UPDATE Feb. 7: Jon Hunt is listed in stable condition at University of Utah Health.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: A longtime Jackson ski guide suffered a neck injury, necessitating a helicopter rescue, after being caught in an avalanche in the Spacewalk area south of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Jon Hunt, 55, was being treated Wednesday at St. John’s Medical Center, said Karen Connelly, the hospital’s chief communications officer.
Resort spokeswoman Anna Cole confirmed the injured skier is a backcountry guide for the resort but was not working at the time.
Resort ski patrol received a call at 12:10 p.m. that a skier had been caught in a slide and suffered traumatic injuries, Cole said. Ski patrol notified Teton County Search and Rescue at 12:23 p.m.
“Ski patrol responded to the Spacewalk area,” Sheriff Matt Carr said. “The injured person skied away to the base of Ross’ Slide but at that point recognized the significance of his injuries. Upon initial assessment ski patrol felt he had an unstable neck fracture and called Search and Rescue.”
Hunt was flown to the Search and Rescue hangar, where he was transferred to an ambulance and rushed to the hospital. Carr said they don’t believe Hunt ever was buried, but they do believe he was carried and injured after triggering the avalanche.
“Ski patrol made the right call,” Carr said. “When you have an unstable patient, a helicopter ride is a lot better than bouncing out on a sled.”
This comes on the heels of two separate helicopter rescues of backcountry skiers on Tuesday.
Hunt was transferred from St. John’s to the University of Utah on Wednesday evening. His condition was unavailable.