Grand Teton National Park: 27-Year-Old Skier Falls to His Death

by Madison Miller
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A gorgeous day out on the slopes turned tragic for one skier.

A 27-year-old was out skiing in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming earlier this week. Somehow this person fell into what is called the Apocalypse Couloir in Death Canyon. This is a popular location on the north side of Prospectors Mountain in the Southern Teton Range of the Grand Teton National Park.

According to USA Today, a climber saw this person fall while skiing and notified emergency officials. The skier who fell was Radcliff Spencer from Jackson, Wyoming. Park rangers, as well as different search and rescue teams, all found him and tried to resuscitate him on the scene.

Sadly, he did not make it due to the severity of the injuries he sustained from the fall in Grand Teton National Park. Spencer was not out skiing alone that day, either. He was with four other people that were successfully flown out of the canyon in a helicopter.

Skier Deaths this Season

Sadly, this is not the first death to occur on the slopes this season.

During a competition, one 16-year-old skier died after colliding with someone else. This took place in Palisades Tahoe, a popular skiing location in California. According to The Mercury News, Scott Lapp just raced in the Tahoe Junior Freeride Series. Two teens collided near the bottom of a run. Lapp passed away and the other teen suffered injuries that required hospitalization.

Also, Mt. Bachelor in Oregon has proved to be a deadly area this season. Central Oregon Daily reported that there were two deaths due to crashes two days in a row. On February 12, a 60-year-old man was flown away in a helicopter due to severe injuries and ended up passing away.

“The team at Mt. Bachelor is heartbroken to learn of our guest’s tragic passing and offers our deepest sympathies and support to his family and friends,” the team said in a statement.

The day before a 66-year-old man died after a crash on the mountain. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Recent Death in California National Park

Besides skiers, there have also been recent deaths reported in different national parks across the nation. Many people head to California for the warmer weather and the national parks during this time of the year.

Joshua Tree National Park offers amazing rock-climbing spots as well as hiking and other outdoor activities. A 35-year-old man was found dead at the base of Sentinel Wall, which is a popular climbing destination.

Michael Spitz was the man sadly found dead in the national park. He was an avid rock climber and adventure enthusiast. Apparently, Spitz was free-solo climbing without any kind of ropes or a harness when he fell and died. He had also done this climbing route in the past.

There are about 312 deaths in national parks each year for a number of different reasons ranging from dehydration to falls to wildlife attacks. That’s about one death for every one million visitors.

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