At approximately 11:50 a.m. on Thursday, December 29th, a 34-year-old man, Lee Kidd, was found deceased and buried in snow in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness near the Grand Targhee ski area of Wyoming. Kidd had been missing since December 23rd when he did not report to work. His ski pass had been scanned at the Dreamcatcher lift at Grand Targhee Ski Resort at 10:45 a.m. that day. Search teams have been looking for him ever since his disappearance.
He was found pursuant to information provided by a friend of Kidd’s to Teton County Sheriff’s Office investigators. That information led searchers to the area. Once in the area, searchers found a snowboard due to its bindings sticking up from the snow. Searchers then started using K-9 teams in order to try and locate Kidd. One K-9 began showing interest in a specific area of the search. Teams started to dig in this area, and Kidd was located a short time later buried about two-feet deep in the snow. It is presumed he had been buried since last Friday, the day he was reported missing.
The specific area where Kidd fell is a mountain bowl just to the northeast of Steve Baugh Bowl. This bowl, which is not skiable due to leading to an unavoidable 500 foot cliff, is very steep. It is with confidence that rescuers believe Kidd fell from the cornice above the bowl, then fell the length of the bowl and then over the cliff. He came to rest in the area that is known as “Beard’s Wheat Field.” Kidd suffered severe trauma. While cause of death is yet to be determined, preliminarily it is believed he didn’t survive the fall.
The search teams consisted of many organizations. Special thanks to the Grand Targhee Ski Resort and the members their ski patrol. Also heavily involved in the search was Teton County Search and Rescue, Teton County Sheriff’s Office and Grand Teton National Park. All searchers wanted to express condolences to the family and friends for their loss.
Sheriff Jim Whalen, while also offering condolences, also thanked the search team. “They committed their time and energy through the holiday season in order to find Lee Kidd. Even though the end result was tragic, those searchers deserve a big pat on the back.” Whalen said.