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Fall/Slip on Rock and Ice and No Belay—Wyoming, Grand Teton

FALL/SLIP ON ROCK AND ICE AND NO BELAY—Wyoming, Grand Teton. Thomas Raymer (27), Jackson Hole Mountain Guide, was guiding Robert Slater down from the Upper Saddle of the Grand Teton. Weather was inclement with up to 4 inches of fresh snow and some ice on the rocks. Raymer and Slater were roped together, but both were climbing down with the rope coiled. Raymer was in the lead while descending. Slater stated his pack caught on a rock, knocked him off balance, then he fell about 200 feet pulling Raymer off also. Both fell about 200 feet. Slater sustained a superficial scalp wound but Raymer was more seriously injured. It was later determined that Raymer had a broken femur and talus, plus severe scalp lacerations with part of the skull exposed. The fall occurred about 10:30 a.m. The rescue team elected to carry the victim all the way out that night rather than risk poor weather for flying the next morning. (Source: Robert Slater, Grand Teton National Park.)

Analysis: Under the icing conditions present at the time, Slater should have preceded the guide and been belayed by him during the descent. (Source: Pete Hart, Grand Teton National Park)