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Rangers Rescue Snowboarder, Snowshoers In Same-Day Incidents

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avatar Rangers Rescue Snowboarder, Snowshoers In Same-Day Incidents
January 11, 2011 02:39PM
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Rangers Rescue Snowboarder, Snowshoers In Same-Day Incidents

Rangers and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patrollers conducted a search and rescue operation for a stranded snowboarder in the backcountry of Granite Canyon early last Friday evening. Steven Sprague, 20, of Rapid City, South Dakota, took a wrong turn and inadvertently entered Grand Teton’s backcountry after exiting an out-of-bounds gate at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort that afternoon. Sprague’s partners, realizing that they were off course, attempted to alert Sprague by shouting at him to stop, but Sprague was unable to hear his companions’ cries because he was listening to his iPod through earphones. Shortly thereafter, Sprague’s companions alerted patrol staff from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort of the situation and a search and rescue operation was begun. Rangers used snowmobiles from Death Canyon trailhead on Moose-Wilson Road, and then mounted skis to access Granite Canyon. Meanwhile, patrol staff from the resort skied into Granite Canyon from the summit of Rendezvous Mountain. Patrol staff were first to reach the stranded snowboarder at approximately 6:20 p.m. as rangers continued their ascent into the canyon. Sprague was in good physical condition, but was not prepared to spend the night in the backcountry, as he did not have extra clothing, food, basic emergency gear or shelter. Sprague and the ski patrollers were transported back to the trailhead by rangers via snowmobiles, arriving around 10:30 p.m. While this operation was underway, dispatch received a call from two visitors who had become disoriented while snowshoeing the Taggart/Bradley Lakes trail. Ross Trooien, 26, from White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and Gordon Mammel, 25, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, became lost in the fading daylight and were unprepared to return to the trailhead in the dark. Park personnel were able to identify their location based on the men’s description and provide directions by cell phone, guiding Trooien and Mammel to the nearby AAC Climbers’ Ranch to await assistance. Park personnel arrived on scene just before 7 p.m. and both men were safely escorted out of the backcountry, reaching the trailhead a half hour later.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2011 02:40PM by eeek.
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