From Staff Reports
Grand Teton National Park rangers aided two climbers who were injured in separate incidents over the weekend, using a helicopter to transport one of them.
Rangers responded Friday afternoon to assist a climber who seriously injured his leg while moving down a snowfield in Hanging Canyon, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office.
Lauren Hall, age 33, of Jackson, Wyo. and a companion successfully climbed a feature known as The Jaw in Hanging Canyon on Mount St. John and were on their way down from the climb when Hall fell through thin snow and sustained an injury that ultimately prevented him from hiking much farther.
Hall and his climbing partner spent four hours moving one mile from the accident site to their backcountry campsite near Ramshead Lake. Hall’s partner then hiked farther down canyon until he reached a point where he could get cell service. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received that call for help at 3:45 p.m.
Hall’s partner then hiked farther until he could connect with park rangers at Lupine Meadows rescue cache as they were making arrangements for a reconnaissance helicopter flight to the scene.
The copter landed about 100 yards from the climber’s backcountry campsite and rangers loaded Hall inside and flew to the Lupine Meadows rescue cache on the valley floor by 6:10 p.m. Hall was then transported by private vehicle to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson.
Hall and his companion did not carry ice axes during their excursion into Hanging Canyon. While park rangers do not believe an ice axe would have necessarily prevented this injury, they recommend that backcountry users carry an ice axe as basic gear and as a safety measure for crossing most snow slopes in the Tetons.
On Sunday evening, a second rescue was conducted in Hanging Canyon in as many days. A 52-year-old hiker injured his leg and subsequently called for help. Two park rangers hiked in to assist the injured man, whose name was not released. They helped him walk to the Jenny Lake boat dock where he took a shuttle boat to the east shore and his parked vehicle at South Jenny Lake. The injured hiker then transported himself to medical care.
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