Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2000-12-10
Submitted By: Bob Comey of the BTNF Avalanche Center
Place: Teton Pass
State: WY
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 backcountry skier caught, buried, and killed

UPDATE

12/13/00

>From Bob Comey Bridger Teton National Forest Avalanche Center

The following additional information was obtained by a visit to the incident location late in the afternoon on Tuesday 12/12/00. The incident which resulted in an avalanche fatality ocurred at the terminous of the Titmouse Ridge run in the Snake River Range south of Teton Pass, Wyoming. The victim was descending the gully which drains Olympic Bowl and undercuts the steep last pitch of Titmouse ridge. The slide was estimated to be 40 to 50 feet across, 150 feet in length and had a six inch deep crown. The tearshaped debris pile was approximately 20 feet across, 25 feet long and 5 to 6 feet deep in the center. The estimated area of debris greater than 3 feet in depth was approximately 10 feet across and 15 feet in length. The aspect of this slope was southeast. The slide (SS-AS-1-0-6") likely ran on a buried layer of well developed surface hoar. This incident occured in a steep gully (terrain trap) at an elevation of 7,920 feet above sea level.

INITIAL REPORT

A male avalanche victim was uncovered in the Northwoods area of Teton Pass by a Teton County

Search and Rescue team on Sunday December 10, 2000. The victim, a backcountry skier, did not

return from a late Saturday afternoon ski trip. He was found Sunday by a transciever search of

avalanche debris. He is believed to have been alone at the time of the incident and likely triggered

the event that resulted in his burial. A storm which started on Saturday deposited eleven inches of

new snow by Sunday morning at the Raymer snow study plot located near Rendezvous Peak at the

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The general avalanche hazard above 7,500 feet was moderate

Saturday morning increasing to considerable in the afternoon and to high on Sunday. The general

avalanche hazard below 7,500 feet was low Saturday morning increasing to moderate in the

afternoon. New soft slabs were forcasted to form Saturday on a well developed layer of surface

hoar and had the potential to step down to weak layers of faceted snow or the ground surface. This

is prelimany information provided by Bob Comey of the Bridger Teton National Forest Avalanche

Center.

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