Rescue near Triangle X

Rescuers help an injured snowmobiler on Friday near Triangle X.

A Jackson man injured his back Friday morning after he accidentally went over a 30- to 40-foot cliff on his snow machine.

Teton County Search and Rescue sent a team on snowmobiles to an area within a mile of Toppings Lake to help the man, who was unable to move after landing squarely on his snow machine and significantly hurting his back. The cliff he went over is in the Leidy Highlands, east of Triangle X Ranch.

The 25-year-old Jackson man was with a few other locals, all experienced riders familiar with the area they were riding, Teton County Search and Rescue Chief Advisor Cody Lockhart said.

"He landed on a flat section so he kind of pancaked," Lockhart said. "The force was enough to injure his back."

The snowmobiler told rescues the launch was not intentional, Lockhart said.

Rescue teams got the call at 10:15 a.m. Friday and sent a team of five on snowmobiles to assess the man and package him in a toboggan.

At 9,000 feet it was snowing and foggy so the rescue helicopter had issues landing.

"It took a few tries to get the hell in there," Lockhart said. "We tried to go up through Gros Ventre and then we tried Ditch Creek and then we were able to make it up Spread Creek."

Rescuers took the man to an open flat area to meet the helicopter, whose pilot flew the man to the rescue hangar where a ground ambulance took him to St. John's Health.

"He was in a lot of pain but he's going to be OK," Lockhart said.

This story has been updated to clarify that the snowmobiler accidentally went over the cliff. — Eds. 

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or

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