JACKSON, Wyo. — On the evening of September 5, Hannah Bruch and Stuart Schiff set out on their mountain bikes to ride the Phillips Canyon Trail on Teton Pass. Though Bruch, a physician assistant from Denver, was in her first season of mountain
biking, she’d already ridden Phillips Canyon twice during the summer.
With her skills progressing, she was determined to ride across the three log bridges that are characteristic of this trail, rated by Trailforks as a “black diamond” due to its various technical features. Schiff, an experienced biker who lives in Jackson, parked his truck at the bottom of the trail at Fish Creek Road, and they left Bruch’s car at the Phillips Bench.
Bruch cleared the first bridge. But on the second, she lost her balance and tumbled off the side, dropping more than four feet directly onto a stump in the creek. The accident left her soaked, in severe pain and unable to walk with about four miles separating her from either trailhead. The sun was going down, they didn’t have headlamps or spare clothing and Bruch began showing signs of hypothermia.
The episode airs at 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, on KHOL 89.1 FM, and afterward can be streamed through Apple and Soundcloud.
“Night Rescue in Phillips Canyon” is the 30th episode of The Fine Line and marks the beginning of the podcast’s fifth season. Developed by the TCSAR Foundation to share stories of adventure, risk and rescue in the Jackson Hole backcountry, the podcast continues to examine recent rescues, like this summer’s harrowing crevasse fall in Grand Teton National Park.
But it will also dive into prominent themes within the SAR world, such as how young people are exploring the backcountry during the Covid era and how professionals and recreationists cope with stress trauma after tragedy. The goal of the podcast is to raise awareness about backcountry safety by sharing personal stories from those who have been impacted by accidents. All episodes can be found at BackcountryZero.com, and wherever you get your podcasts.