The family of a Grand Targhee Ski Resort employee who was last seen Friday are hopeful he will be rescued after not returning from a back-country snowboarding trip.
Lee Kidd, 34, was reported missing to Grand Targhee Ski Patrol after failing to show up for work in one of the resort’s kitchens. Kidd’s stepmother, Victoria Wright, said he is an experienced snowboarder.
“If anyone can do this, Lee can, in terms of survival,” Wright said in a Skype interview. “I want this to be a miracle. It has got be a miracle.”
Wintry weather has hampered searchers’ ability to access areas Lee may be, Teton County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Matt Carr said Wednesday evening. Carr said a helicopter was able to launch but about a foot of snow and high winds have covered any tracks. Crews hope to be able to perform a ground search Thursday.
“It is really hard to be missing him,” Lee’s sister, Natalie Kidd, said. “I think his passion and his love are what are standing out right now.”
Kidd’s family said he has been snowboarding for several years, including spending time in New Zealand. Kidd is said to have taken courses on avalanche safety and did have an emergency kit; however, emergency crews said his transceiver, a shovel, and other back-country equipment were left at home, along with his cellphone.
“He had the pick ax and the avalanche stuff and the beacon and all this kind of equipment,” said Wright.
Search and rescue personnel, as well as sheriff’s investigators, have been involved in finding Kidd since he was reported missing Friday. Kidd’s season pass was last scanned at 10:45 a.m. Friday at the Dreamcatcher lift.
He was reported missing after he failed to show up for his job. His supervisor told ski patrol Kidd was reliable and it was unlike him to be late or absent.
Teton County Search and Rescue has narrowed its search for Lee to a hanging snowfield behind the Resort, according to his family.
“Please do not give up hope,” Natalie Kidd said. “We know he is really strong and I know their job is really tough and emotionally exhausting.”
Search and Rescue crews hope to be able to launch a ground search Thursday but say weather will be the determining factor.
Kidd’s sister said he moved to Driggs from Bozeman, Montana, a short time ago.