To begin with, I want to wish good healing to those injured in this avalanche and prayers to the family and friends of Luke.
This is first and foremost a sad thing, but its also a learning experience
As I read this story I see comments that generate questions for me.
- “The group was ascending when a shallow wet slough avalanche released above them,” Grand Teton National Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said.
- Billimoria was able to get out of the slide and then aid his companions until Grand Teton National Park rangers could arrive. Because snow continued to run, Billimoria dragged his friends out of the slide path.
- Rescuers at the 9,000-foot level on the mountain had to move at one point, Skaggs said, because of “continued avalanche activity” near where they were working.
Admittedly I'm not experienced in backcountry, climbing or avalanche safety.
Comments about the wet slough, and how Billimoria had to drag his friends out of the slide path as the snow continued to run and the difficulty of the rescuers job because of continued avalanche activity while they were working all make me question if it was wise to be there.
This is not a beginner climb, so these guys had to be experienced, right? *See description of the area below*
How are these conditions viewed in the backcountry community?
Keep in mind, I'm not playing the roll of armchair quarterback. I sincerely am not familiar with that area, the terrain they were on, or the instability of the weather changing and making things unpredictable.
Every time I get the idea that I want to take a course and get into backcountry, something like this happens and it makes me think that I'm okay without adding this element of risk.