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The Fine Line Profile

The Fine Line

English, Sports, 1 season, 55 episodes, 1 day, 9 hours, 48 minutes
About
The Fine Line is a podcast that tells real stories of adventure, risk and rescue in the backcountry of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The podcast is produced by Backcountry Zero, a vision of the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation to reduce fatalities in the backcountry.
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55. A Whistle in the Dark

Teton County Search & Rescue volunteer Carol Viau, one of the longest tenured members on the team, shares this memorable story from her very first rescue. It was October 26, 2000, a time before cell phones were ubiquitous, and when most callouts for TCSAR required good old-fashioned boots on the ground. "A Whistle in the Dark" reveals how and why someone is drawn to be a first responder, how intuition and basic skills can be invaluable during a cold, dark search, and how gentle conversations with a person in need can help us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. Produced by Backcountry Zero, The Fine Line is presented by Stio, with additional support from Roadhouse Brewing Co. and KHOL 89.1 FM in Jackson. This episode was produced by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. The story was recorded in the studios of KHOL 89.1 FM. The Fine Line theme song is by Anne and Pete Sibley, with additional music provided by Ben Winship. Original artwork by Jen Reddy Ink.
5/9/202413 minutes, 48 seconds
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54. Big Little Decisions: The Long, Weary Road to Mosquito Lake

Two bikepackers embark on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, a 2,700-mile journey that traverses the Rockies from the Mexico border all the way to Canada. During their trip, a seemingly little decision comes back to haunt them in a big way, right as their route enters one of the most remote parts of Teton County, Wyoming. This episode not only reveals the challenges of preparing for such an undertaking, but takes on the headwinds of long-distance cycling and how, during our times of greatest need, we can rely on the kindness of complete strangers. For more information on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Bikepacking.com is the authoritative voice on the subject. Interviews and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. The interviews were conducted in the studios of KHOL 89.1 FM. Thank you to Maggie Slepian and Matt Maar for sharing their story, and to Mike Baum and TCSAR volunteer Ed Fries for lending their perspective to this slow burn of an epic journey. The Fine Line theme song is by Anne and Pete Sibley, with additional music provided by Ben Winship. Original artwork by Jen Reddy Ink. This episode of The Fine Line is presented by Stio, with additional support from Arc'teryx and KHOL.
4/18/202455 minutes, 4 seconds
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53. No Fall Zone: Central Couloir

Season 8 of The Fine Line begins with a story from one of the most recognizable features of the southern Teton range, and a ski line that makes even the bravest skiers buckle their boots a little bit tighter: Cody Peak’s Central Couloir. On Saturday March 18, 2023, skiers Will Brown and Jacqueline Dickey dropped into Central after hiking out to the top of Cody from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Aerial Tram. What happened next forever changed their relationship to skiing and big, complex mountains. We also hear from Jackson Hole Ski Patroller Jeff Burke, who helps explain how different responding agencies come together to perform rescues in the JHMR backcountry—and how a pair of skis took the long road to get back to Jacqueline. If you are looking for mental health support, please visit the Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center, or dial the national crisis and suicide prevention hotline at 988. As we hear in this episode, mental health is a backcountry safety issue. Interviews and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. The interviews were recorded in the studios of KHOL 89.1 FM. The Fine Line theme song is by Anne and Pete Sibley, with additional music provided by Ben Winship. Original artwork by Jen Reddy. The Fine Line is presented by Stio, with additional support by Roadhouse Brewing Company and KHOL.
3/21/202449 minutes, 48 seconds
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52. Classic Rock: A Little Piece of Orange Grip

There aren’t many mountain bike trails in Jackson Hole as classic as the one called Ferrin’s. Built in 2005, the trail is one of the most popular in Jackson due to its challenging terrain, proximity to town, and linkage to other trails. But like any classic trail, it has inherent dangers that can take down even the best riders. In this episode of The Fine Line, we close out Season 7 with a wild story from August 22, 2022. The conversation goes deep into how a highly experienced mountain biker took a vicious crash on Ferrin's, and how her companion and Teton County Search & Rescue volunteers helped her get home during a torrential rainstorm. As we conclude this season, we want to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who has come on this podcast to share their stories of resilience and survival, and to our generous sponsors Roadhouse Brewing Co. and Stio. Special thanks to the musical artists Anne and Pete Sibley and Ben Winship for providing such beautiful sounds to accompany these stories, and to Melinda Binks for her masterful editing and partnership in producing this podcast with host and writer Matt Hansen. Caryn Flanagan is our smooth voice for sponsor readings. All interviews were recorded in the studios of KHOL 89.1 FM in downtown Jackson. And of course, a huge shout out to all the TCSAR volunteers who give so much of themselves to our community to bring people home after an accident in the backcountry. We are all indebted to your service. We'll be back in your feed with more stories of adventure, risk and rescue for Season 8 in 2024. Learn more at BackcountryZero.com.
8/24/202359 minutes, 50 seconds
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51. Decision Point: No Guarantees for Tomorrow

