National Park

Injured skier rescued after small avalanche in Grand Teton National Park

The following is a press release from Grand Teton National Park.

MOOSE, Wyoming – The Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a call around 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 22 about an injured skier involved in an avalanche in Sliver Corridor on Nez Perce in Grand Teton National Park. Park rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue responded jointly.

Two skiers were coming up the Sliver Couloir when a snowboarder above them triggered a small avalanche. The slide took one of the skiers down the corridor. During the fall, the skier injured his ankle.

The Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received the call about the injured skier via inReach and follow-up reports via cell phones from people who skied in covered areas. The Teton County Search and Rescue helicopter with park rangers on board responded to the injured skier, who was able to save himself by heading to a landing zone at Shadow Peak Cirque. Rangers were able to load the patient into the helicopter and then fly him to a landing zone at Windy Point Turnout along Teton Park Road. A friend of the injured skier picked him up at the landing zone.

This incident is a good reminder of how quickly a small avalanche can become dangerous in steep terrain. It was an unfortunate event that could have had a worse outcome. It is important to be aware of other backcountry users in the area and factor their presence into your decision making to maximize everyone’s safety.

Those venturing into the mountains should use careful snow assessment and good terrain choices. Before heading into the backcountry, always check the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center for current conditions at jhavalanche.org.