Second Skier Dies This Season On Whitefish Slopes - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Second Skier Dies This Season On Whitefish Slopes

Posted: Updated:
WHITEFISH -

Another skier is dead this year after falling into a tree well on the slopes at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

What authorities are calling an "unfortunate tragedy" happened during a very busy weekend at the resort, with more than 6,000 people on the powder both Saturday and Sunday.

Thomas Podivinsky, 48, was skiing with a friend on Sunday. Around 12:30 p.m., his friend got to the bottom of a run and couldn't find Podivinsky. Close to 1:00 p.m., the ski patrol was notified. They found him in a tree well in the area between the Hollywood and Silvertip runs under chair seven. When they got to him, he didn't have a pulse and wasn't breathing. The ski patrol's attempts to revive Podivinsky didn't work and the Flathead County Sheriff's Department was called.

Sheriff Chuck Curry says this was likely a freak accident, but the body is headed to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula before it will go to Calgary, where Podivinsky was from.

"When you're skiing with someone in those conditions make sure that you always keep sight of each other so any sort of rescue can occur quickly," said Curry.

Whitefish Mountain Resort spokeswoman Riley Polumbus couldn't speak on camera, but in an email she wrote "We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends as they cope during this difficult time. This accident is another unfortunate reminder that tree wells are an inherent risk of the sport. We encourage our guests to take extra caution when skiing in the trees, ski with a partner, and call ski patrol immediately if someone is missing. We will continue to help our guests understand the risks and encourage educating themselves on this subject. An excellent resource for learning more about tree wells and deep snow safety is the website deepsnowsafety.org, which can be linked to from the tree well page of our website."

"Is a couple of deaths unusual? While they're very tragic, I wouldn't necessarily say it's unusual," said Curry.

Podivinsky was the chief geophysicist for Calgary-based Athabasca oil corporation and the brother of an Olympic bronze medallist skier. His story is nearly identical to the 54-year-old California man's who died on January 11. Douglas Spring fell into a tree well. He was skiing with his son who realized something was wrong when they got separated and couldn't find his dad at the bottom of the slope.

You can find more on tree well safety here.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Beach town's ban prompts battle over shave ice

    Beach town's ban prompts battle over shave ice

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:06 AM EDT2014-07-28 14:06:51 GMT
    A $3 cup of shave ice is at the center of a dispute in this beach town between street vendors trying to stay in business and town officials who say the vendors cause traffic congestion and increase the potential...
    A $3 cup of shave ice is at the center of a dispute in this beach town between street vendors trying to stay in business and town officials who say the vendors cause traffic congestion and increase the potential for...
  • Report says surveillance is hampering journalists

    Report says surveillance is hampering journalists

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:47 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:47:43 GMT
    Revelations over the past few years about how U.S. security officials have the ability to track people through phone, email and other electronic records are making it harder for journalists to report on what the...
    Revelations over the past few years about how U.S. security officials have the ability to track people through phone, email and other electronic records are making it harder for journalists to report on what the government...
  • Mom on teen's 9-month absence: She isn't pregnant

    Mom on teen's 9-month absence: She isn't pregnant

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:27:07 GMT
    The mother of a 15-year-old New Hampshire girl reunited with her family nine months after she vanished says rumors that she was pregnant aren't true.
    The mother of a 15-year-old New Hampshire girl reunited with her family nine months after she vanished says rumors that she was pregnant aren't true.
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Thursday, March 20 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-03-20 17:04:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!
  • Carlton Complex Fire now 52% contained

    Carlton Complex Fire now 52% contained

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:45 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:45:02 GMT
    UPDATE: Officials say the massive wildfire that has destroyed about 150 homes in north-central Washington is now more than half contained.The rain and hail that fell on Wednesday, wasn't enough to extinguish the nearly 400-square-mile Carlton Complex of fires, but it gave crews a chance to dig lines along the south and east parts. The fire is 52% contained.
    UPDATE: Officials say the massive wildfire that has destroyed about 150 homes in north-central Washington is now more than half contained.The rain and hail that fell on Wednesday, wasn't enough to extinguish the nearly 400-square-mile Carlton Complex of fires, but it gave crews a chance to dig lines along the south and east parts. The fire is 52% contained.
  • UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:04:28 GMT
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
  • 'Z Nation' Has Begun! Are You Ready For The Zombie Apocalypse?

    'Z Nation' Has Begun! Are You Ready For The Zombie Apocalypse?

    Thursday, June 5 2014 1:56 AM EDT2014-06-05 05:56:07 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Shooting for "Z Nation," a Syfy, 13-episode, original zombie series right here in Spokane, Washington has begun! Many local people have been cast as extras in the series that is set to hit the screen in the Fall of 2014. Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Shooting for "Z Nation," a Syfy, 13-episode, original zombie series right here in Spokane, Washington has begun! Many local people have been cast as extras in the series that is set to hit the screen in the Fall of 2014. Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?
  • Police Bust a Meth Lab in Great Falls

    Police Bust a Meth Lab in Great Falls

    An early morning drug bust broke up a meth lab in a downtown Great Falls apartment building. 
    An early morning drug bust broke up a meth lab in a downtown Great Falls apartment building. 
  • Shots Fired In Huckleberry Row

    Shots Fired In Huckleberry Row

    Friday, July 18 2014 8:27 PM EDT2014-07-19 00:27:47 GMT
    Huckleberry picking leads to gunfire.
    Huckleberry picking leads to gunfire.
  • Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:22:36 GMT
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
  • The Catalan Secret Camp Comes to Missoula

    The Catalan Secret Camp Comes to Missoula

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:22 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:22:53 GMT
    The relationship between Big Sky high school soccer and coaches from Barcelona goes back to 2011, when the Eagles boys team visited Spain.
    The relationship between Big Sky high school soccer and coaches from Barcelona goes back to 2011, when the Eagles boys team visited Spain.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.