The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center has reported two fatalities this week. One a snowboarder and the other a snowmobiler just a day apart.
The first happened south of Alpine on February 17th around 1:30 pm in the Squaw Creek Drainage in the Salt River Range.
According to the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center’s preliminary information, “a group of 7 to 8 snowmobilers triggered an avalanche and all but one were caught. One was fully buried and did not survive. Another was reported to have been buried to the neck and another to the waist. It was reported that most if not all, except that one who was fully buried, deployed airbags. The group members were wearing avalanche transceivers and self-rescued. The fully buried rider was uncovered. CPR was performed but he did not survive.”
56-year-old Greg Stanczak is the reported victim in this incident.
The second avalanche occurred just after 12 pm the next day on Togwotee Pass.
Teton County Search and Rescue shared the following information about the incident that claimed the life of 31-year-old Michael McKelvey.
“Just past noon on Thursday, our team was notified of a male snowboarder who’d been fully buried by an avalanche on Togwotee Pass.
“Several team members who were already in the area doing snowmobile training responded directly and were on scene within 10 minutes of the call. Meanwhile, another snowmobile team departed the hangar, and a helicopter short-haul team flew to the scene.
“Resuscitation efforts were undertaken and the short-haul team transported the patient to a waiting ambulance. The patient was then transferred to a flight to Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls. Unfortunately, the man did not survive.
“We offer our most sincere condolences to the man’s family and friends. This is the second avalanche fatality in Western Wyoming in as many days, and follows the recent trend of tragic avalanche accidents nationwide. With recent heavy snowfall and more on the way, a reminder to please keep it safe out there.”
In addition to these two fatal avalanche incidents, a snowboarder was found deceased at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on Monday. The folks over at Jackson Hole News & Guide have more info here.