On March 29, 2023, skier Dave Brown felt a sudden onset of extreme fatigue that was entirely new to him, and terribly serious. At 67 years old, the former ski patroller had never had any previous medical issues. But during a backcountry ski tour near Teton Pass, he knew he needed to get help—and get it fast. In this episode of The Fine Line, we’ll hear how Brown and his ski partner made a critical decision that helped save his life. Joining the conversation is Teton County Search & Rescue volunteer Keegan Pfeil, who explains how the team responded to this life-threatening emergency in a deep timbered ravine where simply locating Brown was a challenge. Interviews and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. The interviews were conducted in the studios of KHOL 89.1 FM. Our theme song is by Anne and Pete Sibley, with additional music provided by Ben Winship. The Fine Line is produced by Backcountry Zero and sponsored by Stio and Roadhouse Brewing Co.
8/10/202336 minutes, 39 seconds
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50. Cornice Fall: Heli Rescue in the Salt River Range

How far back is far enough from the edge of a cornice? 10 feet, 20 feet, 30? On March 5, 2023, Jordan Bluse found out the hard way. He was riding his snowmobile with a group of friends in the Salt River Mountain Range outside of Afton, Wyoming, when a large cornice sheared off below him. He and his snowmobile fell through the cornice and tumbled down 1,200 vertical feet over multiple cliff bands. In this episode—our 50th—we’ll hear about Jordan's miraculous survival, while Teton County Search and Rescue’s Ian Johnston explains how a SAR assist plays out in this very remote corner of Wyoming. Thanks to the Star Valley Search & Rescue for the invaluable partnership in helping to bring this rescue to a positive outcome. Interviews and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. Interviews were conducted in the studios of KHOL 89.1 FM in downtown Jackson, Wyoming. Theme song by Anne and Pete Sibley, with additional music provided by Ben Winship. The Fine Line is produced by Backcountry Zero and sponsored by Stio and Roadhouse Brewing Co.
7/27/202345 minutes, 35 seconds
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49. Pedal Strike: Short-haul Behind Snow King

On July 13, 2022, three friends went out for a mountain bike ride on a trail they'd done too many times to count: the classic Ferrins-West Game-Cache Creek loop just outside of Jackson, Wyo. But the ride gets cut short when one of the riders has a violent crash, leaving him with severe injuries and a complicated rescue. In this episode of The Fine Line, the incident demonstrates how even the most experienced riders sometimes have accidents, even in their own backyard, and the hoops that TCSAR and other agencies must jump through to get someone out of the backcountry safely. Interviews and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. The interviews were conducted in the studios of KHOL 89.1 FM. The theme song is by Anne and Pete Sibley, with additional music provided by Ben Winship. The Fine Line is produced by Backcountry Zero, and sponsored by Stio and by Roadhouse Brewing Co.
6/15/202348 minutes, 4 seconds
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48. Nowhere to Hide: Avalanche on Albright Peak

When skier Benton Hodges heard trees snapping and saw a huge powder cloud below him from an avalanche on Albright Peak in Grand Teton National Park, he thought he’d be in a life-or-death struggle to recover his buried friend. Instead, friend Charlie Pirc was saved when he struck a tree, preventing him from being buried in the 2,000-foot-long avalanche but leaving him with severe injuries high on the mountainside. In this episode, Benton, Charlie, and friends Evan Flach and Seth Frey talk about why they came forward to openly discuss this harrowing incident, while Teton County Search & Rescue volunteer Dr. AJ Wheeler offers insights to how rescuers were able to bring Charlie safely out of the backcountry. Interviews and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. Interviews were conducted in the studios of KHOL 89.1 FM. Theme song by Anne and Pete Sibley, with additional music provided by Ben Winship. The Fine Line is produced by Backcountry Zero and is sponsored by Roadhouse Brewing Co. and by Stio.
5/18/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 36 seconds
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47. Angel Fire: Broke Down in Hidden Corral

On June 25, 2022, Terri Evenson and Brit West drove a truck and horse trailer way out into a little known corner of the Tetons. The Coyote Meadows trailhead is in Teton County, Wyoming, but it's at least a two-hour drive from Jackson. With three horses and a couple of dogs, they were aiming for a hidden valley deep inside the Jedediah Smith Wilderness, a vast landscape of snow-covered mountains and plateaus, pristine alpine lakes, and deep canyons that drain the western slope of the Tetons. On day two of their trip, Terri suffered severe injuries after her horse, a buckskin named Angel Fire, fell on top of her on an exposed section of trail roughly nine miles in the backcountry. In the Season 7 opener of The Fine Line, Terri and Brit revisit the ordeal, while TCSAR volunteers Chase Lockhart and Andrew Armington discuss how the team responded. Interviews and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. Interviews were conducted in the studios at KHOL 89.1 FM. Theme song by Anne and Pete Sibley, with additional music provided by Ben Winship. The Fine Line podcast is sponsored by Stio and by Roadhouse Brewing Company.
4/27/202345 minutes, 25 seconds
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46. Open Fracture on Open Book

When climbers Lars Schou and Sahir Enriquez joined up to climb the Open Book in Grand Teton National Park on July 25, 2021, they were confident it would be a beautiful “Sunday cruise” in the mountains. On the third pitch, however, Schou took a bad fall and sustained major injuries to both of his legs. In this episode, Schou and Enriquez discuss the ordeal, while Jenny Lake Climbing Ranger Philip Edmonds shares his perspective on responding to the incident on a precarious ledge. Meanwhile, climber Julia Heemstra speaks to how she and friend Hadden Goodman witnessed the fall and made the call to 911, and we hear from pilot Steve Wilson, who explains how he ever so carefully placed Edmonds on the wall via short-haul with the helicopter’s rotor blades mere feet from the rock face. Tune in for this incredible tale of a Teton rescue. Interviews and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. This episode of The Fine Line is sponsored by Roadhouse Brewing Co. Thanks to KHOL 89.1 FM for the use of their studio.
6/30/202259 minutes, 47 seconds
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45. A Lot More Than a Chipped Tooth on Togwotee

