Ferrins rescue

Rescuers help an injured biker last week on the Ferrins Trail.

This summer has been a busy one for backcountry first responders, with several rescues every week.

Grand Teton National Park rangers helped an injured climber Friday after he fell into a crevasse on Teton Glacier. A call for help came at 10:30 p.m. from a satellite device, park officials said Tuesday in a news release.

Rangers were not able to communicate with the party but started hiking at 12:30 a.m., reaching the individuals at 4 a.m.

Tyler Willis, 34, of Evanston, and his climbing partner had summited Mount Owen earlier in the day, the release said.

“They were descending via the Koven Route and crossing the Teton Glacier when Willis fell approximately 30 feet into a narrow ice crevasse,” the release said.

Willis was hypothermic and unresponsive after spending an hour stuck in the crevasse. His climbing partner couldn’t get him out.

“Two other climbers were in the area and used their satellite communication device to call for help and then set anchors and used a rope raising system to extricate Willis from the crevasse,” according to park officials.

The climbers put Willis in dry clothes. Rangers arrived and further assisted Willis and his condition started to improve. He was flown Saturday morning to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

On Saturday afternoon a woman tripped and injured her ankle while hiking to Table Mountain, a popular summit just inside Teton Park, though most of the hike from Teton Canyon passes through the Caribou Targhee National Forest.

Teton County Search and Rescue was called just after 4 p.m. and park rangers responded by helicopter.

“The helicopter was able to land relatively close to her,” Search and Rescue Chief Advisor Cody Lockhart said.

Rescuers carried the woman to the helicopter, which plucked her out of the high country and delivered her to a lower-elevation landing zone where she could be transferred to an ambulance.

Teton County Search and Rescue also assisted a mountain biker on Ferrins Trail late last week after the man hit a rock and took a hard fall.

“He reported to dispatch that he believed he hit his head and was rather confident he broke his collar bone, an elevated concern due to a pre-existing medical condition,” communications director Matt Hansen wrote in a Teton County Search and Rescue Facebook post.

Rescuers responded in a side-by-side up the Snow King access road.

“Other ground teams approached via the Hagen and Ferrins trails on bikes and foot,” Hansen said.

The man was packaged and hauled to the base of the mountain, where his family was waiting.

It was the fifth mountain bike rescue for Teton County Search and Rescue since early June, Hansen said. Rescuers continue to wear personal protective equipment when responding to prevent exposure to the coronavirus.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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