Tahoe community mourns death of student: Celebration of life set for today

Taken a few hours before the accident, Scotty Lapp (left) embraces fellow freerider Bryer Chalstrom after his run.
Kari Chalstrom

The Tahoe-Truckee community is in mourning following an accident at Palisades Tahoe that took the life of North Tahoe High School sophomore Scotty Lapp, officials said.

“Our hearts are broken at (Tahoe Truckee Unified School District,) and our deepest sympathies are extended to the Lapp family and his friends,” said Kelli Twomey, coordinator of communications for the school district, in an email.

Lapp had reportedly finished competing at Sunday’s Tahoe Junior Freeride Series’ event as a member of Team Palisades Tahoe at Alpine Meadows when he and a teammate collided, Twomey said.

Counselors and therapists were on hand Monday at North Tahoe High School. Other resources were being set up across the district due to the amount of students who knew and befriended Lapp.

“We’re just trying to make sure we’re there for everyone as much as they need,” said Twomey. “Our community really pulls together during difficult times like this.”

Students at North Tahoe High School also had access to a chaplain, therapy dogs, and individual and group therapy sessions. Nine mental health professionals were present at the high school throughout the week.

A celebration of life will be held for Lapp from 3 to 5:30 p.m. today at Olympic Valley Lodge, 1901 Chamonix Place, Olympic Valley.

The North Tahoe alpine team, which took individual state gold in boys and girls’ slalom, dedicated their performance to Lapp. Additionally, the hashtag #SkiForScotty has been used across social media by friends and several winter athletes.

“He always had a smile on his face and he used to stand up for me when I was getting bullied back in (first) grade,” posted childhood classmate Hadley Frymier to Facebook. “He always made me laugh when I was sad! Thanks for being my first real friend and I’m going to miss your smile and your laugh and your stupid jokes. I will for ever love you and I miss you so much. Fly high Scotty.”

Described as a friend to all who met him, Lapp was a natural leader, according to teammates. When he wasn’t skiing, he could be found skateboarding along the streets of North Tahoe. In his honor, a GoFundMe campaign has been launched in order to raise funds to build a skate park in Tahoe City.

“We are all heart broken,” wrote Mark Holmstrom, organizer of the fundraiser. “He touched the lives of so many around him. Scotty was one of the most positive, adventurous people you could ever meet.”

Since being created on Tuesday, more than $157,000 of a stated goal of $160,000 has been raised.

“(The skate park) will become a place for many to reflect, to learn, to move, to make new friends, and to be inspired,” concluded Holmstrom.

To donate, visit, and search for “Scotty Lapp Memorial Skate Park.”

Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

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