Wyoming skier carried 1,500 feet by avalanche in Grand Tetons

 A woman skiing in Wyoming was hit by an avalanche in Grand Teton National Park, sending her 1,500 feet down, or just shy of the height of Willis Tower in Chicago, according to rangers.

Grand Teton National Park rangers requested helicopter assistance from Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR) on Sunday afternoon after receiving a report of a skier injured on Prospectors Mountain inside the park.

Park officials said the skier, a 29-year-old local woman, was skiing with four men near the top of the Banana Couloir at 10,800 feet when they triggered an avalanche, sweeping them away.

Three of the men in the group managed to stop themselves from slipping while another man went about 500 feet below.

Neither the woman nor the man were completely buried under the snow, although the woman reportedly suffered serious injuries.

A helicopter with a pilot and three rescue volunteers flew to Banana, a steep gorge on the eastern side of Prospectors Mountain.

Once there, the rescue team was able to reach the woman and lift her off the mountain before flying her to an ambulance waiting at the Windy Point turnout.

The other four members of the party were able to descend the mountain on their own.

The National Park Service said that with new snow falling on the Tetons, people who want to venture into the backcountry should refer to the daily avalanche forecast ahead of time.

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