Park rangers have responded to several recent incidents in Grand Teton National Park. All park recreationists, including climbers, hikers and boaters, are reminded to be prepared with appropriate equipment, the skills to use the equipment and the skills to safely accomplish their planned recreational experience. It is also important to communicate a planned itinerary and expected return time to someone.
On Saturday, August 26, at approximately 8:15 a.m. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a call alerting them that a female climber from Jackson, 24-year old Cassie Grenier, was pinned in a rock slide in the south fork of Garnet Canyon. Grenier and two other individuals were scrambling along a loose talus slope when rocks and boulders were dislodged. Several large rocks pinned Grenier’s legs and a large rock landed on her chest. Her climbing companions were able to remove the large rock from her chest, but were unable to rescue her from the boulders. A helicopter was able to land nearby the scene and three rangers traveled to Grenier at approximately 9:25 a.m. The rangers were able to safely remove the large rocks and free Grenier. She was removed from the site via helicopter short-haul and transported to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson via park ambulance at approximately 10:30 a.m. Grenier’s injuries were not life-threatening.
At approximately 6:40 p.m. Saturday, August 26, Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a report that a man had fallen off a noncommercial raft and was floating near several obstacles in the water without a life jacket on the Snake River south of Deadmans Bar. The park immediately launched rangers via air, water and on foot to locate the man. The raft and two individuals on board were soon identified by a helicopter and viewed to be floating with no distress, as the man self-rescued and was able to get back in the raft. Rangers contacted the two individuals at a pullout near Moose Landing and the operator of the vessel was cited for multiple violations, including operating a boat under the influence of alcohol. The boat operator, 35-year old John Gregg from Dallas, Texas was transported to Teton County Jail and had an initial court appearance on Monday, August 28.
On Monday, August 28 at approximately 10 a.m. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a report of an injured climber at the base of the Lower Exum Route on the Grand Teton. The injured climber, Mounier Fizari, a 22 year-old male from Bountiful, Utah, fell about 20 feet as he was climbing. Four park rangers were flown to the area of the incident and hiked to Fizari. Due to the technical nature of the terrain and Fizari’s injuries, he was rescued via helicopter short-haul at approximately 12:50 p.m. A park ambulance transported Fizari to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson.
Short-haul is a rescue technique where an individual or gear is suspended below the helicopter on a 150 to 250 foot rope. This method allows a rescuer more direct access to an injured party, and it is often used in the Teton Range where conditions make it difficult to land a helicopter in the steep and rocky terrain.