On Thursday night, a heli-ski pioneer who owned Rendezvous Heli-Guides in Valdez, Alaska, accidently fell more 30 feet to his death at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage.
KTUU reported that 59-year old Theodore "Theo" Meiners fell from the second-floor escalator at the city's convention center sometime around 11 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Eye witnesses told police that Meiners may have been drinking and was playing on the escalator rails, attempting to slide down the center rail, at the time of his fall.
One of the first to dedicate his life to heli skiing in Alaska, Meiners worked for Valdez Heli-Ski Guides from 1996 to 2000 alongside Doug Coombs and other luminaries. A certified ski instructor for over 30 years, he coached and guided skiing around the world at such places as Aspen, Jackson, Chile, and Alaska.
Meiners attended the five-day ISSW as a leading snow scientist. He was appointed the National Ski Patrol Regional Avalanche Advisor for the Northern Intermountain Division due to his extensive work and research of avalanches in the Tetons and Alaska.
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His company's website said this in Meiners biography:
"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..."