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Dead skier identified

Christina Proctor

A 24-year-old Japanese man was the skier who died Wednesday after falling more than 500 feet in the Mokelumne Wilderness, authorities said Thursday.

Akimasa Wada, of Hyogo, Japan, left Kirkwood Ski Resort’s boundaries near chair 4 and started down a slope commonly known as “California Chute,” according to a ski patroller.

The patroller told Alpine County Sheriff’s investigators that the skier stopped partway down and attempted to climb across a vertical rock band. Wada fell, tumbling and sliding across a mixture of rock and snow, and coming to rest about 200 feet above Emigrant Lake.



Kirkwood Ski Patrol reached Wada approximately 30 minutes after the accident, but his injuries were too severe, and a base hospital doctor pronounced him dead after being briefed on the victim’s condition, investigators said.

Wada’s remains were retrieved with the help of a helicopter rescue team from the Fallon Naval Air Station.



Alpine Sheriff Skip Veatch noted that the area where Wada died was posted as closed to skiing due to avalanche dangers. Investigators said individuals who used closed areas put themselves and rescuers at risk.

Wada’s next of kin was notified with the help of the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco.

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