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Missing skier found at Crystal; disappeared March 1

The body of a skier who disappeared from the Crystal Mountain slopes was found the afternoon of June 15.

Paul Melby, a well-known local skier, was reported missing March 1, during a major snow storm. He was last seen skiing by himself a few hours before the ski area closed. A search began that night and continued for the next seven days. More than 130 friends and volunteers worked with the ski patrol in an exhaustive search effort covering more than 2,000 acres of steep, challenging terrain, often in stormy conditions. The search was suspended due to increasing snow depth.

Formal searching resumed several weeks ago by members of the ski patrol, as snow melt would allow.

His body was spotted at approximately 12:30 p.m. June 15 by an employee of Crystal Mountain who was working on the gondola towers, in a steep expert area with very tight trees informally called “Mine Shaft.

Ski Patrol Director Paul Baugher stated that the position in which Melby’s body was found confirmed he’d fallen upside down into a tree well and suffocated.

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