• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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 »

Colorado Man Falls to his Death in Grand Teton National Park

The Middle Teton towers over Garnet Canyon in Grand Teton National Park
NPS Photo

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: September 7, 2013

Grand Teton National Park rangers recovered the body of Edward Tom, 40, of Boulder Colorado on Saturday, September 7, 2013. Tom fell to his death Friday evening September 8 in Garnet Canyon while scouting for a campsite following a storm with heavy rain and hail.  

Tom and his climbing partner intended to spend Friday night at a backcountry camping area known as the Petzoldt Caves before climbing the Grand Teton (13,770 feet) on Saturday. Tom was in the Caves area looking for a campsite when he apparently fell over a nearby cliff band. 

Multiple 911 calls were placed just before 6 p.m. Friday to report a man who fell nearly 100 feet and who was unconscious when bystanders got to him. Two physicians in the area, rappelled to Tom's location, and with the help of bystanders, attempted to provide emergency medical care. 

Three park rangers were flown into the Meadows of Garnet Canyon arriving on scene just after 7 p.m. Teton Interagency dispatchers and rescuers used text messages to communicate with the bystanders on scene due to challenges with phone reception. This allowed park rangers to have a better understanding of what was happening and to provide support remotely until they arrived on scene. CPR efforts were underway when rangers arrived but efforts were terminated shortly thereafter. Due to lingering weather and fading light rangers determined they would need to complete the recovery operation the following day. 

Saturday morning, four park rangers were flown to a nearby landing zone in Garnet Canyon. One ranger served as a lookout for rockfall while the three others completed the recovery and scene investigation. Using a Teton Interagency contract helicopter, rangers then flew Tom's body from Garnet Canyon to the parks rescue cache at Lupine Meadows where his body was turned over to the Teton County Coroner at 11:40 a.m. Recovery operations were delayed Saturday morning due to weather in the Jackson Hole valley.  

This incident remains under investigation and no additional details are available at this time. A large and strong storm cell moved across the Teton Range Friday between 4 and 6 p.m. producing gusty winds, heavy rain, and hail.

Did You Know?

Tetons from Hurricane Pass, KF

Did you know that Grand Teton National Park was established in both 1929 and 1950? The original 1929 park protected the mountain peaks and the lakes near the base. The boundaries were later expanded in 1950 to include much of the adjacent valley floor.