Photo from last Saturday as teams searched for missing skier Steve Leavitt
Authorities have recovered the body of a missing skier who died after apparently hitting a tree at Mt. Hood Meadows last week.
Early information indicates Steve Leavitt hit a tree on the morning of March 7 and was buried in deep powder that later became compacted by rain, according to a Hood River County Sheriff's Office spokesman. Leavitt was skiing in an area called Jacks Woods, which is rated as extremely difficult.
He ended up in a shallow tree well, said Sgt. Pete Hughes. There's no indication an avalanche contributed to his death, Hughes said.
Leavitt, a 57-year-old resident of The Dalles, last rode the resort's Heather chairlift around 11:20 a.m. on March 7. Searchers found his body late Wednesday afternoon, Hughes said in a news release, and a recovery team got his body off the mountain Thursday morning.
Hughes said Leavitt's body was at the bottom of Jacks Woods, an in-bounds area dotted with trees that searchers canvassed last week.
Ski patrollers open gates leading to Jacks Woods -- and other similarly difficult and ungroomed areas -- when conditions allow.
Hughes said conditions were good when Leavitt went missing.
Hughes said Leavitt was wearing a helmet but not an avalanche beacon or backpack with overnight supplies. He described Leavitt as an avid skier who knew the area well.
Meadows spokesman Dave Tragethon said Leavitt is a longtime resort pass holder.