Snowboarder rescued from backcountry after spending the night lost

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Park rangers, Teton County Search and Rescue personnel, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Ski Patrol rescued a disoriented backcountry snowboarder in the Granite Canyon area of Grand Teton National Park early this morning. The snowboarder, Pierre Bergman, 26, of Jackson, Wyo., exited the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) ski area boundary through Backcountry Gate 2 Thursday afternoon and spent the night in the backcountry after he became lost.

Bergman left the resort at approximately 2:45pm with his partners intending to ride the Rock Springs drainage. Due to limited visibility, he was separated from his group and mistakenly ended up in the upper reaches of Granite Canyon. He realized his location and began hiking through the night back up the canyon toward the top of the Aerial Tram. Authorities were made aware of the missing person at approximately 10:15pm when his partners called Teton County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch.

At 7:30am, a group of rescuers including park rangers, Teton County Search and Rescue personnel, and JHMR Ski Patrol loaded the Aerial Tram to start a search from the ground. The Teton County Search and Rescue helicopter also searched the area and located the individual in an area the helicopter could not land at 7:43am. The ground-based team reached Bergman, who was uninjured, at approximately 9:15am. The rescue team skied with Bergman to an area where the helicopter could land and all were flown out of the backcountry to the Ranch Parking Lot in Teton Village at approximately 10:50am.

Authorities remind those who consider exiting the JHMR ski area and entering backcountry areas within Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest to ensure they have appropriate knowledge, equipment, partner, and a plan.

The ridgeline near Backcountry Gate 2 can be deceiving during low visibility conditions and backcountry skiers sometimes do end up in areas they did not intend to visit. Backcountry skiers and snowboarders should be prepared to spend unexpected nights in the backcountry and carry food, water, emergency shelter, a way to start a fire, and other emergency essentials.

Bergman was carrying an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe.

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