Deaths confirmed in Park avalanche

By on March 9, 2012
Steve Romeo from Facebook.

Steve Romeo from Facebook.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – JH Weekly has confirmed the deaths of both Steve Romeo and Chris Onufer, according to a source with Grand Teton National Park. The backcountry skiers were reported overdue from a skiing trip on Ranger Peak yesterday.

Steve Romeo, who ran the popular valley blogspot TetonAT, and JHMR employee Chris Onufer were overdue to return from a day’s ski on Ranger Peak, just north of Moran on the west side of Jackson Lake. A Teton County Search and Rescue helicopter was dispatched early this morning. Park rangers followed up on snowmobile.

Air reconnaissance confirmed visual evidence of a large avalanche in the area where Romeo and Onufer were expected to be. Two beacon signals were picked up and both bodies have been recovered.





Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Mourns the Loss
of Dedicated and Valued Employee, Chris Onufer

Thursday March 8, 2012: Teton Village: It is with much sadness and a deep feeling of loss that we share this information regarding longtime JHMR employee Chris Onufer, who died in an avalanche on Ranger Peak in Grand Teton National Park yesterday, with former JHMR employee, Steve Romeo.

Chris began working at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in 1993 on Trail Crew and moved to lift operations in the winter of 1993/94. The following summer he was hired as a Tram Operator which began his dedication and devotion for both the old and new aerial trams. In the fall of 1994 he moved to the Tram Maintenance Department.  Chris was one of several key figures who took care of the previous Jackson Hole Tram through to its last day in September 2006.  In addition he was an instrumental player in the design, development, installation and operation of the new tram opened to the public in December of 2008.

His deep commitment and compassion for this integral attraction of Jackson Hole culminated in his being named Tram Maintenance Manager earlier this year.

An avid athlete, outdoorsman, skier and mountaineer, Chris was active in Triathlons, a regular in the Pole Pedal Paddle event and participated in climbing and descending many of the famous peaks of our valley. This past summer he and other JHMR employees made a mountaineering attempt on North America’s highest peak, Mt. McKinley in Alaska. Beyond the athleticism, Chris was a committed 2nd lieutenant volunteer firefighter and EMT in the Teton Village Fire Department. He was also involved with the Jackson Hole Fire and EMS service.

A class act and a quiet leader, Chris was humble and let his work and achievements speak for themselves, he will be missed by all at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and in the greater Jackson Hole and Teton Valley Communities.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris and Steve’s family and friends.  Please keep them in your thoughts.


Reader Comments
Rest in peace Chris and Steve. 🙁 Steve was an inspiration to way more people than he knew.

Too sad to even comprehend. Steve lived a life that most of us dreamed of. He certainly Lived to Ski and did so everyday. RIP Chris and Steve.

So sad. A really good guy with a heart for people and love of skiing. RIP. 🙁

What a heartbreaking day. Thoughts and prayers to family and friends
Rachel mazari

Still in shock – what an amazing athlete. My heart goes out to his family and the folks at Skinny Skis.
Leta Sharpe

Live to ski will live on. RIP Steve and Chris
Rody Hagen

Steve, going to miss your eternal optimism for life and skiing.
Derek Weiss

Very sorry to hear of this tragedy. My condolences to family and friends. They left this world doing what they loved…
Dan Higgs

Its hard to imagine hiking up Glory in the morning and stopping into Skinny Skis without the possbility of seeing Steve anymore. Gonna miss ya my friend.

One of a kind Chris was! The ultimate outdoorsman! Remember fondly Chris and Liz taking my wife and I down the Snake River and showing us such a wonderful time! After our raft trip they were off to climb the Tetons! What and amazing loss to their families and friends and the community! RIP
Art from Miami & Tetonia

Heartfelt sorrow felt all the way here in Canada. It’s just not right when good men die young. But they died doing what they loved. May there be snow in heaven — and endless powder.

I remember very well the day I met Chris. I remember very well the day I met Liz. I remember very well how awesome their home and goats and etc but them!! together! prefect I worked with them both in 1999. I am sorry i gave Steve so much internet BS! I give him hell because I am a snowboarder and it was new to give crap over differences of approaches to the hills. I am so sorry. Were both more than I can ever imagine. My hurt is small compared to the families and close friends involved. The last time Chris pick me up hitchhiking, he was so happy! Watching Chris and Liz with Goats is what I’ll remember the most!! Second the look I would get at the trap bar when I was being a drunk idiot! Thanks for everything you guys ROCK! Steve really was awesome. sorry i gave him so much shit! Ski to Live! peace be with all!

LIve to Ski!

Dang. Rats. This hurts all the way to Vermont. Soo sorry.
Mike Colbourn

My thoughts and prayers are with family, JHMR, and Skinny Skis. Such a tragic loss.
Jenny Carr

I did not know them, but im so sad to hear this news. my heart breaks for their family and friends.
Erika Vohman

Heartbreaking. I only knew Steve through his blog and through what i heard from friends but his love and respect for the mountains was an inspiration and a gift. I hope your skiing endless pow on the steeps in heaven, man. Live to ski.

Sad in Maine. Sorry to lose Chris and Romeo, and sorry for all their loved ones.

I went to college with chris at UMM . This is truly a very sad sad day for me. We are all in shock to learn about Chris’s passing. My heart goes out to his family, his KMA brothers, and PTP sisters. Chris always had a smile on his face. At least he died doing what he loved. RIP Chris

I went to college with chris at UMM . This is truly a very sad sad day for me. We are all in shock to learn about Chris’s passing. My heart goes out to his family, his KMA brothers, and PTP sisters. Chris always had a smile on his face. At least he died doing what he loved. RIP Chris

I will always remember Chris for giving his heart and soul into everything he did. RIP my friend.


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