Skier survives 800-foot fall in Wyoming

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 04, 2011 7:53 PM

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - A skier was in critical condition at an Idaho hospital on Monday after taking an 800-foot plunge from a mountain in the Teton Range in northwestern Wyoming over the weekend, officials said.

Ryan Redmond, 33, of Delafield, Wisconsin, was skiing with friends in the high-elevation back country of Grand Teton National Park on Saturday morning when he lost control and careened down the south side of the Middle Teton, according to the park authorities.

Redmond was wearing a climbing helmet and his ski pole was equipped with an ice ax designed to break falls but "he was unable to self-arrest on the firm snow," a park spokeswoman said in a statement.

Another skier used a cell phone to request aid from park rangers, who provided emergency medical treatment at the scene.

Redmond was taken off the mountainside to low-elevation meadows in a litter suspended by 200 feet of rope from a slow-moving helicopter, which was unable to land in the rugged terrain.

A park medical director stabilized the skier before he was airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.

Hospital officials on Monday said Redmond was in critical condition in the intensive care unit. They said confidentiality rules prevented them from elaborating on his injuries.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman. Editing by Tim Gaynor and Peter Bohan)