American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Equipment, Off-Route, Unroped, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Mount Moran

  • Accident Reports
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  • Publication Year: 1994


Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Mount Moran

Beset by bad weather and injury, a climber wearing shorts, running tights and a light jacket spent two nights on Mount Moran without overnight gear before rangers found him early May 30.

BJ (48) was found resting in a gully on Mount Morans south face. He was cradling a broken arm when rescuers were able to haul him out by helicopter about 0815, said Mark Magnuson, Jenny Lake subdistrict ranger. He was transported to St. John s Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The climbers had left their Jackson Lake campsite Friday morning, planning to climb the Skillet Glacier route up Moran and return by the same route that night, Magnuson said. The pair reached the top too late to begin their descent Friday.

Carrying only a small supply of food and water, they spent the night at the summit without a tent or sleeping bags. Temperatures dipped below freezing.

Saturday morning they began to descend the rocky south face, not wanting to return by the steep, icy route they had climbed. BJ slipped on loose rock and fell 20 feet, slicing open his hip and suffering a hairline fracture near his elbow.

DJ continued down to get help and completed his ten-hour descent about 2045 Saturday, and told rangers how to find his partner. Another helicopter search ensued, but the search was aborted when it became too dark to see.

“We were pretty worried by that time,” Magnuson said. “It was his second night out, and it was raining/’Sunday morning a helicopter dropped off two rangers, who hiked to BJ and stabilized his injuries. He was extracted by helicopter. (Source: From an article by Craig Welch, Jackson Hole News, June 2, 1993)

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