- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - The owner of southwestern Colorado’s Wolf Creek Ski Area has denied five misdemeanor charges after an employee died during avalanche training held outside of the resort’s boundaries.

The Durango Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1mdflvF ) 52-year-old Randall Pitcher entered the pleas Wednesday through his attorney before U.S. District Court Magistrate David West. A trial is scheduled for Dec. 17.

The charges involve conducting avalanche training for ski patrollers from five to 15 miles outside the resort’s boundaries Feb. 11 and March 3-4.

Ski patrollers were flown by helicopter to the training areas, where explosives were thrown to set off avalanches. Ski patrol member Colin Drew Sutton died after being caught in an avalanche near Conejos Peak about 15 miles from the resort.

Pitcher declined to comment about the case, which is being brought by the U.S. Forest Service.

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Information from: Durango Herald, https://www.durangoherald.com

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