George Dirth, a former varsity rower with the Oregon State crew team, has been killed in a Colorado skiing accident.
Dirth, an experienced outdoorsman and avid backcountry skier, died Tuesday after being caught in an avalanche while skiing on Parkview Mountain west of Denver, according to newspaper accounts.
Emergency responders with Grand County Search & Rescue said in a news release that Dirth was carrying an avalanche beacon and was quickly located by his two companions, who dug him out of the snow and began performing CPR, but he had already stopped breathing and never revived.
Dirth graduated from OSU in 2009 with a degree in computer engineering and went on to a career in the software industry. He was living in Fraser, Colo., at the time of his death.
Steve Todd, head coach of the OSU men’s rowing team, sent an email with the news to members and supporters of the program on Friday. He recalled Dirth as “positive and energetic” and described him as a leader during his four years with the team.
Dirth co-captained the team as a senior, held the stroke seat in the vasity 8-plus at the national championships his junior and senior years and won the Czech National Championship as a sophomore, according to Todd.
“We were lucky to have such a teammate,” he wrote.