By Jim Stanford on December 27, 2008
Updated 10:03 a.m. Dec. 28
A skier died in-bounds at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort today after being buried in a slide in Toilet Bowl.
The skier has been identified as David Nodine, 31, of Wilson, according to the Jackson Hole News&Guide.
Ski patrollers located the body within 10 minutes but were unable to revive Nodine. He was one of two skiers who triggered the slide, possibly after one of them lost a ski following a jump; the other skier was unhurt.
The crown at the top of Toilet Bowl reportedly was about 8 feet high. It remains unclear whether the area was open at the time.
The slide came shortly after the resort finally opened all of its upper lifts, which had been closed for more than two days because of heavy snowfall and extreme avalanche danger.
The slope, located below Thunder chairlift to the skier’s right of Paintbrush, had been bombed by ski patrollers in the morning and had been skied by other people, according to the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center.
Following the slide, the resort again closed the upper mountain. A second substantial slide occurred in Alta Chute No. 2, also after the slope had been skied by other people.
Although the News&Guide reports that Nodine was wearing a transceiver, I heard it was a RECCO device, a lightweight reflector that can be embedded in clothing. I’m not sure it would have made a difference. Nodine was wearing a transceiver, as stated in the sheriff’s report.
The looks on the faces of some of the ski patrollers this afternoon told the story of the last few days: shellshocked. They have been risking their lives to try to control a vast swath of wild country — cliffs, funnel-shaped bowls, cascades of rocks — in some of the worst avalanche conditions seen in many years.
In summertime, Toilet Bowl is a series of rock faces where climbing guides sometimes practice rappels with their clients. It is hard to believe this terrain is commonly skied.
Nodine was a native of Greensboro, N.C., and worked as a financial trader. He leaves behind a wife, Christine. He was a fan of Bojangles and Jackson Hole Community Radio, and an avid skier.