NPS Digest is reporting that a local backcountry skier died in an avalanche in the Teton Range last week.
On Friday morning of last week, 40-year-old Jarad Spackman of Jackson, Wyoming was ascending Apocalypse Couloir with a companion in order to access a narrow and steep chute on the flank of Prospectors Mountain, which they intended to ski. At roughly 200 feet below the fork of the couloir they were hit by an avalanche that originated further up the slope. Spackman was caught in the slide and was carried approximately 1000 feet down the slope. His partner immediately began a search that ultimately led him to Spackman, who was lying face down in the snow and partially buried. He began CPR to revive his friend and about 15 minutes later used a cell phone to make an emergency call to alert rangers of the situation. They immediately organized a rescue mission with the assistance of the Teton County Search and Rescue contract helicopter and members of the county rescue team. A landing zone was established near Sawmill Ponds on the Moose-Wilson Road and four rangers were flown to the backcountry location where they landed near the base of Apocalypse Couloir. In advance of their arrival, Spackman’s partner was able to move his friend to that same location and await the helicopter and rescuers. Spackman’s body was flown out and turned over to the Teton County coroner’s office. His partner and the rescuers then skied out of the backcountry together.
This was the second avalanche fatality in Grand Teton National Park this year. An avalanche on Survey Peak in the northern Teton Range took the life of a skier on January 27th.
Glacier National Park Hiking