Grand Teton rangers aid injured paraglider, climber in separate incidents

A search and rescue helicopter lands at the Jenny Lake rescue cache near Lupine Meadows in Grand Teton National Park in summer 2012 after completing a short-haul extraction of an imperiled climber from the Teewinot Mountain area. (Yellowstone Gate file photo/Ruffin Prevost)

A search and rescue helicopter lands at the Jenny Lake rescue cache near Lupine Meadows in Grand Teton National Park in summer 2012 after completing a short-haul extraction of an imperiled climber from the Teewinot Mountain area. (Yellowstone Gate file photo/Ruffin Prevost)

From Staff Reports

Rangers in Grand Teton National Park used a helicopter to transport an injured paraglider Wednesday, and were in the process Thursday afternoon of planning a flight to aid a climber injured in a separate incident.

The paraglider made a forced landing in Death Canyon on Wednesday afternoon after launching from Teton Village, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office.

Rebecca Bredehoft, 29, of Jackson, Wyo. sustained serious injuries after making a hard landing about 4.5 miles uphill from the Death Canyon trailhead.

Bredehoft, whom park officials described as an “expert paraglider,” and a companion launched from Teton Village intending to glide north over the Teton Range before returning to land at Teton Village. While she was over Death Canyon, Bredehoft lost her thermal lift, causing a forced descent to the canyon floor.

Hikers who witnessed her descent assisted Bredehoft in moving her paraglider and other gear down the canyon trail, where she subsequently met park rangers responding to the scene.

Grand Teton National Park rangers and a Teton Interagency contract helicopter flew to a landing zone about a half-mile above Bredehoft’s location in Death Canyon. Rangers provided emergency medical care and prepared Bredehoft for a short-haul evacuation from the canyon to the valley floor.

With a ranger attending, Bredehoft was transported in a litter, suspended on a rope about 150 feet below the helicopter, to a landing zone at White Grass Ranch. From there, she was transported by a park ambulance to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson.

Additional details on her condition were not immediately available.

Park officials remind those participating in paragliding, hang gliding or riding in a hot air balloon that landing inside park boundaries is not permitted, and that participants must ensure they can make an appropriate landing outside the park boundary.

Rangers were also responding Thursday afternoon to a 39-year-old male who sustained injuries Wednesday night near the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton. With the assistance of a Teton Interagency contract helicopter, park rangers were planning to fly the injured climber from the Lower Saddle to the valley floor.

Additional information on that rescue operation was not immediately available.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]

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