Avalanche kills skier in Wyoming national park

A skier was killed after getting swept up in an avalanche Monday in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, the National Park Service said in a news release.

Matthew Brien, a 33-year-old resident of Jackson, Wyoming, had been leading a small group of locals who wanted to ski the Broken Thumb Couloir when the avalanche was triggered, the park service said.

His is the latest of at least 32 avalanche deaths in the US in this 2020-2021 season, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Twenty-three fatalities were recorded last season, with 25 deaths tallied in each of the two seasons before that.

Brien had entered the narrow area of the couloir above the rappels when the avalanche occurred, the park service said.

“The avalanche was up to two feet deep and fractured fifty to one hundred feet above Brien, sweeping him over the rappel and downslope for approximately one thousand feet,” it said.

Others with the group called 911 and alerted friends who were also skiing.

“Both parties made their way to Brien and found him partially buried,” the release said. “They removed him from the debris and initiated CPR.”

The victim suffered “significant trauma and was determined deceased at the scene.”

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