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Contact: Denise Germann, 406 888 5838
Glacier National Park personnel responded to a medical emergency on Sunday, August 10. Personnel met the injured party along the Continental Divide Trail in the Siyeh area. Two hikers, a father and son from Alabama, were climbing down from Mount Siyeh when a boulder was dislodged. The 21 year old son avoided the direct impact from the boulder but did receive injuries from the glancing blow of the rock and subsequent 200 foot tumble. He sustained lacerations to his head and chin, among other injuries.
In an attempt to summon aid, the father waved his arms while yelling. He, then, fired one gunshot toward a solid surface to indicate that an emergency was occurring. Nearby hikers reported hearing the gunshot and yelling. One hiker aided the father and son as they began hiking out. Park personnel met them on trail before the junction between Siyeh Pass Trail and Piegan Pass Trail. Two Bear Air hoisted them to West Glacier where they were picked up by Three Rivers Ambulance and taken to North Valley Hospital in Whitefish.
The boulder was estimated to weigh 200 lb. by the father. Falling boulders can pose a serious safety hazard, especially off trail in the higher elevations. Glacier’s rock is predominantly sedimentary. Sedimentary rock can fragment easily causing rock slides. We encourage climbers to wear helmets and avoid climbing directly below one another.
Visitors are allowed to carry a firearm in Glacier National Park. Federal law, as of 2010, allows the carrying of firearms within national parks and wildlife refuges consistent with state law. Although visitors are allowed to carry firearms, it is illegal to discharge a firearm in Glacier National Park.