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Woman who died skiing ‘lifted everyone who was around her’

March 6, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — When Nicole Panet-Raymond’s family found out she was missing on Mt. Bachelor in Bend, they loaded their car with ski gear, helmet lights and shovels to join the search and rescue effort.

Searchers found the 19-year-old’s body before her family arrived from Portland.

The University of Oregon sophomore from Portland was one of two people who died Friday on Mt. Bachelor after they separately fell into holes at the base of trees.

Nicole Panet-Raymond was an avid skier and adventurer who hoped one day to practice international law, her father said. She had a knack for striking up a conversation with anyone.

“There’s just waves of pain and anguish that are unending. It comes and subsides and then it comes and crashes upon you again,” Marc Panet-Raymond said Monday. “There’s no pain like losing a child. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

The father said the family received a call Friday afternoon from one of Nicole Panet-Raymond’s friends who went skiing with her and the friend told them the group had lost track of her on the mountain. She was reported missing around 3:30 p.m., according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Earlier that day, Alfonso Braun, a 24-year-old snowboarder from Bend, was discovered in another tree well in the West Bowls, an expert-level area. He was taken off the mountain by emergency responders and died about an hour later.

The last skiing-related death at Mt. Bachelor was in 2015, when a 29-year-old Bend man died after hitting a tree. The last death on the mountain involving a tree well occurred in 2002, according to the Bend ski resort.

Nicole Panet-Raymond had been skiing since she was 3, her father said.

She attended Rieke Elementary School and St. Mary’s Academy, graduating in 2016. She played sports, tennis and soccer, and musical instruments, the flute and ukulele. She read three to four books a week.

She wasn’t afraid to be “a goofball,” her father said. In third grade, she broke her left front tooth, and would regularly take her tooth bridge out to elicit laughs among friends.

She was studying at the University of Oregon’s Robert D. Clark Honors College as an international studies and Spanish double major, according to Marc Panet-Raymond. He said she planned to study in Spain in the fall and had already been to Norway, Finland and other European countries, partly through friendships she’d maintained with foreign exchange students who had lived with their family.

Panet-Raymond said he and his family were still too stricken with grief to attend a candlelight vigil Saturday at Rieke Elementary School, where Nicole attended. He said they’ve been heartened to see photos of the vigil showing at least 100 people who attended. St. Mary’s Academy held a prayer service for the teen on Monday.

“It helped show to us not only the breadth of the impact she had on people, but the depth as well,” Marc Panet-Raymond said. “She was a real, genuine person who was very confident in who she was and lifted everyone who was around her.”


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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