Keith Ames, a longtime local, died in an avalanche on Burnt Mountain outside of the Snowmass Ski Area on Jan. 18, 2012.
The 43-year-old moved to Aspen in the late 1980s, and was remembered by the countless people he encountered as a good man who smiled often and had a kind soul.
His memorial service at Aspen Community Church was filled with mourners — those from the party days, as well as co-workers, family and friends.
For those who ran with him in the 1990s, they recalled Ames as a committed skier ripping up Aspen Mountain with his famed yellow-and-black jacket.
At the time of his death, Ames was living and working in Snowmass Village as a bartender at the Village Steakhouse. He didn’t show up for work the day he died, prompting a call to authorities.
He was one of three acquaintances who had met at Snowmass Ski Area and decided to ski together. Witnesses to the incident, which occurred at about 1:45 p.m., reported Ames dropped in from a ridge above, knocking loose a section of snow. When Ames came to rest at the bottom of the 25-yard-long section, the snow caught up to him and buried him. Bystanders on scene had to dig Ames out from the under the snow, which took approximately 10 minutes, while others on scene contacted 911. Snowmass Ski Patrol arrived on scene at 2:18 p.m. while CPR was being administered to Ames by the bystanders. At approximately 2:50 p.m., Ames was pronounced dead.