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Search and rescue advises backcountry users take extra precautions

Chris Leigh/TCSAR

TETON COUNTY, Wyo. (KIFI) - After performing nine missions in nine days, Teton County Search & Rescue is advising backcountry users to take extra precautions. 

Since January 1, the team of volunteers has been called 29 times, resulting in 22 active missions. That's more than the entire 2019/2020 winter.

Eight of the calls have resulted in short-haul operations, during which volunteers are inserted on-scene via a long line beneath a helicopter. 

After an extremely busy period last week, the latest incident occurred Monday. TCSAR partnered with Grand Teton National Park rangers to retrieve the body of a snowboarder who was killed in an avalanche while descending a steep couloir on the north side of 25 Short.

It was the third avalanche fatality in seven days in Western Wyoming, and our hearts go out to everyone involved in these tragic events.

“We appreciate how much recreating in the backcountry means to locals and visitors alike,” TCSAR Chief Advisor Cody Lockhart said. “This is why our team trains all year long, and the volunteers have never been more prepared. But the seriousness of these frequent accidents does take a toll. Given the recent influx of incidents, we want to remind everyone to build in extra margins of safety while recreating in the backcountry.”

As snow continues to fall on the Jackson Hole region, TCSAR stresses the importance of being prepared, practiced and present.

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