Body of long-missing skier found in Crystal Mountain tree well

SKIING — The ski patrol director at Washington's Crystal Mountain ski area says the body of an expert skier who vanished three months ago has been found in a tree well, according to the Associated Press.

Paul Baughner tells The News Tribune that an employee cut through some trees Wednesday and found the remains of 40-year-old Paul Melby of Lakewood, Wash. He was reported missing March 1.

He was found about 100 yards from a ski run at the 5,600-foot level.

The area was previously searched, but snow has melted since then.

Skiers can fall into an air pocket formed around the base of a tree in deep snow and then be unable to free themselves, quickly losing consciousness.

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508

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