Freeskiing World Tour skier dies |

Freeskiing World Tour skier dies

Dylan Silver/Tahoe Daily TribuneSki Patrol stands by as the Care Flight helicopter carrying Ryan Hawks lifts off.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Ryan Hawks, a professional freeskier from Vermont, died Tuesday from injuries sustained after a fall Sunday during the Freeskiing World Tour competition at Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

He was 25.

Hawks attempted a backflip off a larger cliff toward the middle section of the Cirque at 3:17 p.m. Sunday. When he landed, his skis released and he showed little movement. Ski Patrol arrived within minutes.

A rescue toboggan brought Hawks down and loaded him into a waiting Care Flight helicopter. He was flown to Renown Health Center in Reno and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. He died Tuesday morning from his injuries. The Washoe County Coroner’s Office is investigating his death.

“On behalf of the resort, this is a tragic loss for his friends, family and the freeskiing community,” said Michael Dalzell, a Kirkwood spokesman.

Hawks grew up skiing in Vermont, according to his profile on He studied engineering at the University of Vermont. He skied the Freeskiing World Tour stops with friend Lars Chickering-Ayers and the Green Mountain Freeride Crew. Hawks was sponsored by Tecnica/Blizzard.

Hawks accident is the second death on the Freeskiing World Tour, according to In 2008, John Nicoletta died during the competition in Alyeska, Alaska.

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