Savage Sunday: Skiers die in two separate slides; another party still lost

By on January 28, 2013
Liza Benson
Liza Benson

Liza Benson – (Facebook)


UPDATE: The victim of the Clause Peak avalanche has been identified by the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office. Elizabeth “Liza” Benson, 28, was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday afternoon by a doctor who was part of a group of skiers caught in an avalanche off Clause Peak in the Cliff Creek area.

According to the accident report, Benson was swept into a tree by a six inch break at approximately 9,200 feet and sustained fatal blunt force trauma. Tip Top Search and Rescue, with assistance from Teton County Search and Rescue, is in the process of recovering the body.


Two backcountry skiers were killed Sunday afternoon in unrelated avalanches. The identity of the victims is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

According to a Special Bulletin issued this morning by the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center, both victims received fatal trauma after being caught in what were described by first responders as relatively minor slides. One of the incidents is reported to have occurred on Clause Peak in the Cliff Creek area. Skiers accessed the mountain via snowmobile into Clause Creek drainage.

Members of Search and Rescue are currently deployed on another mission, responding to a call about a party overdue for return from the backcountry.

Additional snowfall Saturday night into Sunday made terrain throughout western Wyoming somewhat unstable. Backcountry users are urged to check the avalanche forecast at before heading into the mountains.

Reader Comments
Dying in an avalanche is a horrible way to go. Skiing has taken the lives of far to many awesome people in our little town. Peer expectation pushes these folks to dangerous extremes. In a sense, we the ski culture are all to blame for these deaths.

Nothing extreme. Just skiing the backcountry. Driving is more dangerous. Avi danger was ‘low’ on Saturday and moving into the ‘moderate’ range on Sunday. Considering that many Jackson skiers hit the pass when conditions are ‘considerable’, you probably have a point but none of us are to blame for their death or any persons death in the BC.

Driving isn’t more dangerous then skiing in Jackson, and driving is hella dangerous. If avi danger was low, what the fuck good is avi warnings. Your assumption that ski culture’s hands are clean, is precisely why these deaths keep happening. Everyone blames the victim it’s tidier that way.

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