Wyoming Avalanche Fatality on The Pyramid, Rendezvous Massif: 1.19.16

A backcountry snowboarder died today in an avalanche that occurred on the upper snowfield of The Pyramid in the Teton Range, South of JHMR, North of Teton Pass.

The riders’ name has been released but you won’t find it here. The article posted by the Jackson Hole News and Guide is behind a paywall, so I can’t find a corraborating second source of that information at the moment.

Update 6:45pm: Bridger Teton Avalanche Center just released their Evening Forecast with a bit more info on the slide:

“A snowboarder triggered an avalanche that resulted in his death early this afternoon. It occurred on the pyramid path in the southern portion of the Teton Range. Details are still being compiled at this time but initial reports indicate that his tracks lead to a crown with a depth of two feet. Whether it triggered when he was near the crown or when he was further down the slope is unknown. He was carried most of the way down the path, approximately 1800 feet, and buried with the exception of his snowboard which was spotted by Teton County Search and Rescue. Rescuers reached the site via short-haul tactics and removed the victim from the path. A picture of the slide is posted on jhavalanche.org. Our deepest condolences go out the friends and family of the victim.

The site is one of the paths that had natural activity in late December. Of note is that another path, horseshoe bowl, that also slid just before Christmas repeated itself as well today. Horseshoe was triggered by snowmobilers during both of these events. Other recent natural avalanche events have also been reported to the center today.

Skies were mostly clear this morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. Temperatures rose to the mid twenties on mountain slopes.by 2pm. Summit winds were from the southwest to south-southwest with ten to thirty mile per hour averages. Over the last six days four feet of snow containing 3.7 inches of water was recorded at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. This amount of loading requires time to stabilize, especially when it follows a cold and relatively dry period. Warming temps and direct sunlight can further weaken recently formed slabs, which were likely factors in today’s events.”

If avalanche and weather conditions permit tomorrow I will climb the Pyramid and try to learn more about the incident. Stay tuned for updates.



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