During the MRA test, TCSAR had to conduct a probe line based on visual clues to find an avalanche burial victim. A grim but necessary skill for winter rescue in Jackson Hole. Photo: David Bowers

Jackson, Wyo. — Teton County Search & Rescue (TCSAR) recently passed a series of winter-based tests administered by the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), helping the team earn winter rescue accreditation from the oldest SAR association in the country.

The accreditation process consisted of three different field tests Jan. 22 on Teton Pass.

Nineteen volunteers from TCSAR took part, including nine members from the team’s new class. The team already trains on many of the scenarios featured in the accreditation, but they still ran through the paces during regular team trainings in December and January and practiced on their own time as well. Three members from the local Venture Crew also participated as patients.

The recent MRA test included 19 TCSAR members who had to demonstrate skills in numerous avalanche rescue and winter emergency scenarios. Photo: David Bowers

The biggest piece was a simulated avalanche rescue, consisting of an unknown number of burials, beacon searches, probe lines, uncovering the buried patients, and providing patient care and transport.

The accreditation means TCSAR has access to MRA’s extensive network of teams from across the country and advanced training opportunities with outside agencies. “We are constantly seeking ways to improve, and getting feedback from folks outside our organization can identify things we miss internally,” said Doug van Houten, TCSAR’s logistics advisor and team member since 2015. “That we passed with flying colors validates our high training standards and places member expectations in line with industry standards.”

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.