Update 1:38pm – Multiple skiers were caught in the slide, and five individuals were buried to varying degrees.
JACKSON, WYO – At 9:55 am this morning, an in-bounds avalanche was reported by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort staff in the expert chutes area that was an open area of the resort. JHMR ski patrol and staff were on the scene by 10:00 am. Anna Cole, Spokeswoman for JHMR reported one female skier was mostly buried and two others were caught in debris / partially buried and were able to self rescue by the time rescuers made their way to the scene. All persons caught in the slide are being evaluated at the village medical clinic with no significant injuries being reported at this time.
JHMR ski patrol has conducted a large scale probe and K-9 search of the area and has cleared the area of any other possible buried persons.
Thunder lift will remain closed for the rest of the day while additional avalanche control work is conducted.
The Bridger Teton avalanche forecast for today listed considerable danger between 7,500 and 10,500 feet.
“Dangerous avalanche conditions exist. Up to a foot of new snow has fallen in the past 24 hours and over two feet of new snow with nearly three inches of moisture has fallen since Tuesday. Southwest winds veered to the west and increased overnight. This snow has been falling on an early season snowpack that has poor structure. A weak layer of faceted snow that was buried on Thanksgiving is widespread and may become unstable due to this new load. At the mid and upper elevations human triggered avalanches are likely in steep terrain. Natural avalanche activity is possible. Avalanche types include loose snow sloughs in cliff areas and steep terrain, fresh soft wind slabs along the leeward side of higher ridge crest and deeper slab avalanches that can fail on a persistent weak layer of faceted snow and crust. Careful snowpack evaluations and conservative decisions are essential for safe travel in avalanche terrain. Watch for areas of unstable snow on isolated terrain features at the lower elevations. ”