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 February 4th, 2016, Rene and two friends decided to attempt the Spoon Couloir on Disappointment Peak. Rene had recently begun questioning the risks of backcountry skiing after a close friend died in avalanche just a few weeks earlier. But on this day, avalanche danger had been rated moderate and Rene had skied this same line several times before without any trouble.