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Fall on Snow, Inadequate Equipment, Inexperience – Wyoming, The Tetons

FALL ON SNOW, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT, INEXPERIENCE— Wyoming, The Tetons. Joe Burlingham (30) was climbing on the east slopes of Teewinot with Gary Lepard, David Weathers and Lewis Wren. He slipped on the snow and slid approximately 150 feet, then crashed into the rocks at the bottom of the snow slope. Burlingham received lacerations and abrasions on each leg. Lepard returned to the valley to report the accident while the rest of the party assisted the victim to the valley. Rangers Irvine and Kimbrough met the victim at 2000 feet on the Moose Ponds Trail, bandaged his injuries and assisted him to his vehicle. He was driven to St. John’s Hospital by his companions. (Source: Ralph Tingey, Grand Teton National Park.)

Analysis: The party was not signed out for climbing, nor did they have ice axes. In fact, they thought that they were scaling the Grand Teton. (Source: Ralph Tingey, Grand Teton National Park.)