We are deeply saddened to report the passing of local snowboarder Mike McKelvey. Yesterday, McKelvey was caught in an avalanche on Togwotee Pass. He was caught in a slide after hitting a jump and was buried under 12 feet of snow. His partners were able to swiftly locate him, dig him out, and perform CPR, but McKelvey later passed away in Idaho Falls.
As an avid snowboarder, Mckelvey was deeply intertwined with the Jackson community. He was part of the JHMR Park and Pipe Crew, interned here at TGR, and even helped with the Natural Selection course design. Beyond all of that, he was a passionate person that lived his life to the fullest.
Former TGR editor and Internships lead Morgan Conway had this to say about Mike:
“Mike was incredibly talented. It was obvious how passionate he was for the mountains, but what made him so special is that he saw people. This shone through in his work. Through any creative lens he used, he told a story and made you feel connected. He was hardworking, happy, and always eager for the next project. He saw the footage in a unique and interesting way. I was impressed by his talent, and then even more so by his big heart.
It was cool to watch his skills grow in snowboarding or photography (after TGR). He was such a kind and caring person, I became one of his biggest cheerleaders. I think anyone who knew him felt the same way.”
A man was killed in an avalanche on Monday in Grand Teton National Park on the north side of 25 Short. National Park Rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue officials were called to the avalanche which occurred in the Broken Thumb Couloir. Avalanche danger was reported as Considerable, with concern about persistent slabs and wind slabs. The victim was identified as Matthew Brien, a 33-year-old local snowboarder. This is the third avalanche death in the Tetons in the last seven days,
For the better part of 2021, ski patrollers at several large ski resorts in the Western US have made headlines as they negotiate their contracts to reflect the dedication they put into their jobs. For those of us that ski at a resort regularly, or even have at all in our lifetimes, we know that ski patrol is an essential part of not just staying safe, but also having a good time on the mountain. This season especially, it’s felt like ski patrollers could use a little extra love as they’ve
In the outdoors, we are always learning and growing, trying to get better at the activities we pursue and be more knowledgeable about the places we recreate. When it comes to backcountry skiing, a willingness to learn and grow is an essential part of the sport. This season, several months of variable weather followed by massive amounts of snow and little time for the snowpack to settle have created unstable and somewhat unpredictable conditions. These conditions have affected much of the