Teton County Search and Rescue Warns “More Avalanche Fatalities are Likely”

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An avalanche yesterday buried a snowmobiler. Credit: btacavy

Teton County Search and Rescue volunteers responded to another avalanche accident yesterday afternoon involving a partially buried snowmobiler. The snowmobiler is alive but injured.

The slide occurred on a southeast aspect at an elevation of about 9,000 feet on Mt Leidy, WY. TCSAR is reporting there were numerous other fresh large avalanches in this area.

Most avalanche fatalities occur during periods of considerable or moderate hazard. Conditions will continue to be dangerous. More avalanche fatalities are likely. Please be careful. Search and rescue resources are not infinite. Your terrain choices could end your life tomorrow.

TCSAR has now performed ten missions in ten days and is advising backcountry users to take extra precautions.

Since January 1, the team of volunteers has been called 30 times, resulting in 23 active missions, more than the entire 2019/2020 winter. Not only have the missions this winter been frequent, but they have also been mentally and physically demanding for the volunteers. Eight of the calls have resulted in short-haul operations, during which volunteers are inserted on-scene via a long line beneath a helicopter.

“We appreciate how much recreating in the backcountry means to locals and visitors alike. This is why our team trains all year long, and the volunteers have never been more prepared. But the seriousness of these frequent accidents does take a toll. Given the recent influx of incidents, we want to remind everyone to build in extra margins of safety while recreating in the backcountry.”

– TCSAR Chief Advisor Cody Lockhart

As snow continues to fall on the Jackson Hole region, TCSAR stresses the importance of being prepared, practiced, and present. Please be patient to give the new snow time to settle, and no matter what your activity is, take the necessary precautions to ensure that you can return home safely at the end of the day.

Current avalanche forecast. Credit: jhavalanche.org

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