When the emergency call came in to TCSAR on February 6, 2022, the report said that the patient had crashed on his snowmobile and could not feel his arms or legs. In this episode, TCSAR volunteers Dr. AJ Wheeler and Ryan Combs explain how the team responds to such severe injuries in a remote location. And we hear directly from the snowmobiler about how the crash happened—and how he's doing now. Thanks to Roadhouse Brewing Co. for their generous support of The Fine Line and backcountry safety in Jackson Hole. Interview and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks.
5/26/202236 minutes, 31 seconds
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44. Chivers Ridge: So Close, but So Far

Just one ridge to the south from the top of Teton Pass, Wyo., Chivers Ridge is known as a popular backcountry ski run for its ease of access. But it also features steep drop-offs on either side, as well as manmade infrastructure such as power lines and cables that you may not always expect to find on a backcountry run. On January 23, 2022, Matt Bambach, a 29-year-old skier, found this out the hard way. That morning, he gathered on the pass with a bunch of friends to celebrate his roommate’s birthday. It was supposed to be a fun day of party skiing. But on their very first run, it all came crashing down when he sustained a life-threatening injury about halfway down Chivers Ridge. Despite how close he was to the road, it presented some very real challenges for his companions as well as the response from Teton County Search and Rescue. In this episode, Bambach recounts his freak accident and the response from TCSAR volunteers Anthony Stevens and KC Bess. The volunteers offer an in-depth look at TCSAR’s short-haul operations, while Jules Bell explains how she was suddenly put into the position of keeping Bambach from bleeding to death while maintaining composure to dial for help. If you would like to help support TCSAR’s emergency helicopter program, you can do so at www.TetonCountySAR.org. Until May 13, all donations are generously matched and go directly to helping TCSAR volunteers save lives in the backcountry. Interviews and writing by Matt Hansen. Editing and sound by Melinda Binks. Thanks to Angus Thuermer for pointing us in the right direction regarding the history of Chivers Ridge. Thank you to Roadhouse Brewing Co. for the generous sponsorship of The Fine Line. We are also grateful to KHOL 89.1 FM for the use of their studio.
4/21/202244 minutes, 37 seconds
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43. A Life-Threatening Encounter with Anaphylaxis

While many Jackson Hole locals flocked to the Tetons for a day of powder skiing on February 15, 2020, Teton County Search & Rescue volunteers loaded up their heavy packs for routine training on Snow King Mountain. But the training session quickly turned into a life-or-death emergency when longtime TCSAR volunteer Robb Sgroi came down with a rare and severe form of anaphylaxis. Most people associate anaphylaxis with bee stings, which of course is not possible in Jackson Hole in the middle of February. Anaphylaxis can also be brought on by food allergies that kick someone’s immune response into overdrive and may therefore shut down vital organs. But that’s not what happened here, either. So how did Sgroi—a tall, lean husband and father—end up itchy, on the ground, and spiraling into unconsciousness? This episode explores the mysterious reasons for his condition, how the team was able to diagnose it in the field, and ultimately save his life. Interviews by Matt Hansen. Editing by Melinda Binks. Thank you to Roadhouse Brewing Co. for sponsoring The Fine Line and supporting backcountry safety in Jackson Hole.
3/17/202230 minutes, 57 seconds
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42. The Sliver Couloir: The Downfall of Miscommunication

The consequences of not communicating in the mountains became abundantly clear on January 22, 2022, when skiers Collin Binko and Michael Martin encountered a lone snowboarder at the base of the Sliver Couloir in Grand Teton National Park. All three had eyes on the same prize, but neither party talked to the other. What happened next has been a frequent topic of conversation in the backcountry community, and a growing concern for many heading into the high alpine. Leading off Season 6 of The Fine Line, this episode explores this issue head on, with Martin and Binko giving their account of the day. We also hear from alpinist and licensed therapist Ryan Burke about coming onto the scene and the dangerous role ego plays in the mountains. Jessica Baker, an AMGA-certified ski guide who has more than two decades of experience in the Tetons, walks us through the importance of situational awareness and why communication is so crucial for everyone’s safety. This episode does not seek to expose villains or heroes, but rather to shed light on an important lesson everyone can learn from. Interviews by Matt Hansen. Editing by Melinda Binks. Thank you to Roadhouse Brewing Co. for the generous sponsorship of The Fine Line, and to KHOL 89.1 FM for the use of their studio.
2/25/202256 minutes, 26 seconds
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41. Peer Support: Stress Injuries and First Responders

