Yesterday at 2:45pm, an avalanche on the south side of Taylor Mountain, WY (just off Teton Pass) buried a male snowboarder who has not yet been found.
Yesterday evening and this morning, the Teton County Search & Rescue politely asked backcountry skiers and riders to avoid Teton Pass today so that they could safely work on the recovery of the missing avalanche victim.
“UPDATE: Currently, 40 people from TCSAR, WYDOT, and JHMR, along with a team of search dogs, are working Taylor Mountain in search for a missing person believed to have been buried by an avalanche yesterday. Though we appreciate offers to help from the community, the teams currently have ample resources and are following organizational procedure.
If you really want to help, please stay away from Taylor Mountain, avoid Teton Pass today, and be kind to one another. Save your judgment and online vitriol for another time. Our volunteers are diligently working the slide path, and we appreciate your concern. More updates to follow.
” – Teton County Search & Rescue, 9:37am MT 4/2/20
Today, it appears that many backcountry skiers and riders flocked to Teton Pass despite the ask from Teton County Search & Rescue to avoid Teton Pass today.
TGR’s Todd Jones saw the large amount of cars on Teton Pass today and had this to say.
Todd Jones Statment on Teton Pass, WY Behavior Today:
As many of you know, I am a big proponent of backcountry skiing and the rights of recreational users on Teton Pass. I constantly defend their rights to use this area to angry people who are uncomfortable with the road and the situation it puts them in having to use it to get to their place in life.
However, I have to say that I am very disappointed in people right now if these are not all cars from search and rescue volunteers. We have an ongoing avalanche rescue/recovery on Taylor and a massive and growing pandemic that has a lot of our population extremely scared.
TSAR asked the backcountry skiers to not ski the pass this morning so they could risk their lives in avalanche terrain and by exposing themselves to each other for this cause. I know that the top of the pass and where they are working are very separate locations, but it’s just a respect thing. If the rescue teams ask for space,I suggest you give it to them.
I too wanted to go enjoy the snow on the pass this morning, but the second TSAR asked me not to, I chose to honor their request. Seriously, they will probably be done by noon and you could have waited. It’s not a good look. If the pass closes to skiing now, look no further than the people in this parking lot right now. I hope it does not.
Also, god bless the people involved in this tragedy. I hope you find peace with this. Anyone who ventures into the mountains faces this kind of situation on a daily basis with or without Coronavirus in the world. Mistakes are made, even by the best. The mountains draw us to them for many different reasons. That will not stop and should not.
I hope all the haters can also respect the people involved in this accident. You don’t control everyone and it could be your friend, your brother, sister, child, parents, your friends kid…the list goes on.
Unfortunately these incidents are what TSAR has to deal with. They do it on all kinds of days and in all kinds of situations under all kinds of circumstances. Now they are doing the same thing in times of Covid-19. I would imagine that it is just another hazard on the list that they are managing as best they can.
Thank you to TSAR.
Everyone else please try to be kind to each other.
Kindness truly helps in this twisted time.
- Todd Jones via Facebook, 4/2/20