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Falling Rocks, Wyoming, Tetons


Wyoming, Tetons

On August 27, 1985, around 1015, David Gross (24) and Julius Picuri were attempting to climb the North Ridge of the Grand Teton. They reached a point at the very top of the Teton Glacier below the Grandstand. There was a spontaneous release of rockfall from above them. Gross saw two rocks coming toward him and one struck him on the bottom of his right leg and foot. His foot was fractured by the rock. Picuri assisted his partner on a northerly traverse across the glacier into a safer area and then went for help.

Picuri reported the accident to the Jenny Lake Ranger station at 1413. Ten climbing rangers were airlifted to the bottom of the Teton Glacier. The team climbed to Gross, administered emergency medical aid, splinted his lower leg, and then lowered Gross to the helispot at the bottom of the glacier. Gross was airlifted to Lupine Meadows at 1930 and then transported to St. John’s Hospital by private vehicle. All members of the team plus gear were then flown off the glacier and the operation was terminated at 2100. (Source: Peter Armington, Ranger, Grand Teton National Park)

(Editor’s Note: Twenty-five years ago, this kind of rescue would have taken considerably

longer. This report is a tribute to the training and skills of rescue personnel, as well as advances in techinques and resources available.)