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GTNP Swamped with SARs

Crescent Arete

The end of last week saw several search and rescue mission in Grand Teton National Park.  Rangers assisted Teton County with the extrication of an apparent heart attack victim in Buffalo valley late Thursday morning.  Unfortunately, the 56 year-old male was pronounced dead after about an hour of resuscitation efforts.  Then about 2:30 pm Thursday, Rangers were called to a location on Mount Owen to assist an injured climber who had fallen about 15 feet before impacting a ledge below.  Spokesperson Jenny Anzelmo says 38 year-old Jeff Judkins of Lander was ascending Crescent  Arête  when the accident  occurred.  She says a sizable rock – about the size of a door – broke loose causing the climber to fall since he had been using it as an anchor point.  When the rock broke free, the climber fell about 15 feet, hit a sloping ledge and then fell another five feet before his climbing protection caught him. Anzelmo says fortunately, the falling rocks did not hit him or his partner.  The climbers were ultimately short-hauled by helicopter to Lupine Meadows. Shortly after completing that mountain rescue, Anzelmo says the team was called to the North Fork of Garnet Canyon where 55 year-old Gary Miller of Colorado Springs had fallen into a moat while descending from the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton.  Climbing guides had extricated Miller from the moat by the time rangers arrived.  He was flown by helicopter to the park’s rescue cache and transferred to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls where he was pronounced dead.  Details of the fatality are still under investigation.

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