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Bad manners in the backcountry

September 30, 2011 Grand Teton National Park No Comments
Grandstand_just_before_dark

A climber who abandoned his climbing partner after the two found themselves off-route in Grand Teton National Park, has been issued a citation for disorderly conduct. Thirty-three-year-old Dave Shade from Missoula, Mont., and Jesse Selwyn of Florence, Mich., had intended on climbing the Black Ice Couloir on August 19. But when the two instead ended up on the Grandstand (the ridge that extends to the north of the Grand Teton), Selwyn told Shade he wasn’t capable of retracing the route and was scared of becoming injured. Selwyn activated a SPOT rescue locater notifying Grand Teton National Park Rangers that he needed to be rescued. But Shade, who said he didn’t need any help, took the duo’s climbing rope and left Selwyn on the Grandstand.

Sarles said Shade was cited because he not only put Selwyn’s life at risk but he also complicated the rescue, requiring rangers to complete a short-haul mission. She also  pointed out how important it is for backcountry users to have the necessary skills, and to be mentally prepared for, challenges that can arise in the mountains. One-way communication devices, such as Selwyn’s SPOT locater, should only be used a last resort, Sarles noted.

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