Most of us are pretty good at talking about our physical injuries. A broken wrist on a bike ride. A blown ACL while skiing. When it comes to stress injuries and mental health, however, it’s easy to want to pretend that everything is fine—no doctor necessary. But we have come to understand that experiencing a traumatic event, as well as the cumulative effect of stress over the years, can have a serious impact on one’s mental health. In this episode, Laura McGladrey and Nick Armitage discuss stress injuries and psychological first aid for first responders. They also explain the Stress Continuum, and how the 3-3-3 approach is a useful tool for helping others build resilience after experiencing a traumatic event. Even if you are not a first responder, you'll find this conversation relevant and relatable on many different levels. It touches on life in mountain towns (guess what, it's not always powder days and scenic vistas), stress depletion, and how each of us can be more intentional with our ‘green choices.’ And let's be honest: we could all use more help dealing with stress these days. ResponderAlliance.com is an excellent resource for additional information, and can help teams establish programs to build resilience. Teton Interagency Peer Support (TIPS) provides mental health services for first responders and their families in Teton County, and can provide guidance for teams around the country establish similar programs. MentalHealthJH.com is another great resource for Jackson Hole residents. Interview by Matt Hansen. Editing by Melinda Binks. Thanks to Roadhouse Brewing Co. for their support of this podcast and backcountry safety in Jackson Hole.
10/1/202159 minutes, 28 seconds
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40. Texas Two Step: We Bounce Pretty Good

People and horses have a long shared history in Jackson Hole. But not everyone rides off into the sunset. Example: On September 12, 2020, Teton County Search & Rescue was alerted to two women, sisters from Texas, who had been seriously injured after falling from their horses at the same time in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. In this episode, the two women share their experience with a finely tuned sense of humor, while TCSAR volunteers Keegan Pfeil and Lizzie Watson discuss the team's response up what might be the most rugged road in Teton County. Interview by Matt Hansen. Editing by Melinda Binks. Thank you to Roadhouse Brewing Company for sponsoring The Fine Line and supporting backcountry safety in Jackson Hole.
8/20/202128 minutes, 34 seconds
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39. The Ray Shriver Story, Part 2

In Part 2 of "The Ray Shriver Story," Mike Moyer discusses how he survived the tragic helicopter crash that killed his TCSAR teammate, Ray Shriver. Carol Viau, another TCSAR volunteer, talks about how she was first on the scene, while Tim Ciocarlan goes into detail about how the team recovered from this terrible incident. Shriver's two sons, Zach and Matt, remind us why this story matters and why it's important to them to help keep their dad's memory alive. Interviews by Matt Hansen and Rebecca Huntington. Edited by Rebecca Huntington. Thank you to Roadhouse Brewing Company for sponsoring The Fine Line and their support of backcountry safety in Jackson Hole.
5/28/202147 minutes, 54 seconds
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38. The Ray Shriver Story, Part 1

On February 15, 2012, Teton County Search and Rescue received an emergency call to help an injured snowmobiler in the Togwotee area, about 60 miles northeast of Jackson, Wyoming. The response started like many others, with the team gathering at the hangar to decide on a plan. Given the remote nature of the accident, they decided to send the helicopter pilot with two SAR volunteers, Mike Moyer and Ray Shriver. The routine call would turn out to be anything but, as tragedy unfolded beneath the blue Wyoming sky, forcing the volunteers to search for their own, with Shriver, a founding TCSAR member, paying the ultimate price. In this two-part series, TCSAR volunteers and Shriver’s two sons remember him as an influential, if hard-nosed, team member and father, and explain how they were able to emerge from the wreckage and move forward. Thank you to Roadhouse Brewing Company for sponsoring The Fine Line and their support of backcountry safety in Jackson Hole.
5/13/202124 minutes, 35 seconds
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37. Youth in the Backcountry

How does a young person gain access to the backcountry? How do they do it safely? What happens when their Instagram feed is taken over by high flying stunts instead of avalanche awareness? How do they navigate not just the unforgiving wilderness, but life during the pandemic? What should parents and leaders in snow safety know about how kids approach avalanche terrain? To get a better understanding of what young people think about going into the backcountry, we invited three Jackson Hole teenagers into the conversation. Thanks to Soraya Ziem, Ryan Millham, and Zack Little for the discussion. Show Notes The most important thing anyone can do before they go into the backcountry is get a formal avalanche education. Our guests achieved this through different youth programs offered in Jackson Hole. BackcountryZero.com/winter has a full list of resources on where you can get an avalanche education. The Jackson Hole Ski Club Backcountry Program is in its second year. Info: https://jhskiclub.org/backcountry Jackson Hole High School Mountaineering Club has introduced hundreds of kids to backcountry safety over the years. You can find a great video about the Mountaineering Club on their Facebook page. Info: https://www.tcsd.org/Athletics/Sport/41 Coombs Outdoors offers children from low-income households the opportunity to access skiing and other outdoor activities all year long. Info: https://www.coombsoutdoors.org Volunteer survey-takers, like Ryan Millham, have recorded data about backcountry habits from more than 3,000 people since 2016. Find out more about this program in the 5-year Backcountry Zero Review, published in December 2020. The review also includes information about the popular What’s In Your Pack classes. Subscribe to the TCSAR Foundation newsletter so you can be notified of when these classes are offered. They always fill up fast. Info: http://www.tetoncountysar.org/rescue-reports Interview by Matt Hansen. Editing by Melinda Binks.
3/25/202130 minutes, 1 second
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36. Avalanche on Taylor Mountain, Part 2

