Teton County Search and Rescue teams responded last week to a call from an injured hiker on Munger Mountain and another from a hurt hunter in Cache Creek.
After a woman severely injured her ankle hiking, crews got a call for help at 11:38 a.m. Friday, Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr said. Twenty-one responders with a wheeled litter moved her to the trailhead by 1:30 p.m., and her friends took her to the hospital.
“Even hiking Snow King is pretty treacherous right now,” Carr said. “We definitely are seeing some slick conditions out there. I would urge people to be cautious.”
The next day, a call came in just before 2 p.m. for help for a hunter who had suffered significant lower back pain after his horse stumbled.
“He never came off the horse,” Carr said, “but that motion is what created the injury.”
The son of the 60-year-old man, who was eight miles up Cache Creek and unable to ride, used the Backcountry SOS app to send a text message to authorities with their coordinates.
“The Backcountry SOS is what really provided us with an accurate location of where they were,” Carr said. “When you’re on these fringe areas where the cell coverage is not good and time is of the essence, getting those coordinates out and utilizing that app really cuts down on search times, it cuts down on transport times.
“In this situation, it was critical to get this guy moving as soon as possible,” he said. “We knew right where we were going.”
Unable to fly a helicopter due to inclement weather, Search and Rescue sent in a ground team. The crew reached the patient at about 4:36 p.m., stabilized him and transported him to a suitable landing zone, Carr said. Once the weather cleared around 6 p.m., the helicopter reached the hunter and transported him to the hangar, where an ambulance took him to St. John’s Medical Center. He was later transferred to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Twenty-seven responders were involved with the rescue, Carr said.
The Backcountry SOS app was released in 2018 by the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation. It allows users to quickly and accurately provide their status and location to 911 dispatch in an emergency, even in locations with minimal cell service.
“This is the second time since August that the Backcountry SOS app has helped an emergency response in Jackson Hole,” according to a Monday post on the Teton County Search and Rescue Facebook page.