A 20-year-old French Canadian man was climbing by himself in Grand Teton National Park on Sunday morning when he fell 50 feet.
Although Maxime Blondel was injured, he was able to pull out his cell phone and call for help.
Park rangers got the call around 11:30 a.m. Sunday and flew by helicopter to Blondel’s location.
“They were unable to land or perform a short haul because it was so windy,” park public information specialist C.J. Adams said. “There were rangers in Garnet Canyon, so they responded there to his location.”
Rangers reached Blondel, provided an initial assessment and took him down via a wheeled litter — essentially a stretcher mounted on bicycle-like tires. Including the painstaking procedure of moving the litter down the mountain, the rescue took about eight hours.
“Because of the conditions they weren’t down until 7:30 p.m.,” Adams said.
Park officials said the incident serves as a good reminder that rangers and rescue personnel can’t always respond by helicopter.
“It extends the time needed to extract people out of the mountains,” Adams said.
Details about how Blondel fell were not available at press time. He was attempting to climb Disappointment Peak.
His injuries were also not released, but officials said they were not life threatening.