Tucker Taffe, the skier who died Tuesday after falling into a crevasse on Mount Rainier, was a strong and experienced back country skier and the heart of Utah’s Alta Lodge, his former boss said this morning.
“He was the best of us,” said Cliff Curry, general manager of the lodge at Alta Ski Area. “He was a warm, kind, gentle spirit.”
Curry described Tucker as having a skinny but athletic 6-foot-4 build and an unfettered passion for backcountry skiing.
“We’re all here for the skiing,” Curry said. “But he was out there more than all of us. He was out there in the back country every day.”
Tucker was originally from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but had made a new home in the Wasatch Mountains as a manager at the Alta Lodge, which is independent of the local ski area.
“It is shocking and devastating,” Curry said. “We are still in a state of disbelief. We had a lot of hope yesterday that he would survive.
“We knew that if anybody could survive something like that it would be Tucker.”
Details on how Taffe fell into the crevasse remain unclear. The rangers and mountain guides who assisted in the recovery remain on the mountain today.