It’s human nature for all of us to want to prove ourselves. But in backcountry skiing, where margins for error in avalanche terrain can be razor thin, this can be a dangerous path—for experts, beginners, and everyone in between. Concluding this two-part series of The Fine Line, Anna Meteyer confronts these and other complexities from April 1, 2020, when her friend and touring partner Trace Carrillo died in an avalanche on Teton Pass, Wyo. Meanwhile, TCSAR volunteer Jennifer Sparks talks about how psychological first aid has become a priority for first responders in Teton County. Thank you to Anna Meteyer for sharing her story, and to Trace Carrillo's family and friends for supporting backcountry safety in his name through a scholarship fund at the University of Utah. Show Notes Please remember: It’s okay to not be okay. And it's perfectly fine to ask for help. To learn more about mental health support offered by Teton Interagency Peer Support group, or TIPS, go to https://www.tetontips.com/. If you or someone you know is suffering from stress trauma, mental illness or just needs someone to talk to, go to https://www.mentalhealthjh.com. Available to all Teton County, Wyo., residents. For information on the Trace Carrillo scholarship fund providing Level 1 avalanche courses to students at the University of Utah, go to https://ustarter.utah.edu/o/university-of-utah-39/i/ustarter/s/trace-carrillo-dreamachieve. Photo: Will Smith/TCSAR
2/11/202128 minutes, 14 seconds
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35. Avalanche on Taylor Mountain, Part 1

On April 1, 2020, Anna Meteyer met her friend Trace Carrillo for a backcountry snowboard tour on Taylor Mountain, a large peak on the west side of Teton Pass, Wyoming. In this two-part series of The Fine Line, Meteyer describes the tragedy that unfolded, the brutal lessons she learned, and her struggle to cope and move forward. We hope the take away from this honest conversation about risk and decision making is not an opportunity to judge others, but as a way of reflecting on how we can all improve the ways in which we approach the backcountry. Whether you are a longtime backcountry user or just starting out, please be respectful and take the time to consider this story with an open mind. Interview by Matt Hansen. Editing by Melinda Binks.
1/29/202129 minutes, 26 seconds
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34. Part 2: Crevasse Rescue on the Teton Glacier

In Part 2 of our story about a crevasse rescue on the Teton Glacier, Jenny Lake Climbing Ranger Mike Shain helps Tyler Willis get off the mountain to medical treatment, and they discuss the lessons that every climber in the Tetons should be aware of before they begin an adventure.
12/24/202030 minutes, 45 seconds
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33. Part 1: Crevasse Rescue on the Teton Glacier

Thirty feet down a dark, icy crevasse, Tyler Willis never gave up hope that he would be rescued. That he was eventually pulled from the depths of the Teton Glacier by his climbing partner and two passersby after more than an hour of rope rigging is testament to the value of companion rescue. The harrowing tale from August 8, 2020, includes two chapters: the fall and complicated extrication from the crevasse, and how Jenny Lake climbing rangers eventually got Willis off the mountain.
12/18/202030 minutes, 15 seconds
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32. Night Rescue in Phillips Canyon

Season 5 of The Fine Line begins: On the calm evening of September 5, two mountain bikers set off to ride the technical Phillips Canyon trail off Teton Pass. About halfway into the ride, they approached the second of three log bridge crossings. One rider made it across. The other lost her balance and fell off the side of the bridge into the cold creek below. Unable to walk, in severe pain, and with hypothermia setting in as darkness fell, the biker was in for a long night.
11/6/202033 minutes, 3 seconds
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31. A Powder Day comes Crashing Down

Four Pines is one of the most popular ski descents in the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort backcountry. And yet, when something goes horribly wrong, as it did for Tom Gehling on the snowy afternoon of February 5, 2019, it can be like another planet and have life-altering consequences. Gehling's accident and dramatic helicopter rescue are the subject of the newest episode of The Fine Line. The episode features honest dialogue about decision-making during high avalanche danger, complacency for lift-served backcountry, “epic powder skiing,” and why having a rescue-ready helicopter is so critical to Teton County, Wyoming.
5/28/202053 minutes, 22 seconds
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30. Grizzly Attack at Pacific Creek, Part 3

In Chapter 3, James Moore talks with rescuer Lizzie Watson, his wife, Betsy, and brother, Jake Peasley, about his rescue, recovery and even some unexpected moments of humor as rescuers rushed him to safety. Photo: TCSAR team member Lizzie Watson was medical lead in responding to Moore's injuries. James' wife, Betsy, stands in the middle.
4/28/202027 minutes, 10 seconds
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29. Grizzly Attack at Pacific Creek, Part 2

In Chapter 2, James Moore and his brother, Jake Peasley, describe the intensity of the grizzly attack, and their hasty retreat from the wilderness via horseback to get to help. Photo: TCSAR team member Lizzie Watson was medical lead in responding to Moore's injuries. James' wife, Betsy, stands in the middle.
4/21/202029 minutes, 13 seconds
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28. Grizzly Attack at Pacific Creek, Part 1

James Moore had experience hunting in grizzly country. And if the Teton Wilderness is anything, it's full of grizzly bears. Moore struck out for the Whetstone Mountain area with his brother, Jake Peasley, and good friend Brent Bongers. It didn't take them long to spot their first grizzly. In a three-part series, The Fine Line follows Moore and his party through the hunt, the attack and the fight for survival that all unfolded on Sept. 25, 2017. Photo: TCSAR team member Lizzie Watson was medical lead in responding to James Moore's injuries. James' wife, Betsy, stands in the middle.
4/13/202025 minutes, 58 seconds
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27. All Friends on a Powder Day

