From afar it looked like a normal day at Killington, but some on the slopes said with the news of the death of 21-year-old skier Jennifer Strohl on Thursday, it got off to a somber start.
"I heard about this news on the gondola ride up this morning, it's just really unfortunate," said Scott Keefer, a snowboarder.
Ski patrol found Strohl around 5 p.m. Thursday, off the Great Northern Trail. Friends of the Pennsylvania woman reported her missing about six hours earlier, after they became separated at the resort.
Skier Sharon Negrotto said she felt for the family.
"I'm sure it's very devastating for them," Negrotto said. "I'm just so very sorry."
Ski Vermont tells us the death marks the first of 2013. In 2012, five skiers or riders died. The Killington resort did not wish to comment on camera, but did tell us that the situation is now in the hands of State police.
Some people said they were very surprised to hear the news; other people had heard and said it was making them be a little bit more careful.
"I definitely took everything more cautiously today," Keefer said. "Stayed a little bit further away from the trees."
Police say Strohl suffered a head injury after what they call an apparent collision. She was not wearing a helmet. But investigators have not said whether that was a factor in her death.
"I'm shocked that she died because in today's world, where helmets are so readily available, and they are not so expensive," Negrotto said.
One snowboarder said if anything positive can come from this tragic situation, it is the lesson that you can never be too careful.
"It just goes to show that even if you're on a black diamond and you're really experienced, bad things can still happen if you catch an edge or lose your footing or something like that," Keefer said.
A tragic reminder as the skiing and riding season is just getting started.
Officials say the death does not appear suspicious.
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