American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Mount Teewinot

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1959

Wyoming, Grant Teton National Park, Mount Teewinot—On August 13, F. M. Andrews (47) accompanied by Douglas Andrews (11), Parshall Terry (43), Bruce Terry (17), and Gregg Terry (10) were descending the east face of Teewinot. The weather and climbing conditions were good. The party, descending by the regular route, had split into two groups. Highest on the mountain were the Andrews, who had a rope. The Terry group had descended to the slabby area above and north of the Worshipper pinnacle when Parshall Terry found himself unable to climb up or down a short slabby pitch. He jumped-down about 3 feet to a grassy ledge, lost his footing and fell and rolled approximately 80 feet to the moat of the central snowfield. F. Andrews was summoned by the shouts of Bruce Terry and climbed down and into the moat where he found Parshall Terry dead from a skull fracture and a possibly broken neck. The party descended to Jenny Lake and notified the Jenny Lake Ranger Station. The Grand Teton National Park Rescue Team evacuated the body of Parshall Terry on the following day.

Source: Frank R. Oberhansley, Superintendent, Grand Teton National Park.

Analysis: The regular east face route on Teewinot has long been recognized as one of the less technically difficult routes for those who would climb a major peak in the Teton Range. This is particularly true in August when the climbing is generally 3rd with occasional 4th class rock—depending upon the route finding ability of the party. The exposure on the route however, is deceptive due to slabs which are separated by a succession of horizontally traversing ledges. With these relatively broad ledges stepping down below a descending party there is a temptation to relax caution. This is apparently what happened in this case. The party separated leaving Terry without a rope when he needed one. Jumping down, of course, is always a dangerous practice.

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