On Jan. 18, 2019, Jackson skier Jenny Karns fell upside down into a terrain trap during a powder day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. With her ski partner well ahead and unaware, she became trapped, with just one ski sticking out of the snow. Just seconds from suffocating, she was found and dug out by three people who happened to be skiing by. One of those skiers joins Jenny in the studio, as well as Kirk "Sparky" Speckhals, a longtime JHMR ski patroller, who was first on scene and offers perspective on Snow Immersion Suffocation, a danger that lurks on powder days.
2/24/202037 minutes, 39 seconds
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26. Breaking Point in the Spoon Couloir, Encore Episode

The wind. It’s a dangerous variable, stripping snow from one zone and then loading up another. Even when danger is moderate and a ski route, well known, wind can be a wild card. With a heavy dose of wind in the weather this month, we replay an episode about skiing the Spoon Couloir. Rene Etter-Garrette had already started questioning the risk of dying in an avalanche when he and two friends headed into Grand Teton National Park on February 4, 2016. But that day, avalanche danger had been rated moderate. And Rene planned to ski a line that he'd already successfully tackled several times before. He'd been living in Jackson Hole for six winters. During the ski season he worked at a local shop tuning skis. He'd found mentors willing to share their backcountry knowledge. This time, he lead the way as he and two friends headed for the Spoon Couloir.
1/22/202033 minutes, 29 seconds
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25. Rescue on the Reef

On February 20, 2018, IFMGA-certified mountain guide Paul Rachele was trying to set up a winter climbing route on a sharp crag off Teton Pass called The Reef. As he was setting the final anchor, he ran out of rope and fell 100 feet, sustaining numerous severe injuries. His call for help set in motion a rapid response as rescuers raced against the clock to get him to safety before nightfall. Conversation includes TCSAR members Phillip Fox and Alex St. Clair. Photo: Paul Rachele
12/16/201936 minutes, 32 seconds
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24. The Search for Bernhard Rietmann

Bernhard Rietmann had a great sense of wanderlust. His drive for adventure landed him in Jackson Hole in the 1960s. Back when tourists only came in summer and innkeepers routinely hung up a gone fishing sign after Labor Day. After decades of exploring the valley, Rietmann knew the Granite Creek Drainage well. He often went hunting there solo. On Sept. 23, 2015, carrying a sandwich, a water bottle and a rifle, the 84-year-old went looking for deer. When he didn't return, a massive effort mobilized to find him. In this episode, Rietmann's son, Max, and longtime TCSAR volunteer Alex Norton give an inside look at how the search panned out.
9/23/201945 minutes, 24 seconds
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23. Struck by Lightning on the Grand Teton

The forecast looked promising the day before. But when climbers set out to summit the Grand Teton on July 21, 2010, a thunderstorm blasted the iconic peak. As repeated lightning strikes pinned climbers to steep, exposed terrain, rangers suddenly found themselves racing to save 17 people, even as the mountain remained shrouded in storm clouds. The incident turned into the largest rescue effort ever undertaken on the Grand. This podcast is produced by Backcountry Zero, with support from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole. Backcountry Zero is a project of the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation. You can support this project and the volunteers at Teton County Search and Rescue by making an online donation today at tetoncountysar.org/donate. If you like listening to the Fine Line, considering sharing us with a friend. Host: Rebecca Huntington
8/19/201954 minutes, 42 seconds
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22. Trapped Underground

Spencer and Jessica Christiansen knew once they rappelled into the Darby Canyon Ice Cave they couldn't turn back. Spencer had done what he could to research the route, but the maze-like caves are mostly unmapped and ever changing. As clues pulled them in misleading directions, the couple found themselves trapped underground for two mentally and physically grueling days in August of 2018. You can support this project and the volunteers at Teton County Search and Rescue. Make an online donation today by going to tetoncountysar.org/donate. This podcast is produced by Backcountry Zero, with support from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole. Backcountry Zero is a project of the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation.
6/7/20191 hour, 12 minutes, 36 seconds
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21. Once Is Enough

An experienced athlete, Sally Franklyn started skiing with her parents before she could even walk. On March 24, 2012, she and three friends headed for a steep couloir called Once is Enough south of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boundary. When the 26-year-old dropped into the couloir she took a life-altering tumble more than 800 feet down chute. Friends call her Superwoman Sally, not only surviving that day but for fighting her way through what's been a painstaking recovery.
4/17/201936 minutes, 37 seconds
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20. Lost in a Whiteout

After taking a wrong turn on his snowboard in a whiteout, Pierre Bergman ended up stranded and alone in the backcountry. The 26-year-old works at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort where he skis everyday, but even experienced skiers can lose their way in blowing snow. Not knowing if rescuers would come for him, Bergman started hiking back up the mountain through waist-deep snow.
3/14/201924 minutes, 37 seconds
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19. Dogleg Couloir: A lesson on choosing ski partners

