Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Three Rescues in One Day
Rangers dealt with three SAR operations over the course of Monday, August 9th:
· John Waldner, 50, of Southampton, Pennsylvania, was evacuated by helicopter from Fox Creek pass around noon after sustaining injuries to his ankle and knee in a fall. Waldner was hiking the Teton Crest trail with his wife and four companions on Sunday, August 8th, when he lost his footing on some loose rocks, twisting his ankle and knee. The group setup camp near the point where the accident took place. A physician who was hiking in the area examined Waldners injuries, then continued hiking until she encountered a backcountry ranger and reported the accident. The ranger found the party, assessed Waldners injuries, then called interagency dispatch to report the accident. Due his injuries, the lack of horses for evacuation and the partys distance from the trailhead, rangers decided to use the parks contract helicopter. Waldner and his wife were flown to Lupine Meadows and then proceeded on to St. Johns Medical Center.
· John Littel, 49, of Seattle, Washington, was hiking by himself, carrying a heavy pack filled with photography equipment, when he caught his leg between two boulders near the shore of Surprise Lake and injured his lower leg. A passing hiker used a cell phone to call interagency dispatch at 4:30 p.m. A helicopter flew two rangers to an LZ near Amphitheater Lake; the rangers hiked from there to Littels location and provided him with medical care. Four more rangers were flown to the landing zone with a rescue litter. The six rangers then carried him back, flew him to Lupine Meadows, and transported him to St. Johns Medical Center.
· Ayako Miller, 32, of Greenville, South Carolina, sprained her knee when she slipped on a boulder during an ascent to Lower Saddle with Exum Mountain Guides on August 8th. She was able to ascend to Lower Saddle with assistance, but could not climb the Grand Teton with the rest of her group. The group descended on Monday afternoon. Guides placed a cell phone call from just above Garnet Canyon Meadows at 4:30 p.m., asking for help from rangers. An off-duty ranger who had been climbing in the area helped transport Miller through the boulder field above the Platforms to a point where a park wrangler with a horse could meet them. The evacuation concluded around 9:30 p.m.
[Submitted by Public Affairs]