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Teton Range, Wyoming: (3) Mount Owen

Teton Range, Wyoming: (3) Mount Owen. On 24 August 1947 William McIndoe, a park employee 20 years old, fell to a ledge within 40 yards of the site of the Ramsland accident. This climber had left the valley after a dance the night before, against the advice of friends, to attempt a one-day ascent, climbing alone. Twenty-four hours later, when he had not returned, his friends organized a rescue team to search for him. Concern was great because a severe electric storm had buffeted the peaks the day of his climb. Several Rangers went up the next day, the 25th, and discovered that help was much needed. Eventually, a rescue expedition of fourteen was organized. Six climbers located the boy’s body and brought it out to Amphitheater Lake, where horses had been left. Later investigation indicated that McIndoe had not reached the top. He seems to have fallen at least 100 feet from a point some distance from the normal route. Possibly he lost his way in the storm. It is known that he had previously climbed Teewinot alone and in consequence had been reprimanded by the National Park Service.

Source of information: National Park Service and members of rescue expedition.

Analysis. Another person addicted to solo climbing. Mention of the reprimand leads one to wonder whether restrictions can prevent ill-advised actions. It is conceivable that a reprimand or restriction could be a challenge to an obstinate nature. Evidently a few solo climbs in the Tetons, earlier in the summer, had given this boy unwarranted confidence. He had had no indoctrination whatsoever in the matter of safety.