Greg Epstein cut his teeth skiing the backcountry of Jackson Hole. Along with friends, he had explored every nook and cranny of Granite Canyon just outside resort boundaries in Grand Teton National Park. As part of his job at Teton Gravity Research, he ran avalanche safety and wilderness first aid workshops for the film company's production crew and athletes. So he was prepared for a rescue, he just didn't expect it to be his own. Epstein revisits his rescue with Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patrollers Reed Finlay and Jeff Burke.
1/2/201939 minutes, 22 seconds
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18. Gothic Couloir: Blinded by desire

As avalanche season approaches, here's a re-play of our most popular episode ever. When you move to Jackson in your 20’s, you can suddenly find yourself thrust into an extreme playground where the stakes are literally life and death. Accomplished ski racers Jim Ryan and Connor Nolan had the skills to tackle some of Jackson’s burliest lines. Their desire to ski those big lines blinded them to the level of risk they were taking until the day they attempted Gothic Couloir. Rescuer Cody Lockhart understood that desire.
10/25/201842 minutes, 11 seconds
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17. Lost Hunter

In October of 2012, Jackson architect Paul Duncker met up with friends for a fall hunt in the heart of the Gros Ventre mountains. When Paul didn't return to hunting camp that night, his friends called search and rescue. Early the next morning Search and Rescue volunteers fanned out across the Dry Cottonwood Creek Drainage. But as they looked for Paul, they didn't encounter a single clue. The Fine Line shares real stories of adventure, risk and rescue in the backcountry of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This podcast is produced by Backcountry Zero, with support from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole. Backcountry Zero is a project of the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation. Support this project and Teton County Search and Rescue volunteers by making a donation today at www.tetoncountysar.org/donate. You can also support The Fine Line by sharing this podcast with friends and family, especially if they're heading into the backcountry.
10/9/201829 minutes, 1 second
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16. Buffalo Fork River Rescue

Chuck and Brenda Markham were vacationing with friends when they decided to kayak the Buffalo Fork River. The most experienced kayaker in the group, Steve Fretz, took the lead. What they didn’t know that day was that the river was pushing flood stage, running much faster than usual for July. All the runoff had pushed woody debris into the river creating a maze of strainers and log jams that snagged and stranded some of the boaters. Teton County Search and Rescue volunteers KC Bess and Cody Lockhart rowed to the rescue. This podcast is produced by Backcountry Zero, with support from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole. Backcountry Zero is a project of the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation.You can support this project and the Teton County Search and Rescue volunteers by making a donation today. Visit www.tetoncountysar.org/donate. If you like listening to The Fine Line, please share us with a friend.
8/23/201830 minutes, 4 seconds
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15. Rock Slide in the Tetons

In August of 2017, Will Grenier, his younger sister Cassie and their friend Erin Gibbs were headed up the Middle Teton. They were all experienced hikers. At the time, 24 year old Cassie worked as a recreational therapist and her job involved taking kids with troubled backgrounds into the great outdoors. Going up the Middle Teton was supposed to be a day off, but as they scrambled up a talus slope a massive rock slide cut loose and Cassie was right below it. What should have been a typical day hiking in the park turned into a fight for survival.
6/13/201838 minutes, 49 seconds
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14. Lost Snowmobilers: Stranded Overnight on Togwotee Pass

Caty Harris loves being outdoors and that's how she wanted to spend her birthday. So she and her boyfriend, BJ Appell rented snowmobiles to explore the trails around Togwotee Pass. Although they followed the map, they took a turn onto an obscure trail that the guides no longer use and soon found themselves stranded and alone in a snowstorm. This podcast is produced by Backcountry Zero, with support from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole. Backcountry Zero is a project of the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation. You can support this project and the Teton County Search and Rescue volunteers by making a donation today. Visit www.tetoncountysar.org/donate.
3/21/201829 minutes, 2 seconds
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13. Gothic Couloir: Blinded by Desire

When you move to Jackson in your 20’s, you can suddenly find yourself thrust into an extreme playground where the stakes are literally life and death. Accomplished ski racers Jim Ryan and Connor Nolan had the skills to tackle some of Jackson’s burliest lines. Their desire to ski those big lines blinded them to the level of risk they were taking until the day they attempted Gothic Couloir and the Triple Crown. When they had to call for help one of their rescuers, Cody Lockhart, knew just how they felt.
2/15/201841 minutes, 52 seconds
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12. Surviving the Widowmaker

A Jackson resident with a long history of rescuing others suddenly finds himself at the mercy of a community of strangers on Teton Pass in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Once the head of the Himalayan Rescue Association in Nepal, Dr. David Shlim treated all of the survivors of the 1996 Everest expedition detailed in Jon Krakauer’s book, "Into Thin Air." Rebecca Huntington hosts The Fine Line, real stories of adventure, risk and rescue in the backcountry of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This podcast is produced by Backcountry Zero. You can support The Fine Line and Teton County Search and Rescue volunteers by making a donation today. To learn more at www.tetoncountysar.org/donate.
12/19/201729 minutes, 54 seconds
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11. Hiking Blind Date Turns Into High-Stakes Rescue

What happens when a hiking blind date turns into a rescue and the person at your side is someone you just met? Grand Teton National Park employee, Millie Jimenez, recalls how she was hiking on her day off with a new friend in the rugged Avalanche Canyon when a slip turned into a life-threatening fall. Although she had just met her hiking companion, Millie already knew most of her rescuers, fellow National Park Service employees worried about saving one of their own. In this episode, Millie recounts the rescue with Matt Wilber, Snake River District Supervisory Ranger, and Chris Bellino, Jenny Lake District Supervisory Ranger and Incident Commander for the October 12, 2015, rescue. backcountryzero.com
8/3/201727 minutes, 54 seconds
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10. Dangers of Descending Dissapointment Peak

