Skiier Swept 1,000 Feet in Teton Avalanche

THe NPS Morning Report Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Backcountry Skier Seriously Injured in Avalanche

On March 7th, rangers assisted Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) ski patrollers in rescuing an injured backcountry skier from Granite Canyon. Andy Bergin, 24, of Jackson, Wyoming, received multiple serious injuries after he triggered an avalanche which swept him over rocks and carried him about 1,000 feet downslope in an area called Northwest Passage. Bergin, an employee at JHMR, was skiing with friends in the backcountry of Granite Canyon when the incident occurred. Teton Interagency Dispatch was notified at 11:50 a.m. by a JHMR ski patrolman, who reported a possible avalanche occurring in Granite Canyon that involved some backcountry skiers. Teton County dispatch called minutes later, confirming that they had just received a 911 call by cell phone from Granite Canyon with the same information, adding that one skier was reported to be seriously injured. Park rangers immediately began to coordinate rescue efforts, contracted for the use of Teton County’s rescue helicopter, and flew rangers with medical equipment and additional rescue gear to the scene. Two JHMR ski patrollers reached the injured Bergin first and provided emergency medical care while other skiers in the area prepared a landing zone for the helicopter by packing down the snow with their skis. Once on the scene, rangers provided additional medical evaluation and care, then placed Bergin in the helicopter and attended him during the flight to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming.
[Submitted by Jackie Skaggs, Public Affairs Specialist]

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