Man dies while skiing at Deer Valley

Kip and Ken Portz. Image courtesy Portz family/Twitter.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — A man suffered fatal injuries Friday while skiing in a race course area at Deer Valley Resort.

Coleen Reardon, Director of Marketing for Deer Valley, said the fatal crash occurred Friday around 12:30 p.m. during a “brief race” on the NASTAR race course at Deer Valley.

“He fell and collided with a pole in the finish area,” Reardon said.

Emergency crews, including ski patrol, responded and rendered medical aid. The 70-year-old man was taken from the scene on a snow machine and brought to a helicopter that transported him off the mountain. He was ultimately pronounced deceased.

The man’s son, Kip Portz, identified the deceased as Ken Portz. He tells Fox 13 his father was an adaptive sports ski instructor at Purgatory Resort in Durango, Colorado.

He described his father as “A decorated racer and amazing man.” He said his father died doing what he loved and that running race gates will be his final memory.

Reardon said the deceased was part of a group who rented the race area for a group activity, and she said the man was racing against another member of the group when the crash occurred.

NASTAR is a public grassroots ski racing program that operates race courses at ski resorts nationwide. The courses are open to the general public.