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Wyoming, Tetons, Symmetry Spire (3)

Wyoming, Tetons, Symmetry Spire (3). On August 20 Thomas Morgan (16) and Robert Rosch had completed an ascent of Storm Point and were descending via the Symmetry Spire Couloir. Morgan decided he would try glissading down the snow field even though he had no ice ax. Rosch advised against it and continued down the trail alongside the snow field. Morgan started down the snow, then changed his mind and started back toward the rock. He slipped and slid down the snow, grabbed for a rock at the side of the snow-field some 20 feet down, and dislocated his right shoulder. He slid another 40 feet before he stopped. Rosch reported the accident to the Jenny Lake Ranger Station, and the rescue team was dispatched. Morgan’s shoulder was immobilized, and he was able to walk down with assistance from members of the rescue team.

Source: F. Douglas McLaren, District Ranger, and Sterling L. Neale, Park Ranger.

Analysis: The cause of the accident was directly related to Morgan’s lack of knowledge and experience in glissading steep snow fields.