American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Lightning, Wyoming, Tetons

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988


Wyoming, Tetons

On July 15, 1987, Brad Anderson (26) was 90 to 100 meters in front of his hiking partners on Table Mountain when he was struck by lightning. After the strike, his partners could not see him right away. Several minutes later, they found him unconscious and face down on the ground. He was not breathing and had no heartbeat. They started CPR. For about 20 minutes they heard him make occasional gurgling sounds, then they heard nothing. They continued CPR for about an hour, until they noticed his pupils were fixed and dilated. They spread an orange tarp to mark his location and began to run back to the Teton Canyon trailhead. They were driven to Driggs where they alerted the Teton County Sheriff’s Department, who contacted NPS. Park personnel reached Anderson and found no life signs. His body was airlifted to the valley. (Source: Peter Armington, Ranger, Grand Teton National Park)

Editor s Note: The victim’s partners are to be commended for performing CPR even when the vital signs were gone. The record of CPR being successfully performed on a lightning victim is about ten hours. The victim in that case was a young girl who was climbing with a camp group in Oregon a year or so ago. Her vital signs were able to be continued by CPR until rescue and life support aids were available. She recovered fully.

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