, Lauren Burke, said, “The entire Mt. Bachelor team sends their deepest condolences and thoughts to the family and friends of the guest.”

Tree wells are created when snow builds up around a tree’s base but not beneath its lower hanging branches, creating deep pockets of soft, unstable snow, according to Mt. Bachelor. When a skier or snowboarder falls, usually headfirst, into a tree well or deep loose snow and becomes immobile, it can result in a tree well or snow immersion suffocation (SIS) accident. Suffocation may result from the occurrence if the skier is buried without air, much like what happens in an avalanche.”

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