Two die in Wyoming avalanches

Jan. 29, 2013 at 8:53 AM

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Two skiers died in separate avalanches in Wyoming, prompting the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center to issue warnings.

Elizabeth "Liza" Benson, 28, died Sunday afternoon while skiing near Clause Creek in Sublette County, the Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News & Guide reported Monday.

The avalanche center said Benson triggered a soft slab avalanche about 8 inches deep. The snow slide carried her into a tree.

Benson was with a group of five other skiers, one of whom, a doctor, pronounced her dead before rescuers could reach the group.

Another skier, Nick Gillespie, died Sunday in a separate incident after skiing up Survey Peak in Grand Teton National Park, park officials said. Gillespie was a seasonal trail crew worker at the park and was had been on a ski trip with three others since Thursday.

He and a partner skied up Survey Peak, and Gillespie was the first to descend, triggering the avalanche, the newspaper said.

Gillespie died on the scene and rescuers were not able to retrieve his body Monday because of fog.

The avalanche center said snow slides in the area are still possible after the Tetons accumulated 17 inches of snow Sunday and Monday morning.

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