Reviewed here are those circumstances surrounding 18 downhill skiing deaths in Alberta, Canada. Variables that elevate the risk of injury and death are highlighted. This study profiles the fatally injured skier. The individual most likely to die while downhill skiing is an experienced male skier, average age 31 years. He loses control while skiing too fast and strikes an object, resulting in fatal blunt trauma injuries. The ability to define characteristics of the individual at risk of a fatal ski injury is important to the design and implementation of injury prevention programs. Public education targeted to those at risk may reduce the incidence of death and injury in downhill skiing.