TCSAR assists with search for skiers in park

Photos © 2011 by Jim Stanford

Teton County Search and Rescue volunteers are working with Grand Teton National Park rangers in the search for two skiers reported missing April 18.

Search teams have been shuttling by helicopter to Garnet Canyon, where skiers Walker Kuhl, 27, of Salt Lake City and Gregory Seftick, 31, of Columbia Falls, Mont., were last seen April 16. Volunteers have probed the Meadows area where the two planned to camp and have searched other reaches of the canyon, which sits beneath the highest Teton peaks.

The search operation has involved more than 60 people, including mountain guides and volunteers from the community. Using skis, dogs and a helicopter, teams have searched the main climbing routes on the peaks as well as peripheral areas from Shadow Peak to the south to Cascade Canyon to the north.

Avalanche danger has been a problem during the operation, as teams have found signs of slides in and around Garnet Canyon. Rescuers had to detonate hand charges to reduce risk before teams could probe debris in the Meadows. An avalanche from the North Face of Nez Perce peak deposited a field of debris 250 feet wide, 200 to 300 yards long and more than 15 feet deep.

For more on the search, visit the Grand Teton National Park blog:

More details also can be found in this story from the Jackson Hole News&Guide: