Two days after skiing the Amora Vida Couloir on the South Teton, a fellow skier and friend, Wray Landon was killed in an avalanche while skiing the same route. It has taken me a little while to be able to look at the footage, and a few tears were shed while making this video and thinking about Wray. This video is dedicated to him…thanks. -Steve
I was recently visiting the Friends of Wray Facebook page and noticed that some photos from his recovered camera were posted. For me, it was quite an experience…looking at the photos, including one’s from the day of the accident. I found it interesting that I liked the first and last photos on the camera the best…they are posted below. Also, for those that are interested in the technical side of the accident, you may want to look at THIS post by Brady Johnson on Mountain Project. Brady was with Wray on the day of the accident. Thanks again. –Steve
The first picture on Wray’s camera was of good friend Zahan Billamoria taking a picture of one
of the sunset during a memorable dusk-patrol after work.
Click photos for larger images.
The last picture was of Nathan Brown skiing the Southeast Face
of the South Teton, moments before the accident.
Thanks for making this video Steve. Z and I have been charging early morning style for Wray! We miss you Wray.
thanks for dropping by nate. i’ll have to join you guys one morning!!!!
i keep thinking back…wondering if somehow brian and i dodged a bullet the day we were up there…on the 19th. wondering if my sense of the snowpack that day was WAY off and our decision to simul-ski the pitch that avalanched was just CRAZY!!! but…that sun-crust sure seemed bomber, capping off the snowpack…at least on the day we were there.
Great video & tribute. So sorry to hear about the loss. Condolences to all of Wray’s family & friends.
Nice work here Steve.
thanks guys. wray’s spirit lives strong here in the tetons and i know there are lots of people celebrating his life everyday!!!!
Nice work Steve.
Nice man real nice. Its hard to imagine that that let go. So Sad.
What degree pitch is the Amora Vida Couloir at it’s steepest? I met Wray once when he was trail running. I was struck by what a super nice guy he was.
walt…can’t say for sure, but my guess is that there are a few sections pushing 50 degrees.
Nice shots Steve, and a great tribute.
I have one question regarding that top section over the SW Face. What do you think changed over the short period of time between your and Wray’s descents? Was there heat or wind, anything that would have decreased the stability up there? Just interested for learning.
You know, we probably come a lot closer than we’ll ever know to accidents like this one, and when they do hit home, it is definitely hits hard.
Hope you had fun skiing Moran with Cameron the other day, he’s a buddy of mine and a great guy.
Have a safe and productive spring.
mike s…well…that sure is the million dollar question and i’ve been trying to figure that out myself.
if you read brady’s report, though our tracks were still visible from the previous day on the upper sections of the face, they were not where the slide occurred. so…that would indicate that what little new snow had fallen hadn’t collected very much on the upper face..and possible drifted downward. add some wind…and i guess slab formed. the sun may have had an effect…but most the pictures show those guys wearing big puffy coats at the top and they say it was still rather cold…so i personally don’t think the radiant heat was the culprit.
the crown was reported to be 20-35cm..and i wonder if it was all “new” snow…and slid on the crust that we were skiing on. one thing i know is that it sounds like we skied a bit more to the skier’s right…compared to where the slide was triggered.