I’ve been holding my breath all day today in fear of an avalanche incident on the Pass or at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Unfortunately my thoughts have come true.
The details are still very sketchy, but the word is that at least two substantial in-bounds avalanches occurred today at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. One in the Alta 2 area, and a larger slide in the Toilet Bowl area below the Thunder lift. The Toilet Bowl slide, which had a 6-8′ crown, caused one fatality.
Dave Nodine, a 31 year old Wilson resident, was found in about 10 minutes under 8′ of debris. Conflicting reports say Dave was searching for his ski after jumping what is known as “The Cave”, indicating his entry to the area from Tower 3 Chute or through closed terrain in the Unskiable area. Others, including the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, indicate Dave jumped a cliff in Paintbrush, a steep slope that gives access to the Toilet Bowl area. There are many rocks and cliffs to the skiers right of Paintbruch….but in closed terrain. Though some of these closed areas have been open in past years with large amounts of snowfall, they were closed the day of this accident. The slope Dave was searching for his ski on (most likely now in open terrain) then released, potentially from further loading from above. Ski patrollers witnessed the jump and avalanche, and were able to respond immediately.
Please pray for those involved and hope
for the best as this story unfolds. –Steve