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GTNP Rangers Conduct Difficult Rescue

Much of Avalanche Canyon in Grand Teton National Park has no maintained trails, requiring hikers to bushwack through difficult terrain. (NPS photo)

Grand Teton National Park officials have released information about another rescue; this one in Avalanche Canyon. Five park rangers performed one of the more physically taxing ground based rescues in the last several years during Monday afternoon and evening. 61 year-old Carol Nielsen of Boulder, Colorado sustained an injury somewhere below the very steep talus slope that runs from Lake Taminah to the bottom of Shosoko Falls in the un-trailed canyon. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center was notified of the injured hiker by cell phone around 5:00 p.m. Nielsen had tried to continue her descent, but her injury made it too challenging for her to bear weight. Due to the challenges of the terrain park rangers were unable to use standard rescue devices such as a wheeled litter to carry Nielsen out of Avalanche Canyon. Instead, rescuers traded off physically carrying Nielsen on their backs for short segments, slowly making their way down the canyon. Once they reached the maintained trail near Taggart Lake, rangers placed Nielsen in a wheeled litter to carry her the last 2 miles to the trailhead.  This marks the 17th major search and rescue in the Park this year.

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