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Fatal fall, injured hiker test search-and-rescuers on Gannett Peak

Gannett Peak (Shutterstock)

CASPER, Wyo. — A fatal fall was one of a pair of intensive search and rescue operations on Gannett Peak last weekend, according to a release from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 30.

In a separate incident, rescuers had to camp overnight while hiking miles to reach a climber who had been injured and was unable to move, the agency said. A rescuer was also injured during the operation.

Around 9 a.m. Sunday, authorities were notified by a climber that their hiking partner had apparently fallen from the peak. Bad weather delayed the aerial search and the climber was not found Sunday.

Sublette County–based Tip Top Search and Rescue located the climber deceased on a glacier several hundred feet below where he had fallen, the release said.

A specialized crew from Grand Teton National Park, “the Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers,” flew into the area and were able to recover his body from the glacier at about 12,800 feet elevation without further incident.

On Sunday afternoon, another “inReach” alert was activated for a hiker on Grasshopper Creek below Gannett Peak who had fallen in a boulder patch and was unable to move. The climber was inaccessible by air, so Lander Search and Rescue Crews were flown into a lower landing zone and had to hike several miles to the patient, the release said.

“Crews were unable to make it to the patient due to high water flowing in the creek and had to stay overnight,” the agency said.

Crews were able to extract the patient, who had suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the next day.

“As our ground crews were departing from this second incident one of our volunteer Search and Rescue members sustained a severe fracture when a rock fell on her lower leg,” the release said.

She was also transported out of the area by the Teton National Park Rangers to a lower elevation and then taken by Classic Air Medical to the hospital.

“Fremont County Sheriff Ryan Lee expressed appreciation for all the efforts of our volunteer search and rescue members as well as the Grand Teton National Park, Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers, Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, Tip Top Search and Rescue and Classic Air Medical,” the release said.

Sheriff Lee also expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the young man who lost his life on Gannett Peak.