Snowboarder dies at ski resort after falling head-first into deep snow

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Officials at China Peak said a 36-year-old man died of snow immersion suffocation after falling head-first into deep fresh powder snow. (KFSN)

The unexpected five feet of snow over the last 24 hours allowed China Peak Mountain Resort to reopen following an extremely dry winter season but it also serves as a somber reminder of just how treacherous the conditions can be.

Officials say 36-year-old Blake Smith died Friday after falling head-first into the deep snow and suffocating.

According to officials, the incident happened near Chair 2, in the trees between Exhibition and Tamarack. The man was snowboarding on an off prepared ski run at the time.

That's also a practice that comes with a warning.

"Stay close to the groomed run even if you're in the powder, if you get in trouble you can crawl your way back. This is almost chest deep," Tim Cohee said.

The resort remains open and is expected to stay that way through Mother's Day

According to officials, the last time the resort reported this type of death was back in 2011 at the top of the four lanes.

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skiingski resortschina peakHuntington Lake
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