• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Seasonal road closures in effect

    Seasonal road closures are in effect for motorized vehicles. The Teton Park Road is closed from the Taggart Lake Trailhead to the Signal Mountain Lodge. The Moose-Wilson Road is closed from the Granite Canyon Trailhead to the Death Canyon Road. More »

  • Avalanche hazards exist in the park

    Avalanche hazards exist in the park, especially in mountain canyons and on exposed slopes. A daily avalanche forecast can be found at www.jhavalanche.org or by calling (307) 733-2664. More »

  • Bears emerging from hibernation

    Bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation. Travel in groups of three of more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay at least 100 yards from bears. More »

Rangers Working to Recover Body of Backcountry Skier

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: January 28, 2013
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

On Monday morning, Grand Teton National Park rangers began a recovery mission for the body of a backcountry skier who died in an avalanche on Sunday, January 27. Nick Gillespie, age 30, of Jackson, Wyoming, was caught in an avalanche on the southeast face of Survey Peak (elevation 9,277 feet) in the northern Teton Range about 5 p.m. Sunday and died as a result of injuries suffered in the slide. Gillespie was a long-time seasonal employee of Grand Teton National Park who worked on the park's trail crew for the past six years. 

Rangers enlisted the assistance of the Teton County Search and Rescue contract helicopter and crew for the recovery mission. Teton Interagency helitack personnel assisted with a temporary helibase established near Colter Bay, 10 miles north of Moran Junction. Four rangers were inserted into Berry Creek canyon on Monday about 11 a.m.  Recovery of Gillespie's body and an investigation into the details of the incident are ongoing. Further information will be provided when available. 

The avalanche danger on Sunday, January 27 was listed as low in the morning rising to moderate in the afternoon at elevations between 9,000 and 10,500 feet. Moderate danger means that natural avalanches are unlikely, but human-triggered avalanches are possible. However, the report also reported, "At upper elevations new snow and winds overnight and expected snow today will create the potential for backcountry users to trigger soft slabs or sloughs to a foot in depth by the afternoon." 

Rangers recommend that backcountry users get the latest avalanche conditions, be prepared for all aspects of backcountry travel, carry basic avalanche equipment and go with others. For local avalanche conditions visit www.jhavalanche.org or call 307.733.2664.

Did You Know?

Aspen tree bark close-up

Did you know that the bark on Aspen trees looks green because it contains chlorophyll? Aspen bark is photosynthetic, a process that allows a plant to make energy from the sun, and helps the tree flourish during the short growing season.