American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park (3)

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1957

Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park (3)—On August 19, 1956, after having completed an ascent of the Grand Teton, a Sierra Club party was descending over some rather rough terrain above the “Lower Saddle.” Dr. Jean E. Michels (35) came to a ledge where she could not quite reach across for the next hold. She attempted to jump from one ledge to another and apparently misjudged the distance and fell about 15 feet incurring a fracture of the left leg and multiple bruises and abrasions. The leaders of the party were able to administer first aid and moved Dr. Michels to the climbing concession camp at the “Lower Saddle.” The Park rescue team evacuated the doctor the following day to the St. Johns Hospital in Jackson.

Source: W. Ward Yeager, Acting Superintendent, Grand Teton National Park.

Analysis: (W. W. Yeager). It should be apparent that jumping for hand and foot holds in mountainous terrain is not a healthy practice. Fatigue may have impaired her judgment of the situation.

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