JACKSON, Wyo. – For the second time this season, an
in-bounds skier has been killed at a ski area. The first, in mid-December,
occurred at Utah’s Snowbird ski area. Then, two days after Christmas, a
31-year-old skier died after being buried under eight feet of snow at Jackson
Hole Mountain Resort.
Avalanches on ski trails within ski areas are relatively rare,
and fatalities resulting from them are even rarer.
At Jackson Hole, the slope where the avalanche occurred had
just been opened a few hours prior. However, it had been skied quite a bit,
resort spokeswoman Anna Olson told the
Jackson Hole News & Guide
, and other “normal precautions” had been taken.
Those precautions usually include the use of explosives to trigger avalanches.
The skier had been wearing a transceiver, and so ski patrollers
were able to pinpoint the location of his body within six minutes, and then
recover the body another four minutes later. Patrollers administered cardio
pulmonary resuscitation and then a defibrillation device, but without success.
The slab avalanche broke a crown six to eight feet deep,
patrollers said. Up to 30 inches of snow had fallen on the mountain, with a
total depth of snow of 138 inches at mid-mountain.
On the same day, at about the same time, two snowmobilers were
killed by an avalanche in the Rabbit Ears Range west of Grand Lake, Colo. One
snowmobiler who was with them was partially buried and was able to dig himself
out. When rescue personnel arrived, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation was being
performed on one of the victims.
It took rescuers an hour and 45
minutes to find and dig out the second snowmobiler. Both victims, one aged 38
and the other 19, were declared dead at the scene.
“We hate it when this kind of thing
happens,” search leader Mark Foley told the
Sky-Hi Daily News
, “but they were in a bad place at a bad time, and they
had no beacons (transceivers) on. If they had beacons on, it’s possible they
could have been saved.”
Aspen whispering about Madoff
ASPEN, Colo. — There are hushed talks in Aspen about
local victims of Bernard Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme. At least two residents
are said to be selling their homes because of losses suffered in the scam.