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Avalanche claims life of Jackson man

Broken Thumb Couloir Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center
Bridger Teton Avalanche Center
Route of Broken Thumb Couloir

MOOSE, Wyo. (KIFI)-A Jackson man was killed at around 12:30 p.m. Monday when he was caught in an avalanche while skiing in Grand Teton National Park.

Park Rangers said Matthew Brien, 33, was leading a group of three from the Taggart Lake Trailhead Monday morning, with intent to ski the Broken Thumb Couloir.  Brien was entering a narrow area above the rappels when the avalanche occurred.

The avalanche was up to two feet deep and fractured 50 to 100 feet above Brien, sweeping him over the rappel and downslope for about 1,000 feet.

He suffered significant trauma and was found dead on the scene.  His body was flown to a front country location and transferred to the Teton County Coroner.

Other members of the party, who called to report the incident, skied out of the area.

The Bridger Teton Avalanche Center issued a “considerable avalanche danger” warning for elevations above 7,500 feet.

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