Kai Jones Injured in Jackson Hole, WY, Backcountry and Extracted by Search and Rescue Teams

Brent Thomas | BackcountryBackcountry | Industry NewsIndustry News
Kai Jones
Kai Jones is known for his big mountain skiing skills and has gained widespread recognition for his daring descents. Credit: skimag.com

16-year-old Professional skier Kai Jones  announced on his Instagram account that he was injured in the Jackson Hole Backcountry on March 7.

He was seven miles deep into the backcountry and dropped a natural cliff feature that had a hard landing. The landing caused his tibia tubercles to break and get pulled off at the growth plate.

Kai’s approximate injury:
tibia tubercles to broken and pulled off at the growth plate.
This is how this injury is usually repaired in children. image: bioscientifica

Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR) was called to assist with the evacuation. The rescue took one hour and 11 minutes as TCSAR used a short-hauled rescue method to get him to the nearest parking lot. From there he was taken to the closest hospital and had surgery the same day. TCSAR reported on its Instagram account:

Just after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, Teton County Search & Rescue was notified of an injured skier deep in the Mosquito Creek area.

The skier, a 16-year-old local male, needed rescuing after he aired over a natural cliff feature and upon landing, struck an object beneath the snow. The skier and a partner had used snowmobiles to access the area that morning and were about 7 miles from the trailhead.

At the time of the accident, TCSAR volunteers were already in the rescue helicopter getting ready for a training operation with Grand Targhee Ski Patrol and avalanche dogs. Just as the ship touched down at Grand Targhee, the team got the call. They lifted up and flew to the site in Mosquito Creek.

TCSAR decided the best way to extract the patient was via short-haul, which lifts a patient harnessed to the end of a rope attached to the belly of the helicopter for a short flight out of the backcountry. Once on scene, the volunteers assessed the skier’s injuries, packaged him for short-haul, and flew him to a landing zone and waiting ambulance near Fall Creek Road.

From the time of the initial 911 call, TCSAR was able to get this skier out of the backcountry to definitive medical care in 1 hour, 11 minutes. This was due to the speed of the helicopter and good flying weather, of course, but also the extensive training the volunteers do all year long in order to quickly and efficiently perform complex missions.

Kai is one of the most promising young skiers in the world and we wish him all the best on his road to recovery. In his post, he seemed positive and in good spirits as the doctors expect him to make a full recovery. He had this to say:

“Life is crazy; living every day to the fullest is important because you never know what will happen next. I will stay mentally strong and work my hardest to return from this. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” Thank you all for your love and support.✌️❤️”

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3 thoughts on “Kai Jones Injured in Jackson Hole, WY, Backcountry and Extracted by Search and Rescue Teams

  1. Hope Kai is Ok. People need to take something away from this? Jackson Hole Resort is not a word class ski resort . No one would know the terrain or be better than Kai at his age. It’s a very dangerous 4 thousand vertical mountain. People need to know this. Thomas N. Proesel. St. John’s medical in the town of Jackson. PS. I’m good.

  2. Pay to play.
    How many close calls does one get?
    Is it nine?
    Is it your good deeds vs your bad?
    Start them out young, before they blow out their karma cards
    Maybe they will get through
    Maybe they won’t

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