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Funeral services were planned for Thursday for Canyon McKay Copa, an avid outdoorsman who died following a skiing accident at Park City Mountain Resort.

Park City police said Copa's accident occurred at Park City Mountain Resort about 2 p.m. Saturday.

"He was coming down a run onto one of the main runs and he hit a padded pole," his friend Matthew Reschke said Wednesday. "I guess it was a freak accident. He hit the pole with his chest, not necessarily going too fast, and his aorta ruptured. I guess for an aorta to rupture it has to be at an exact point in the beat, and he just happened to hit the pole right at that moment."

Copa, 25, died at a hospital, Reschke said.

An accomplished skier, climber, dirt biker and canyoneering enthusiast, Copa was born Dec. 2, 1989, in Walnut Creek, Calif., the eighth and youngest child of Walter and Heidi Copa.

Canyon Copa was an accomplished high school athlete, participating in track and cross-country, and had been skiing since age 3, according to his obituary.

He served an LDS Church mission to the West Indies and graduated from Brigham Young University last December. Friends say he had planned to attend physical therapy school and was an employee of Peak Physical Therapy in Spanish Fork at the time of his death.

Funeral services were set for 11 a.m. Thursday at Provo's Pioneer 4th Ward Chapel, 376 N. 700 West. Interment at Provo City Cemetery was to follow.

Copa was well-known in Utah's extreme recreation circles, and blogged about his experiences — the most recent competing in November's World's Toughest Mudder event at Lake Las Vegas — at

— Reporter Michael McFall contributed to this story.

Twitter: @remims