'Special lady' who died on skifield named

Flowers were laid to remember the woman who died in a skiing accident at Coronet Peak on Saturday. Photo: Supplied
Flowers were laid to remember the woman who died in a skiing accident at Coronet Peak on Saturday. Photo: Supplied
Police have released the name of the woman who died after an accident on Coronet Peak at the weekend.

She was 60-year-old Anita Maureen Graf, of Queenstown.

'A really special lady'

Ms Graf was a ''really special lady'', a highly experienced skier and long-time Queenstown resident, a friend says.

Despite efforts at CPR by a doctor and nurse on the skifield staff, she died about 9am on Saturday, after an incident at the bottom of Sugar's Run.

According to another skier in the area, she had lost control, and crashed into a fence post.

Mourners had paid tributes to her in the form of flowers, at a ''beautiful gathering'' at the skifield yesterday morning, a friend said.

Ms Graf had worked at Coronet Peak in the past, and the accident occurred on an area of the mountain she knew ''extremely well''.

''She was a very skilled skier, and that is part of the shock.''

Born in Lyttleton and raised in Queenstown, she had also brought her family up there. She was a mother and caregiver with a kind and generous personality, and had a love for the great outdoors.

''We are all feeling it very deeply,'' the friend said.

''It's really sad to have lost such a spirited woman.''

Her death has been referred to the coroner.

Ms Graf's friend praised NZ Ski, who had handled the situation with ''dignity'' and had provided the family with whatever assistance they wanted.

The gathering on the mountain to remember her had been very special, she said.

''We wanted to acknowledge our special friend for sure, and we also wanted to really acknowledge that it [the mountain] is our playground,'' her friend said.

''We want to keep it safe.''

NZ Ski did not comment about the incident yesterday. The incident has been referred to WorkSafe.

elena.mcphee@odt.co.nz

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