Posted: 4:41 PM- Professional extreme skier Billy Poole died this afternoon after taking a fall while filming in Big Cottonwood Canyon between Solitude and Brighton ski resorts.
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman Paul Jaroscak said the 28-year-old died around 1:30 p.m. at University Hospital. Poole was filming a jump, had a bad landing, and possibly hit some rocks, Jaroscak said. Earlier reports of an avalanche in the area were false, he said.
Poole was filming in the area with Boulder, Colo.-based Warren Miller Entertainment. A spokesman reached at the company's corporate headquarters said the company is still trying to learn details about the accident and will release a statement later today.
Poole was one of dozens of skiers sponsored by Black Diamond, a ski and climbing equipment distributor in Salt Lake City. The company's Web site includes an interview with Poole about a trip to Argentina, where he skied and filmed over the summer.
Penn Newhard, a public relations specialist for Backbone Media, which represents Black Diamond, called Poole "a hard working" athlete who was well-liked on the ski circuit.
"He was highly regarded as an up and coming and talented young athlete," said Newhard, noting Poole was a "super personable young man."
Poole was making a name for himself on the slopes and was a positive ambassador for Utah's ski scene, said Nathan Rafferty, president of Ski Utah --the state's ski and snowboard association.
"It's really sad news," Rafferty said. "He was a phenomenal athlete and a great representative of Utah's ski community."