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Contact: Denise Germann, 307.739.3393
Grand Teton National Park rangers conducted an early evening short-haul rescue at Hidden Falls on the west side of Jenny Lake on Saturday, October 13. Teton Interagency Dispatch received a call at approximately 4:45 p.m. on Saturday from a bystander indicating someone had fallen and needed help at Hidden Falls. A second call from another bystander was received and additional information was communicated that the injured visitor was in the water, shivering significantly and possibly hypothermic and unable to move due to injuries.
Due to time of day and decreasing daylight, weather conditions, and information about the situation, Grand Teton National Park Rangers responded to the incident via helicopter and prepared for a short-haul evacuation.
Will Levis, 25 years of age from Rexburg, Idaho, was rescued via short-haul and transported via park ambulance to St. Johns Medical Center in Jackson. Levis and another individual were climbing the Hidden Falls water falls above the viewing area. They were scrambling across wet rocks when Levis slipped and fell approximately 20-30 feet in Cascade Creek. The temperature at the time of the accident was 35 degrees and the water temperature was estimated at approximately 40 degrees.
All visitors and recreationists are reminded that park rescue operations may be limited by reduced staff, severe weather, and limited helicopter use this time of year. Please consider the recreational experience and be prepared for self-rescue, as well as have the appropriate skills and equipment for each respective activity.
Short-haul is a rescue technique where an individual or gear is suspended below the helicopter on a 150 to 250 foot rope. This method allows a rescuer more direct access to an injured party, and it is often used in the Teton Range where conditions make it difficult to land a helicopter in the steep and rocky terrain.
Last updated: October 15, 2018