Backcountry Skier Rescued After Getting Trapped on Mountain

by Samantha Whidden
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A backcountry skier has been rescued by crews after reportedly getting trapped on Ben Lomond Mountain in Utah over the weekend.

In a Facebook post, officials from the Website County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue in Utah confirm that the adult male skier was hiking the mountain on Friday night in an attempt to ski out of the area. However, he managed to get into an area where he was unable to get out of safely. He managed to call a friend for help, but they were unable to reach him. “At this point, Search & Rescue was notified and responded. Along with the Department of Public Safety’s helicopter to assist the male off the mountain.”

The Sheriff’s department further reveals that the skier made his way back to a trailhead by transport. Medical personnel assisted and evaluated him before he eventually left the scene.

Most comments on the Facebook post were about praising those who helped the skier. One person wrote, “I’m grateful we have good people out there to help rescue people. Even experienced mountaineers can make mistakes and need help.”

Skier Dies in Apocalypse Couloir on Prospectors Mountain

Also over the weekend, Grand Teton National Park officials announced a 27-year-old skier died in Apocalypse Couloir on Prospectors Mountain. The man is Radcliff Spencer of Jackson. The young man reportedly fell while attempting to ski in the area. First responders reportedly attempted to resuscitate the man. But they were unsuccessful due to the injuries he suffered from the fall. 

The incident with the skier was reportedly by a climber, who witnessed the fall in the couloir from Death Canyon. The National Park disclosed Grand Teton National Park rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue jointly responded to the incident.“The remains of the deceased were flown from the backcountry and transferred to the Teton County Coroner. The four remaining members of Spencer’s party were transported out of the canyon via helicopter.”

Teton National Park spokesman, CJ Adams, shared with Jackson Hole News & Guide that the accident was most likely not caused by an avalanche. Avalanche danger in the backcountry was low at all elevations Sunday, with some risk of warming-induced problems and small, isolated wind slabs at high elevations on steep slopes.

The media outlet further explains that in 2007, Grand Teton National Park range skier, Steve Romeo, described Apocalypses Couloir as “a Teton classic for sure. And one of the steeper ones at that.” He then said that depending on conditions, people may expect to rappel, downclimb, side-slip, or ski the narrow, icy section. 

Grand Teton National Park goes on to add that while the snowpack remains generally stable, hazards still exist. The hazards may also carry high consequences in technical terrain.

Outsider.com