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Overdue Climber — Wyoming, Tetons

OVERDUE CLIMBER

Wyoming, Tetons

On July 12, 1984, at 0530, Thomas Egan (26) and a climbing partner went up into Hanging Canyon with the intention of climbing the East Ridge of Rock of Ages. Mr. Egan was under the impression that he was signed out for the climb when, in fact, his name was on the off-trail hiking register. When Mr. Egan did not return on the evening of the 12th, Barbara Egan (wife) called Dispatch who notified the rescue coordinator for the day. The climb took quite a bit longer than they had thought and they didn’t get back down until 0230 on the 13th. He notified Dispatch at 0230, but due to a telephone communication problem, the rescue coordinator was not notified. Rangers Perch and Eastman were dispatched to Hanging Canyon at 0630 and returned at 0930 when it was determined that Mr. Egan had returned. (Source: Renny Jackson, Ranger, Grand Teton National Park)

Analysis

While not an accident, this case provides a typical illustation of what can happen when routine communications break down. (Source: J. Williamson)