On Sunday, staff at the Champoluc ski resort in Italy's Aosta Valley region discovered the body of a 79-year-old skier from the United Kingdom. Expert skier John Arnold had been skiing alone on the beginner level blue run when he fatally crashed into trees. It is unclear if he suffered a stroke before crashing into the trees or if the crash killed the expert skier.

Arnold not only enjoyed skiing in the Alps, but he also organised training trips as well. Over the past 30 years, the ski instructor from Great Barr, Birmingham planned annual training trips to the Alps. Arnold, who was the president of the Midland Ski Club, was on the club's annual trip to the Alps. However, on January 19, he had been skiing the slopes alone.

During his ski run, it is suspected that Arnold lost control and went off the ski slope. The beginner level slope was unfenced as the slope was not challenging, according to the head of the local Alpine rescue team. Ironically the expert skier veered off the slope and crashed into the trees. Since he was skiing alone, there was nobody present to offer emergency aid to the crash victim.

ski crash
Expert skier from Birmingham was found dead after crashing into trees off the beginner level slope in the Italian Alps. Hoffman, Ron/National Archives at College Park [Public domain]

Towards the end of the day, the resort staff does a check of the slopes to bring back any skiers before they close the slope for the night. During the check, some staff spotted the brightly coloured skiing outfit that Arnold was wearing. Even though Arnold was wearing protective gear including a helmet, it did not prevent the crash from claiming his life.

The staff found Arnold unresponsive and it remains unknown at what point of time during the day he suffered the accident. Officials at the resort spoke to The Times about the incident. They suspect that Arnold either suffered a stroke or heart attack which made him lose control or he suffered fatal injuries from the crash.

The cause of death remains uncertain as post mortem reports are being awaited.