JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Buckrail has learned of an avalanche fatality this morning in Ralph’s Slide in Rock Springs Canyon—an out-of-bounds area just south of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
The skier has been identified as Alexander James Marra, 30, of Orem, Utah. The slide occurred early this morning at an elevation of 9,927. It was estimated at two feet in depth.
JHMR Ski Patrol received a call at about 11:18am of a slide event in an unknown location south of the resort’s boundary. Ski Patrol immediately sent responders to locate the scene. Ski Patrol arrived on scene at about 11:27am and confirmed the location at Ralph’s Slide, in Rock Springs in between areas known as Zero G and M & M. Ralph’s Slide is an avalanche-prone wall of snow in Rock Springs—a popular out-of-bounds skiing area.
At the time of the slide, avalanche conditions were considerable. The avalanche was skier triggered and reported to be a minimum of two feet deep at the crown. One skier was partially buried with obvious signs of trauma and pronounced dead on the scene.
“We are saddened to report this fatality, and the staff at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort join me in expressing our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the victim,” said Jerry Blann, president of JHMR.
It is not the first tragedy in Ralph’s Slide. Two skiers—Catherine Grimes and David Hannagan—were carried and buried on January 24, 2016.
UPDATE (Feb 18, 2:50pm): Coroner Dr. Brent Blue listed the cause of death as closed head trauma.