Rescued from the Tetons

Rescued from the Tetons

It was a cold night Thursday for a 27-year-old unidentified local man who had solo skied a couloir on Disappointment Peak, and climbed Koven Couloir on Mount Owen from there, planning to ski it. However, when he got to the top, he decided he wanted to attempt the Cathedral Traverse in reverse from the top of the Koven Couloir towards Mount Teewinot. To that end, he climbed the East Prong and soon realized he would be unable to reverse course and climb back down to the top of the Koven Couloir, since he was not carrying a rope. Then, conditions in the mountains began to deteriorate, and the man found himself in whiteout conditions with wayfinding becoming increasingly difficult.

He called Teton Interagency Dispatch Center around 7:30 pm reporting he was unable to make it out of the mountains due to whiteout conditions. Park dispatch put the man in touch with a Jenny Lake climbing ranger to discuss his situation. The man told the ranger he had dug a snow cave on top of the East Prong and would stay in it overnight. He planned to wake up the next morning and try to make his way down once visibility improved. However, the mountains received over a foot of new snow overnight, making the conditions still more hazardous. He reported to park rangers at approximately 6:30 am to let them know he was awake and doing okay.

xThe man told the rangers he would be unable to safely proceed due to the technical and high consequence terrain he was stranded in. Park rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue responded with the rescue helicopter about 10:30 am and short-hauled the man to the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache from where he was able to self-transport.

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