Truck in Lake Creek

A Wyoming truck landed in Lake Creek in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 14.

Truck takes dive into Lake Creek

A Ford pickup truck with a Wyoming license plate drove off the Moose-Wilson Road and into Lake Creek early Tuesday morning.

The driver was transported to St. John’s Health via ambulance due to sustained injuries, and the road was closed during emergency operations.

Grand Teton National Park’s spokesperson couldn’t provide further information by press time Tuesday.

Rangers rescue 3 hikers in Tetons

Grand Teton National Park climbing rangers rescued three injured hikers over the weekend.

At 2:15 p.m. Saturday, New York City resident Jeremy Fraser, 31, had a misstep and injured his lower leg above the three-mile junction on the Surprise/Amphitheater trail. Responding rangers determined he needed to be carried to the Lupine Meadows parking area via a wheeled litter, according to a park news release.

“His hiking partner transported Fraser to St. John’s Heath in Jackson,” the release said.

A few hours later the same day, Teton Interagency Dispatch received an emergency call about an injured hiker who fell about 500 feet down steep snow on the east slopes of Paintbrush Divide. Grand Blanc, Michigan residents Samantha Edgcombe and Mackenzie Finton, both 19, were hiking from Cascade Canyon to Paintbrush Canyon over Paintbrush Divide when they each slipped on snow and slid, crashing into large rocks.

“Initially it was believed only one of the hikers was significantly injured, but both were,” the park release said. “The Teton Interagency helicopter transported two rangers to the area and each hiker was short-hauled with a ranger to Lupine Meadows and then transported via park ambulance to St. John’s Health.”

Teton hikers and mountaineers can still expect snow above 9,500 feet. Appropriate footwear and an ice axe are “mandatory,” the park said in a statement.

Rangers aid overdue hiker, injured climber

Park rangers rescued a Driggs, Idaho, man Friday after he unexpectedly spent Thursday night stuck in a gully near the Rock of Ages.

Mike Merigliano, 62, had taken a hike near the Lake of the Crags in Hanging Canyon to take photographs in Grand Teton National Park. When he didn’t return home, his wife reported him overdue at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a park news release.

Rangers found his vehicle at the String Lake trailhead and prepared to survey the area at first light Friday. At about 3 a.m. four rangers began hiking and climbing to arrive at the Lake of the Crags by daylight.

They made voice contact with Merigliano at about 6:30 a.m. and climbed down to his location, about 300 feet down a gully that descends into Cascade Canyon on the south side of Rock of Ages.

Rangers helped Merigliano back up the gully and then lowered him more than 800 feet to an area north of the Lake of the Crags area. A rescue helicopter flew Merigliano from the west end of the lake to Lupine Meadows. An ambulance then took him to St. John’s Health, park officials reported.

Rangers responded to another call for help in the high peaks on the Fourth of July. Two climbers were returning from a successful summit of the South Teton when thunderstorms moved in, according to the park news release.

Climber Andre Perez, of Berkeley, California, slipped on snow and then fell more than 200 feet in the Cave Couloir in the South Fork of Garnet Canyon. The 32-year-old sustained substantial injuries, park officials said. His climbing partner hiked to a backcountry camping zone and another camper made an emergency call for help.

Two rangers used ice axes and crampons to get to the injured climber stuck on steep, snowy terrain. They arrived at about 1 a.m. Sunday.

The rangers stabilized his injuries and stayed with him through the night until a rescue helicopter arrived at 7 a.m. and flew him to Lupine Meadows. An ambulance then took him to St. John’s Health.

BASE jumper survives tumble off East Temple

A BASE jumper survived a nearly 1,000-foot tumble down East Temple Peak in the Wind River Range on the Fourth of July, according to rescuers.

“It was just incredible that the man survived without life-threatening injuries,” said Kenna Tanner, coordinator for Tip Top Search and Rescue in Sublette County.

Rescuers received notification from a satellite device at 6 a.m. Saturday, followed by a second one relaying the location of a jumper who was badly hurt.

BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span (such as a bridge) and earth (such as a cliff).

Arriving on the scene, rescuers learned that the man’s parachute tangled after he jumped, and he “repeatedly slammed into the wall of East Temple before he was able to cut himself free” and fall to where rescuers found him, according to a press release. Rescuers did not get the man’s name.

A second BASE jumper had landed near the injured man and assisted rescuers in preparing him to be slung from a rope under a helicopter and moved to a makeshift landing zone to meet an air ambulance that flew him to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Since the peak is in wilderness, rescuers contacted the Bridger-Teton National Forest for permission to use a helicopter.

“It was incredible to hear that the man was able to walk out of the hospital the following day,” Tip Top said in a release.

Tip Top’s volunteer team had been busy the night before. At 8:20 p.m. last Friday, the team got a call for two missing girls, ages 9 and 12. The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office searched with volunteers until 10 p.m., when the two turned up safe at a campsite northwest of Pinedale. The girls had lost sight of their house and kept walking until they found the occupied camp, Tanner said.

Then the team received a 10:30 p.m. call to aid seven teenagers who had become stranded on their ATVs on a muddy, unmaintained road in the Bridger-Teton near Bondurant.

Tanner reminded people to be prepared with proper gear and to have a plan if things go wrong.

“But don’t hesitate to call when you’re in a bind,” he said.

Contact Julia Hornstein via

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