An avalanche swept a skier 1,000 feet up the side of a mountain until his death in Grand Teton National Park, officials said. Matthew Brien, 33, of Jackson, Wyoming, was leading a group in a narrow corridor known as Broken Thumb on Monday when an avalanche cut above him, park officials said.
Brien was found by members of his party and other skiers in the area. He was partially buried and attempts were made to revive him but Brien died at the scene.
The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center says the avalanche danger for altitudes above 7,500 feet is considerable.
“Recent snow and wind events have created dangerous conditions in the backcountry,” park officials said. “Very careful route finding and snowpack assessment skills are essential for safe travel in avalanche terrain.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center says Brien’s death is the 32ndthis season. He is the 15th skier to die.
On average over the past decade, 27 people have been killed in avalanches each year, according to the center.
Avalanche forecasters across the Rocky Mountain region say backcountry users this winter face the most dangerous conditions in a decade. Successive waves of new snow have added weight and stress to a weak, granular base layer of snow that is extremely prone to breakage.