Strained on the Snake

Hiker dies in Grand Teton National Park

A 43-year-old man collapsed Monday afternoon on a trail in Grand Teton National Park and died despite rangers’ efforts to resuscitate him.

The emergency call came in around 4 p.m. for a man who was on his way back down to the Lupine Meadow trailhead after hiking to Surprise and Amphitheater lakes, park spokesperson Denise Germann said.

“There was a witness who saw the man go down,” she said.

The man, who was visiting from out of state, was hiking with three teenage boys. They were 2 miles up from the trailhead when the man collapsed.

“We responded to the scene with two rangers that began hiking to the scene with medical gear and an AED,” Germann said. “We had two other rangers on the Teton Interagency helicopter and sent two more in the helicopter after that.”

Bystanders were performing CPR when rangers arrived, and park employees were helping coach them by phone.

“Rangers continued CPR and resuscitation efforts,” Germann said. “Efforts were terminated at 5:17 p.m.”

The man’s cause of death is not yet determined pending an autopsy, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said.

— Emily Mieure

‘Strainer’ strands Snake River rafters

A rafting accident in Grand Teton National Park at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday left a group stranded on a fallen tree in the middle of the Snake River, their raft wedged under the trunk by the water’s force.

According to a passing boater, the stranded rafters were fine and waiting for a rescue team called to assist them in getting safely to shore.

The incident took place between Deadman’s Bar and Moose on a section of the river known as The Maze. That particular stretch of river can appear deceptively relaxing, but park officials frequently warn rafters that it’s fairly technical and demands some skill to negotiate.

The type of river obstruction that swamped the crew’s boat Sunday is known as a “strainer” for its ability to allow large amounts of liquid to flow through, while branches and roots trap anything bigger (like people and rafts), often submerging them underwater.

— Cindy Harger

Sick hiker hauled from Death Canyon

Rangers rescued a sick hiker Sunday from Death Canyon after he climbed Static Peak and then suddenly felt ill and couldn’t keep going, park spokeswoman Denise Germann said.

Many recent rescues, like a popped raft in the Snake River and sudden illness, might be unavoidable and a good reminder to be prepared.

“Have the gear and know how to utilize the gear,” she said.

Always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll return, she said.

Germann applauded the work of first responders during a busy summer.

“Our staff is incredible,” she said. “And that interagency helicopter is a tremendous resource with all the backcountry activities.”

— Emily Mieure

Woman falls from Warrior Peak

Sublette County’s Tip Top Search and Rescue short-haul team flew to the rescue of a woman who fell near Warrior Peak in the Wind River Range.

Sublette County Dispatch received multiple SOS spot device activation’s near Warrior Peak on Sunday, according to a news release. The reporting parties indicated a woman had plunged about 80 to 100 feet and needed immediate assistance.

The Tip Top short-haul team and a contract helicopter responded. Search manager Dave Lankford coordinated the response with members Cody Wilson, Milford Lockwood, Andrew Masters and John Kochever, the news release said.

The team found the woman had sustained serious injuries. She was flown to Eastern Idaho Medical Center for treatment.

— Rebecca Huntington

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or

(1) comment

Tom Henry

Competent boatmen can avoid strainers.

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