Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2012-03-07
Submitted By: AAA
Place: Grand Teton NP, Ranger Peak, Waterfall Canyon
State: WY
Country: USA
Fatalities: 2
Summary: 2 backcountry skiers caught, buried and killed

Preliminary information from the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center

Path: Ranger Peak Waterfall Canyon

Elevation: 10300 Aspect: SE

Type: SS

Size: 3 Depth: 36 Trigger: AS

Two fatalities confirmed. The slide was triggered during their ascent. It ran a about a mile and down 3,000 vertical feet.

From the Grand Teton National Park:

Grand Teton National Park (WY)

Two Backcountry Skiers Killed In Avalanche

Rangers yesterday recovered the bodies of two local and expert backcountry skiers who were the focus of a search and rescue mission earlier in the day. Chris Onufer and Steve Romeo, both of Jackson, Wyoming, were buried by a large avalanche sometime Wednesday, March 7th. The avalanche began near the summit of 11,355-foot Ranger Peak in the northern end of the Teton Range and ran to the base of the peak, depositing a large debris field in Waterfalls Canyon. During an aerial reconnaissance flight around 9 a.m., rangers picked up two positive beacon hits from the debris field. Seven rangers were flown to the area to begin a physical search of the field using probe poles. They reached the first body around 11:45 a.m. and second around noon. A Teton County Search and Rescue contact helicopter and crew assisted in the search and rescue mission, and Teton interagency helitack personnel assisted with the temporary helibase established at the Colter Bay swim beach on the east shore of Jackson Lake. The avalanche danger was listed as moderate on Wednesday afternoon, and low on Thursday morning, according to the Bridger-Teton National Forest avalanche center.

[Submitted by Jackie Skaggs, Public Affairs Officer]

Official reports: Grand Teton National Park (posted March 22, 2012), click here

BTAC (posted March 26, 2012),

Media report: