Two teenage boys were killed in an avalanche on Friday afternoon in the Big Hole Mountains west of Driggs, Idaho.
The pair were caught and buried by the slide near Relay Ridge in the area of Ryan Peak. One boy was skiing, the other snowmobiling.
The Teton County Sheriff’s Office were alerted to the incident at 2:49 pm Friday. Search and Rescue teams from Air Idaho; Teton County, Idaho; Teton County, Wyoming; and Madison County, Idaho, took part in recovering the boy’s buried bodies.
“On December 17, 2021 at approximately 2:49 PM, the Teton County Idaho Sheriff’s Office received a report of an avalanche which occurred near Relay Ridge in the vicinity of Ryan Peak, west of Driggs. It was reported that 2 persons had been buried under the avalanche. The reporting party advised the Sheriff’s Office that 1 person was riding a snowmobile and another was skiing at the time the avalanche occurred.
Search and Rescue teams from Teton County Idaho, Madison County and Teton County, WY as well as Air Idaho took part in rescue operations at the scene.
The bodies of two juvenile males were recovered from the avalanche location. The cause of the avalanche is under investigation. The names of the deceased juveniles are being withheld at this time.
The Sheriff’s Office encourages all persons to make themselves aware of avalanche conditions and other adverse weather conditions before recreating in backcountry areas.”
The cause of the slide is under investigation. The soft slab avalanche was triggered by the snowmobile on a 36-40 degree slope angle, reports the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center. No other details are known.
The forecast on the day was “moderate” avalanche danger for the area, and above 9,000 feet it’s possible for backcountry travelers to trigger slab avalanches up to 2.5 feet in depth on avalanche-prone slopes.
TCISAR was activated for an avalanche in the Big Hole mountains just below relay ridge with multiple burials. Eighteen members responded. Specialized avalanche search teams that included K9’s were inserted by Air Idaho. Teams were inserted from Teton county search and rescue Wyoming via helicopter.￼￼ Multiple ground teams as well snowmobiled to the scene including teams from Madison County Search and Rescue. One victim was located by companions on scene the second victim was located after extensive search.
Both of the victims were deceased￼￼.
2100 all teams out of the field safely
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the family of both victims￼ for the heartbreaking loss.
Six agencies three helicopters and more than 50 volunteer rescuers worked together to ensure a safe mission.￼￼
Thank you to all those involved for all the help. ￼￼
The snow pack is dangerous. Please make good choices this weekend and be safe￼￼￼.
The Sheriff’s Office reminds you to be aware of avalanche conditions and other adverse weather conditions before recreating in backcountry areas.