Two backcountry emergencies were called in at the exact same time on Friday, one a snowmobile accident near Granite Hot Springs and the other a skier injury near Plummer Canyon Yurt.
“We had a really busy two-hour period,” Teton County Search and Rescue Chief Advisor Cody Lockhart said.
The calls came in at 1:40 p.m. New Year’s Day, causing the team to split up.
“We haven’t had a real call in months, so having two at the same time was odd,” Lockhart said.
The rescue helicopter responded to the snowmachine wreck. A tourist in his 60s on a rental sled was on his way back to the parking area near the highway after a morning at Granite Hot Springs when he ran off the main trail at a high speed and severely injured several parts of his body, including his back and ribs.
“We were able to land relatively close and loaded him into the helicopter,” Lockhart said.
The man was flown to the rescue hangar and taken by ambulance to St. John’s Health.
Rescuers on snowmobiles went to find the injured skier, a 19-year-old who’d been at a nearby backcountry yurt with her family. Because there’s no cell service, her mom skied out, drove to Victor, Idaho, and called 911.
“Our team went in as far as they could on snowmobiles and then skied up to her,” Lockhart said.
The teen broke her leg while downhill skiing somewhere near the Plummer Canyon Yurt, a popular Teton Backcountry Guides yurt that’s accessed via Moose Creek, just south of Victor. Rescuers pulled the teen out on a toboggan and her family transported her to the hospital, where she had to have surgery on her leg.