Owner, president of Colorado company dies following skiing accident

Eldora Mountain Resort. Photo Credit: John Waugh.

A 55-year-old skier has died following an accident at Eldora Mountain Resort on December 30. According to a Facebook post from Boulder-based Backpacker’s Pantry, the deceased was their owner and president, Rodney Smith.

The deceased was found unconscious at approximately 10:30 AM after what appeared to be a collision with a tree. No witnesses were present at the time of the crash. The deceased was airlifted to a local hospital following the crash and died on January 1, 2020.

According to the Backcountry Pantry statement, Smith was “doing what he enjoyed doing the most,” on the mountain with his two sons at the time the accident occurred. Also included in Backpacker’s Pantry’s statement was the assurance that the company plans to stay true to Smith’s mission of creating sustainable products. Backpacker’s Pantry is best-known for their freeze-dried trail meals, with products sold in large-scale retail chains like REI.

This is the third skiing death of the 2019-2020 season, with the previous two including a 29-year-old female that was caught in an avalanche and a skier that was found unconscious at Keystone Resort.

Eldora Mountain Resort is located in Boulder County, Colorado. The destination has a base elevation of 9,360 feet and a top elevation of 10,600 feet with 680 acres of skiable terrain and 53 runs.

Editor’s Note: Here’s an  article about why we’ve chosen to cover deaths and injuries that occur in Colorado’s outdoor recreation space.


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