Another Avalanche Inbounds at Jackson Hole | UNITED STATES, WYOMING | 12/29/2008, by First Trax Maxtragic inbounds avalanche death of David Nodine, another inbounds avalanche was released on the headwall at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, causing havoc to their new Gondola Building and restaurant. A couple patrolmen and employees were pinned down and or buried but recovered safely.
Photos courtesy http://stephenkoch.com
Apparently a man at the base of the gondola said he was upstairs at the Bridger Restaurant when the slide hit. He was quickly stopped by people dressed in Mountain Resort uniforms before he could give any further information.
Also rumors of Laramie Bowl, another popular run inbounds has slid to the ground showing dirt!
A ski patroller was allegedly stuck in the building with his dog. They made popcorn to pass the time.
Here is the official press release:
At approximately 9:30 am this morning, after JHMR Ski Patrol had completed one avalanche hazard reduction route and were getting ready to conduct another, the Headwall slid naturally from the southeast aspect above the Bridger Restaurant.
This incident took place before this area of the mountain had been opened to the public. A search for potential victims took place and everyone has been accounted for. This incident is under full investigation and a more detailed report will be released at 4p.m.
At this time, JHMR will remain closed until further notice.
We will keep you updated as we learn more. For now best to put the skis in the closet and get out the chess board.
New update from JHMR
At approximately 9:26 am this morning routine avalanche hazard reduction work by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) Ski Patrol triggered an avalanche of significant size down the southeast aspect of an area at JHMR referred to as the Headwall. The Headwall which had not been open to the public this season to date and was not expected to open in the near future, consists of steep, expert terrain.
The slide descended from the top of the Headwall, and a second slide was triggered, which continued down to the base of the run reaching the west and south sides of the building that houses three resort restaurants, causing considerable non-structural damage to the building.
This incident took place prior to the Bridger Gondola being open to the public, but a number of JHMR operational employees were in the vicinity. A search for potential victims was conducted and by 10:06am, all JHMR employees were accounted for.
Following the incident a decision was made to close the resort temporarily while further avalanche hazard reduction work took place. Lower mountain lifts were quickly re-opened. At this time the upper mountain remains closed while Ski Patrol continues its avalanche hazard reduction routines in an attempt to get the resort re-opened as quickly and safely as possible.
Due to the significant snowfall received in the Teton region (62 inches in past seven days), we have received a request from our partners at Bridger Teton National Forest to close the OB gates into the surrounding backcountry. JHMR will honor this request and close all our gates into the backcountry until further notice.
"Our patrollers have done a phenomenal job showing the utmost professionalism and teamwork. I am extremely proud of their efforts and appreciate the risks they take on a daily basis. I also want to acknowledge our entire staff under these challenging circumstances" stated Jerry Blann, President, JHMR.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has established standards and protocols for minimizing the risk of avalanche that are based on the current weather and snowpack conditions. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort receives over 400 inches of snow annually and is dedicated to making the skiing and riding as safe as possible for our guests. Avalanche conditions change hour-by-hour and day-by-day. JHMR Ski Patrol continuously monitors elements of the weather and snowpack conditions 24 hours a day throughout the winter and uses this information to continually assess potential hazards.
We acknowledge and are grateful for the quick response of the community including the Teton County Sheriff's Department, Teton County Search and Rescue and USFS.
Update 1/6/2010: Another Inbounds Avalanche at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort carries Ski Patroller "Big Wally" off a cliff. Our thoughts and prayers are with him & his family as he fights for his life.