A 28-year-old skateboarder from Jackson’s Pit, was found in a slide on taylor MT
The body of Trace Carrillo, a 28-year-old skier who lives and works in Jackson Hole, WY, was discovered among avalanche debris in a slide on Mount Taylor west of Teton Pass at 11:00am MST on April 2, 2020. The remains of Carrillo are located by a rescue dog used to support the efforts of a forty-person search team that includes members of the Teton County Search and Rescue Department, the Wyoming Department of Transportation and the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patrol.
The discovery of Carrillo was the culmination of events that began with Trace being swept across the south side of the 10,350-foot Mount Taylor just before 3pm MST on April 1. Having lost visual contact with Carrillo, his detached partner immediately began searching for the path with a beacon but to no avail and left the suburbs to borrow a mobile phone and make calls to emergency responders. A coordinated search and rescue effort, including transceiver, probe and drone, went on until nightfall on Wednesday and only Trace’s intact division table was detected. On Thursday morning, the demolition of the ski area on Mount Taylor was rekindled after efforts to mitigate the avalanche, including the use of helicopters and landmine explosions, were carried out. Once located and removed from the ice, Trace’s body was evacuated to the Coal Creek parking area at the foot of Teton Pass by helicopter.
According to some forecasters, the risk of an avalanche on Wednesday is moderate although some significant snowfalls have accumulated overnight. According to the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, the top of the Carrillo scroll slide is its peak of two to three feet with an average depth of six to eight inches.
On Thursday, Trace’s father, Tracey Carrillo, posted the following message on Facebook: “It is very heavy to say that we lost our son Trace Carrillo today in an avalanche accident in Jackson Hole Wyoming. That’s what he likes to do. Thank you for your prayers and the efforts of the search and rescue team. Please continue to pray for our healing and for his friends and family.” According to social media posts, Trace, who studied Natural Resources Management at the University of Utah and worked for the U.S. Forest Service, is not a beginner when it comes to group and rural separation. With his particular passion for hard shoes, Trace ascended and descended Washington’s formidable Mount Rainier in May 2019 after exploring Mount Whitney and other Sierra peaks in April.
The loss of any person, no matter how they choose to recreate and regain sanity amid the chaos, is tragic. However, Trace’s departure in this way at this time serves as a poignant, albeit very sad, reminder of our need to mitigate the risks we pose to others, as first responders, Rescuers and even paramedics. Matt Hansen, communications director for the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation, spoke with SNOWBOARDER about how the current pandemic has affected their efforts. According to Hansen, “A year ago, COVID-19 wasn’t something our search and rescue teams had to worry about. We have certainly addressed coronavirus as a group and are taking all the principles and precautions to ensure our team is not exposed. Will coronavirus take them to a point where they won’t carry out their mission? Not. Our team is ready like never before. We had more than thirty people out the door yesterday for the search on Mount Taylor. It did not hinder their efforts at all, but it added another layer of consideration that they had to think about in terms of avalanche mitigation, temperature fluctuations and, not to mention, everything related to helicopter operations. ”
Given the current circumstances surrounding this global crisis and how it affects those seeking solace at home, Hansen reiterates a constant message they have been promoting in Teton County Search and Rescue channels. “We told everyone to dial back. We know that people will go skiing abroad. In Jackson here, we’ve left it up to each individual. We haven’t drawn the line yet and say that people can’t go skiing upstream because everyone recognizes the physical and mental health benefits that come with it. If you’re locked in your house all day, then going out to buy a set of leather or a pair of bootpacks means the whole world. But if you’re going to do that, you have to be very cautious because we don’t want to put more stress on an already stressful medical community. “