On a Sunday in late June in Grand Teton National Park, rescue rangers started fielding multiple calls. The first call came at 5:55 p.m. An exhausted hiker was stuck on a steep snowy slope in Upper Granite Canyon. Just 35 minutes later, another call came in. A 27-year-old climber was seriously injured on Disappointment Peak. Park rangers called in two helicopters and Teton County Search and Rescue to help with yet another call for missing boaters following an accident on the Gros Ventre River. In this episode, we talk with climber Fio Lazarte and Jenny Lake climbing rescue ranger Nick Armitage about the longest and most challenging rescue that day. This podcast is produced by Backcountry Zero, a project of Teton County Search and Rescue. Support Backcountry Zero, a community vision to reduce fatalities in the Tetons, by simply sharing this podcast with friends and family. backcountryzero.com
6/28/201733 minutes, 28 seconds
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9. Marsh Creek Tests Swiftwater Savvy

In this episode, two Jackson Hole boaters recall an epic spring when big water lured them to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. With the traditional boat launch closed, they put in at Marsh Creek, a tributary running fast, cold and choked with woody debris.
5/23/201714 minutes, 56 seconds
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8. A Maverick Heli Rescue

An ideal ski day on March 3, 2017, turns into an epic rescue and stunning revival on Maverick Peak in Grand Teton National Park.
5/3/201738 minutes, 48 seconds
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7. Breaking Point in the Spoon

Rene Etter-Garrette had been living in Jackson Hole for six winters. He'd found mentors willing to share their backcountry knowledge and skied challenging lines in Grand Teton National Park. On Feb. 4, 2016, Rene and two friends decided to ski the Spoon Couloir on Disappointment Peak. Rene had started to question the risks of backcountry skiing after a close friend had died in avalanche just a few weeks earlier. But on this day, avalanche danger had been rated moderate, and Rene had skied the same line several times before without trouble.
3/9/201733 minutes, 33 seconds
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6. The Black Hole

Backcountry skiers call the Mosquito Creek Drainage, "The Black Hole." It's a place where the terrain looks disarmingly similar, luring skiers downslope, away from Teton Pass, until it's too late and you're at the bottom. It's an easy mistake to make but can have life-threatening consequences as Craig Benjamin and Zach Jakub discovered during a backcountry tour on January 20, 2002, when a storm blew in.
1/12/201722 minutes, 17 seconds
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5. Few Clues Lead Search for Missing Sisters

It's a parent's worst fear. Your children, all three of them, vanish in the wilderness. In 2015, three sisters, Megan, Erin and Kelsi Andrews-Sharer, embarked on what started out as a dream backpacking trip into the Gros Ventre Wilderness. This is Part 2 of our story. Listen to Part 1 to hear how the sisters lose their way in the face of disappearing trails, endless river crossings, avalanche debris and dwindling food supplies. In this episode, we talk with the sisters, their parents and a Search and Rescue volunteer about how the Jackson Hole community mobilizes to find them. The sisters have no way to call for help and have left few clues to pinpoint their location.
12/6/201632 minutes, 3 seconds
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4. Sisters Trapped By Vanishing Trails, Unexpected Terrain

It's a parent's worst fear. Your children, all three of them, vanish in the wilderness. In this episode, we talk with three sisters, Megan, Erin and Kelsi Andrews-Sharer, about what started as a five-day backpacking trip in the Gros Ventre Wilderness in the summer of 2015. This story has so many twists and turns, we split it into two parts. In Part One, we find out how even when you know where you are, you can become trapped by the unexpected.
10/24/201622 minutes, 2 seconds
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3. September Snow Triggers Grand Rescue

A sudden, prolonged snowstorm on Sept. 11, 1985, stranded two parties on the Grand Teton. One party included Greg Findley, Nils Green and John Atthowe, all in their early 20s. Findley and Atthowe met at a National Outdoor Leadership School course in Lander, Wyo., in l98l and met Green, who was about to be married, that summer in Jackson Hole. The other party, Paul Johnson, 40, and his climbing partner of 15 years, Ken Webb, 37, had driven down from Seattle to climb the peak. Grand Teton National Park climbing rangers Renny Jackson and Jim Woodmencey recall the harrowing rescue that unfolded.
9/21/201621 minutes, 26 seconds
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2. A Grizzly Encounter

Grand Teton National Park backcountry ranger John Carr and Bear Management Specialist Katherine Wilmot discuss a close encounter with a mother grizzly and two cubs and discusses the behaviors and response that likely saved his life.
8/14/201620 minutes, 9 seconds
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1. A Single Step

In the first episode of The Fine Line, ski mountaineer Jesse Stover describes how a single step on Teewinot Mountain turns the perfect ski day into a fight for survival. We also hear from Teton County Search and Rescue volunteer and medical advisor Dr. AJ Wheeler and Grand Teton National Park rescue ranger Philip Edmunds who were both involved in the harrowing rescue to save Jesse's life and limb.
7/12/201617 minutes, 8 seconds