“The Fine Line” podcast is produced by Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington in partnership with the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation. The podcast is part of the foundtion’s Backcountry Zero campaign to reduce injuries and fatalities in the Tetons. 

Synopsis of the slide

Will Grenier, his younger sister Cassie and their friend Erin Gibbs were scrambling up a talus slope on their way to summit the Middle Teton in August 2017 when a boulder slide cut loose above Cassie.

At the time, 24-year-old Cassie worked as a recreational therapist and her job involved taking kids with troubled backgrounds into the great outdoors. Going up the Middle Teton was supposed to be a day off for her. But what the trio expected to be a typical day hiking in the park turned into a fight for survival.

“So I see her running. I see a dust cloud. I see rocks going down the mountain, and I see them all kind of coming together,” Will recalled. “The rocks start kind of flying over her head, and [I] had absolutely no idea where Cassie was.”

Lessons learned

• Carry more than one first-aid kit. If the person wearing the first-aid kit becomes trapped, the kit can be inaccessible.

• As snow melts away from snowfields, rocky talus slopes next to the snow can become especially unstable. Traveling on a snowfield can be safer if you have an ice ax and know how to use it.

• Pause the adventure and speak up if you are feeling uncomfortable about the route.

• If you can, remain calm like Cassie Grenier.

Contact Rebecca Huntington at 732-7078 or rebecca@jhnewsandguide.com.

Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington has worked for newspapers across the West. She hosts a rescue podcast, The Fine Line. Her family minivan doubles as her not-so-high-tech recording studio.

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