(Teton Village, Wyo.) - Three skiers survived an extremely serious fall in the “Why Not” vicinity of the Rock Springs Backcountry located south of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. At approximately 10:05 a.m. JHMR Ski Patrol received a call reporting an incident by a witness that saw three skiers fall approximately 60 feet over cliffs and rocks in the skiers’ right area of Why Not Couloir in Rock Springs Backcountry. A party of five skiers from California had exited the resort boundary via the “Why Not” Backcountry gate located on the south side of the resort just prior to this. The party had split (2 carrying on with no incident), while the other three who were unfamiliar with the area found themselves above a steep icy cliff area. Subsequent actions led them to fall the entire pitch of the cliff and rock band. All 3 survived suffering minor to serious injuries. Two were extracted from the area by Teton County Search and Rescue helicopter while the third was taken to the Teton Village clinic by a toboggan. During the incident, JHMR closed the Aerial tram and two backcountry access gates in the vicinity for approximately 90 minutes to ensure a safe environment for the responders given the vulnerability of the location below major backcountry features. "We are pleased to report there were no fatalities with this serious incident,” commented Jerry Blann, President of JHMR. “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.”
Read Buckrail's original story on the incident here.
*Feature Photo: Two skiers are short hauled from the incident site. h/t
TCSAR Foundation Executive Director Stephanie Thomas / Pitchengine