It’s every backcountry skier’s worst nightmare. You’re having fun skiing powder with your wife and friends, when the next thing you know you are in the mist of an avalanche…fighting to stay alive. This happened to Jackson skier Adam Smith last season while skiing in Granite Canyon, accessed through the gates at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Props to Cara Froedge and the Jackson Hole News and Guide for the nice article in yesterday’s weekly, recounting the incident and Adam’s challenges in the future. I’ve seen Adam’s wife Heather around town a few times recently, but I’ve been hesitant to approach her to find out how Adam is doing…so I am glad to get the update from the local paper. Please read the article in the JH News and Guide…it’s defiantly worth a few minutes of your time.
When the incident happened, the inside word was that things didn’t look very good for Adam, and he would be lucky to live through the event. But Adam is very strong, both mentally and physically, and has worked extremely hard to overcome multiple life-threatening injuries (broken pelvis and femur, a lacerated liver and kidney and a ruptured colon and intestines). Adam, and many of those involved, state that he owes his life to the fact that a helicopter was willing and able to come to his aid considering the time, weather conditions, and location.
Ironically enough, some state officials were in town recently to hear an argument that a helicopter, funded partially by the state, be bought in order to avoid the seasonal challenges many regional agencies have in securing ships from year to year. Costs relating to such acquisitions are also constantly increasing, making a tough situation even more challenging.
As a member of Teton County Search and Rescue, I have known about this idea for a while now, and it is cool to actually see it coming to the table. I’ve only been on the team for a couple years so far, but I have already seen so many rescues where time is of the essence, and Adam Smith’s incident shines even more light on the need for a helicopter be available twelve months out of the year.
Adam and Heather also feel that the need for a year round helicopter is important, and have decided to hold a fund raiser for Teton County SAR, and to say thanks to all those involved. Please join them from 3-7pm on Sunday at Owen Bircher Park in Wilson. There will be music, food and a silent auction.
Good luck on the continued recovery Adam…hope to see you on the skin track next season! 8)