Jackson Hole ski resort officials are reporting that 3 skiers from California are recovering from minor to serious injuries after falling 60-feet feet over cliffs today just outside the boundaries of Jackson Hole ski resort.
Jackson Hole ski patrol received a call from a witness to the accident around 10am today. The witness reported that the 3 skiers fell off large cliffs in the Why Not Couloir area of Rock Springs just outside the southern boundary of the ski resort.
The 3 injured skiers are recovering from minor to serious injuries tonight.
According to a press release, 5 skiers from California “who were unfamiliar with the area” left the ski resort via a backcountry gate just above a large cliff. Two of the skiers skied down with no issues before the other 3 skiers “found themselves above a steep, icy cliff area” and fell 60-feet down the cliffs.
Teton County Search and Rescue extracted two of the injured skiers via helicopter while the 3rd injured skier was transported via toboggan to the Teton Valley Clinic.
The Tram and two backcountry gates were closed for 90 minutes today while the rescue took place “to ensure a safe environment for the responders,” according to the release.
“We are pleased to report there were no fatalities with this serious incident. It prompts us all to remember that backcountry travel can have extreme consequences and it is imperative that you know the terrain, know the conditions and be fully equipped for all eventualities. We wish these skiers a full and speedy recovery.” – Jerry Blann, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President
This incident highlights the need to be fully prepared when in the backcountry. Do not go into the backcountry from a ski resort unless you are fully prepared, have all necessary gear, are fully educated in backcountry/avalanche terrain travel, and have at least one experienced, educated, strong, prepared, badass partner.