Sunday, January 10, 2010

Patroller Wolling dies

Sad news from Jackson Hole - Mark "Big Wally" Wolling died yesterday from injuries in last week's avalanche at JHMR.

The following article was taken from the Jackson Hole Daily - HERE.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patroller Mark “Big Wally” Wolling died in an Idaho Falls hospital Saturday afternoon, friends and resort officials reported.

Wolling was critically injured in an avalanche Wednesday. He had been performing avalanche hazard reduction duties before the resort opened to the public when he was caught, carried and buried under six feet of snow for about 10 minutes.

His family and a friend were at his side at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center when medical workers removed him from life support and he died. Mike Fischer, a friend who had traveled to Idaho Falls to be with Wolling relayed the news to valley residents through an Internet message.

Word soon spread among workers at the resort, according to skiers there. Resort officials said they were “extremely saddened,” to confirm his death.

“Widely loved by colleagues at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and across the ski industry, his passing leaves us with an enormous sense of loss,” resort president Jerry Blann said in a statement. “We send our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends at this tragic time.”

Wolling, 58, was a veteran of the mountain, where he worked since 1978. He was a core member of the Jackson Hole outdoor athletic community who pushed fun to its limits. He worked summers as a carpenter.

Resort officials called him “an invaluable member” of the ski patrol since 1989. “As one of the longer tenured patrollers, his experience, camaraderie, team spirit and sheer size were legendary in Jackson Hole and he will be deeply missed for a very long time,” they said in a statement.

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