Avalanche Kills Skier at Jackson Resort

By Beacon Staff

JACKSON – An avalanche killed a skier at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

The avalanche Saturday afternoon carried 31-year-old David Nodine, of Wilson, about 200 yards downhill and buried him under 8 feet of snow.

Resort spokeswoman Anna Olson said ski patrollers found Nodine within 6 minutes by homing in on signals from a transceiver he was wearing. Authorities said Nodine was uncovered within 10 minutes.

Nodine couldn’t be revived and was pronounced dead at a clinic at the resort base.

The avalanche happened inside the resort boundaries. Olson said ski patrol had taken normal precautions to reduce avalanche danger in the area before opening it to the public.

Such patrols usually involve the use of explosives to trigger avalanches.

“There isn’t an answer as to why that happened there at that time,” Olson said. “The snowpack appears to be doing this in pockets. Patrol will continue to take precautions.”

Nodine was skiing with a companion down an expert trail named Paintbrush. His companion also was caught by the avalanche but wasn’t buried or hurt.

Olson said the area had been opened for the first time this season Saturday. She said skiers made several runs on the slope before the avalanche struck.

It was the sixth avalanche death in North America this season.