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    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

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  • Bears are active in Grand Teton

    Black and grizzly bears are roaming throughout the park--near roads, trails and in backcountry areas. Hikers and backcountry users are advised to travel in groups of three or more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay 100 yards from bears. More »

  • Moose-Wilson Road Closure

    The Moose-Wilson Road between Death Canyon Junction north to the intersection with the Murie Center Road is temporarily closed to motor vehicles, bicycles, skating, skateboards and similar devices. For current road conditions call 307-739-3682. More »

  • Multi-use Pathway Closures

    Intermittent closures of the park Multi-use Pathway System will occur through mid-October during asphalt sealing and safety improvement work. Pathway sections will reopen as work is completed. Follow the link for a map and more information. More »

Two Rescues in Two Days from Hanging Canyon on Mount St. John

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Date: July 15, 2013
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

Grand Teton National Park rangers initiated a rescue and conducted an aerial evacuation on Friday afternoon, July 12, after a climber seriously injured his leg while glissading down a snowfield in Hanging Canyon.  Lauren Hall, age 33, of Jackson, Wyoming and a companion successfully climbed a feature known as The Jaw in Hanging Canyon on Mount St. John and were on their way down from the climb when Hall punched through thin snow near a rock about 10 a.m.  and sustained the injury that ultimately prevented him from hiking much further. 

Hall and his climbing partner spent an arduous four hours moving just one mile from the accident site to their backcountry campsite near Ramshead Lake. Hall's partner then hiked further down canyon until he reached a point where he could get cell service. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received that call for help at 3:45 p.m. Hall's partner then hiked further until he could connect with park rangers at Lupine Meadows rescue cache who were making arrangements for a reconnaissance flight to the scene via a Teton Interagency contract helicopter. 

Although there are limited landing zones within Hanging Canyon, one was located near Ramshead Lake and only 100 yards from the climber's backcountry campsite. Consequently, the helicopter was able to get relatively close for the rescue mission. The contract helicopter carrying two park rangers arrived on scene at 5:45 p.m. Hall was loaded inside the ship and flown to the Lupine Meadows rescue cache on the valley floor by 6:10 p.m. Hall was then transported by private vehicle to St. John's Medical Center in Jackson. 

Hall and his companion did not carry ice axes during their excursion into Hanging Canyon. While park rangers do not believe an ice axe would have necessarily prevented this injury, they recommend that backcountry users carry an ice axe as basic gear and as a safety measure for glissading and/or crossing most snow slopes in the Tetons. 

On Sunday evening, July 14, a second rescue was conducted in Hanging Canyon in as many days. A 52-year-old hiker injured his leg and subsequently called for help. Two park rangers hiked in to assist the injured man, and they helped him walk to the Jenny Lake boat dock where he took a shuttle boat to the east shore and his parked vehicle at South Jenny Lake. The injured hiker then transported himself to medical care.  

Did You Know?

Close-up of a lodgepole pine cone

Did you know that lodgepole pine trees grow on glacial moraines in Jackson Hole? Glacial moraines are ridges of rocky debris left behind as Ice Age glaciers melted. The soil on these ridges retains moisture and is more hospitable to trees than the cobbly, porous soil on the outwash plain.