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Skier, 33, Killed by Avalanche in Grand Teton National Park

Katie Campione
·2 min read

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A 33-year-old skier was killed by an avalanche in Grand Teton National Park on Monday.

Matthew Brien of Jackson, Wyoming, was skiing through the upper part of the Broken Thumb Couloir with two others when an avalanche occurred around 12 p.m., park officials said.

The avalanche swept Brien about 1,000 feet over the downslope, partially burying him at the bottom. The two other skiers he was with, as well as others skiing in the area, found Brien and began performing CPR on him, according to the National Park Service.

First responders arrived on the scene and pronounced Brien dead after suffering "significant trauma" from the avalanche.

The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center has issued a considerable avalanche danger for elevations above 7,500 feet.

"Recent snow and wind events have created dangerous backcountry conditions," park officials said in a statement. "Very cautious route finding and expert snowpack evaluation skills are a requirement for safe travel in avalanche terrain."

Getty Snowy mountains

RELATED: 4 Skiers Who Died in Utah Avalanche Remembered as 'Adventurous' People Who Found 'Joy' Outdoors

Earlier this month, the United States marked its deadliest week of avalanches in more than a century after more than a dozen people died in the snow disasters.

Between Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, a total of 15 people were killed due to avalanches in Washington, Utah, Colorado, New Hampshire, Montana, California and Alaska, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

The fatalities are now the nation's second-most avalanche-related deaths in a seven-day period, the CAIC stated on their Instagram.

The record falls behind the one set in 1910, when 96 people died in Washington at the Wellington townsite on the west side of Stevens Pass, according to CAIC's Instagram post.

"The period... has been exceptionally tragic," the CAIC wrote. "As avalanche forecasters and members of the communities impacted, we express our sincerest condolences and [remain] motivate[d] to fulfill our mission to provide avalanche information, education and promote research for the protection of life, property and the enhancement of the state's economy."

RELATED: 3 Skiers Missing After Getting Caught in 'Large' Colorado Avalanche

According to the U.S. Forest Service's National Avalanche Center, approximately 25 to 30 Americans will die in avalanches each winter.

However, with 32 people already confirmed dead from the snow disasters this season, experts are becoming alarmed at the abnormal frequency and working to figure out the cause.

With the likelihood of more avalanches striking, according to the CAIC, experts urged people to be careful when on snowy mountains, reminding them that no amount of experience can prepare you for an avalanche.

"This isn't really a problem you can outsmart," Utah Forecast Center's Nikki Champion told CNN, noting that people should check their local avalanche forecasts, never go alone and bring appropriate gear to help escape if an avalanche occurs, such as a shovel, beacon and probe.