Authorities have identified the climber who fatally fell 300 feet Sunday on a popular route up Storm Point in the Cascade Canyon area.
Marco Korstiaan Dees, 33, was climbing Guide’s Wall on Sunday when the accident occurred. His girlfriend and climbing partner, Grace Mooney, was rescued the next morning by Jenny Lake climbing rangers. They learned of the accident from a hiker who phoned authorities after seeing a flashing light and hearing calls for help Sunday night.
Rangers made contact with Mooney, who was uninjured, around 2 a.m. in less-than-optimal conditions.
“The conversation was limited,” Grand Teton National Park spokeswoman Denise Germann said in an interview, “because there was a cascade waterfall kind of between them.”
But two responding rangers managed to intelligibly yell questions to the stranded climber.
“She responded that she was uninjured, that she was alone and that she was comfortable spending the night there,” Germann said.
The rangers returned to the valley in the darkness and Mooney remained.
A second team of two rangers climbed toward Mooney at first light and, upon reaching her, learned Dees had fallen the previous day. The two rangers helped her down the wall and brought her to the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache while a third team of three rangers set out to recover Dees and investigate the accident.
Dees’ body was found in a gully just west of Guide’s Wall. He was flown via a helicopter long line to the Lupine Meadows cache around noon Monday and taken to the Teton County coroner.
Rangers are probing the condition and position of the climbers’ gear, the configuration of the rappel and other factors that may have contributed to the fall. Dees died from accidental blunt-force trauma, Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said.
Dees and Mooney were capable climbers who had appropriate gear, Teton Park officials reported.