Two dead in western Wyoming avalanches

Jan 28, 2013

Avalanches killed two skiers from Jackson in western Wyoming yesterday.  Elizabeth Gray Benson, 28, was west of Bondurant when an avalanche caught her and carried her into a tree. Nick Gillespie, 30, was in the north end of the Teton Range.

Bob Comey with the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center says significant new snowfall on top of a slick, older base of snow means the risk for avalanches is considerable.

“Two people that were probably really experienced, or fairly experienced, in backcountry travel in avalanche terrain and may even have had a fair amount of avalanche knowledge were caught and killed,” Comey said. “That should be … a heads up to all of us out there that it’s a little dicier than you might anticipate.”

Comey says avalanches can be deadly even if the snow is not very deep. He adds that more snow is expected for the region, which means avalanches will be even more likely and could be larger and more dangerous.