Theo Meiners, 59, a well-known Alaska heli-guide tour leader and snow science expert, died in an incident at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska on 20 September. Meiners fell more than 30 feet to his death when, according to witnesses, he appeared to be sliding-down the escalator rails between floors. Police are investigating the incident, and are seeking information from anyone that may have interacted with Meiners at the International Snow Science Workshop banquet being held at the facility that night.
Meiners worked during his career as a ski patrol trainer in Chile at Centro de Ski, El Colorado, and at Snow King in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He was the former NSP Avalanche Advisor for the Northern Intermountain Division.
David Hamre, workshop Chairman, said in a written statement that Meiners died after attending an event involving hundreds of colleagues in the avalanche research, snow science and ski guiding communities. Hamre added, “I would like to express our deep sadness and sense of loss at the death of one of our own.”
Theo Meiners’ Bio, from the Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides site:
Theo has been a successful ski instructor for 30 years, has worked with PSIA as a professional examiner for 21 years and has 15 years of experience teaching Steep Skiing Camps and years of experience coaching children and adults in ski racing in Aspen, Jackson Hole, Chile and Alaska. He has worked as a ski patrol trainer in Chile at Centro de Ski, El Colorado, as well as Snow King Mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
From 1996 through 2000, Theo worked with Valdez Heli-Ski Guides as the Logistics Manager and one of the lead guides. His mountaineering experience takes him throughout the Rocky Mountains and Alaska Ranges. His avalanche skills have been honed from investigating snow pack in the Alaska and Teton ranges. Theo has been appointed as the National Ski Patrol Regional Avalanche Advisor for the Northern Intermountain Division. He is also working with some of the leading snow scientists in North America and Switzerland in trying to understand the dynamics of an avalanche, its flow and developing survival techniques.
His passion for heli-skiing in the Chugach Range motivated him to purchase 27 acres at Mile 45 on the Richardson Highway. He is dedicated to the Alaska lifestyle, along with helping others open doors to fulfill Alaska heli-ski dreams.