An avalanche that occurred Sunday morning in Prater Canyon east of Star Valley ranch has claimed the life of a skier.
Star Valley Search & Rescue Commander Matt McMurdo told SVI News that the call for help was received at roughly 11:30 a.m. According to McMurdo, two skiers were in the backcountry area. One skier was buried and the other was attempting to dig him out. When search & rescue arrived it was found unsafe for them to attempt to reach the skiers from the bottom so an air rescue helicopter was requested from Teton County Search & Rescue, who was able to first rescue the unburied skier and then return for the other.
McMurdo stated that the buried skier was found unresponsive when rescuers arrived.
McMurdo clarified that while the helicopter landed near the 9th hole of the golf course near the Town of Star Valley Ranch, the avalanche occurred in the canyon on the south side of Prater Mountain above the beginning of the hiking trail.
The identity of the deceased skier is pending notification of family.
As of Monday morning, avalanche danger remains high for the Greys River area. Current avalanche conditions can be found online at BridgerTetonAvalancheCenter.org.