Skier Triggers Avalanche in Grand Teton National Park

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Four skiers in Grand Teton National Park had to be rescued on Sunday after one of the skiers triggered an avalanche in the park.

The Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received an emergency call at approximately 2:30 p.m. Sunday about several skiers involved in an avalanche in the Olive Oil area of the park.

Four skiers were skiing the east face of Olive Oil when one of the skiers triggered an avalanche, although it was unclear what actions triggered the avalanche.

All the skiers were caught in the slide, estimated to be 40 feet wide and 2 to 3 feet deep. One of the skiers was able to dial 911 and reach the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center to ask for help and provide location information.  

Park rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue members jointly responded with park rangers and a helicopter.

One of the skiers, Stanley Edwards, 52, of Driggs, Idaho, suffered an injury and was short-hauled to a landing zone at Teton Village where he was then transported to St. John’s Health Center in Jackson.

Short-haul is a rescue technique where an individual or individuals, often with gear, are suspended below the helicopter on a 150 to 250-foot rope.

This method allows a rescuer more direct access to an injured party, and it is often used in the Teton Range where conditions make it difficult to land a helicopter in the steep and rocky terrain.

The other three skiers were able to ski out with emergency responders. 

Anyone recreating in avalanche terrain should practice safe travel practices.  

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