American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Dislodged Rock — Fall on Rock, Fatigue, Wyoming, Grand Teton, Black Dike

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2011


Wyoming, Grand Teton, Black Dike

On July 17 around 1200, Paul Iman (23) contacted Rangers G.R. Fletcher and D. Hardesty at the Lower Saddle of Garnet Canyon. He was returning from the Black Dike area about a quarter of a mile above the Lower Saddle where he had earlier dislodged a rock while scrambling upward and fallen a short distance. After he had fallen, a rock impacted his rib area causing bruising. While descending to the Lower Saddle, he had farther experienced severe fatigue and nearly fainted.

D. Hardesty immediately contacted Rescue Coordinator G. Montopoli about the situation and Iman was escorted to the Lower Saddle Ranger hut. Rangers administered oxygen, food, and water over the course of the next couple hours. Park Medical Director Dr. Will Smith was also contacted via cell phone by the rangers at the Lower Saddle and apprised of the situation. Dr. Smith advised that Iman be escorted to the valley by rangers so they could monitor his injuries.

At 1400, after receiving substantial amounts of food and water from the rangers, Iman decided that his medical status had significantly improved and refused any further medical assistance from the rangers. He instead returned to his camp at the Moraine camping zone below the Lower Saddle, aware that the rangers would be spending the night at the Lower Saddle should his health deteriorate. The rescue was terminated at 1400. (Source: George Montopoli, Incident Commander)


The approach to the actual rock climbing on the Grand Teton has to be treated with great care, both on the ascent in the dark and on the descent after having been out for many hours. Loose rocks abound here. (Source: Jed Williamson)

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