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Rangers Rescue Stranded Climber From Middle Teton

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avatar Rangers Rescue Stranded Climber From Middle Teton
July 12, 2012 03:06PM
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Rangers Rescue Stranded Climber From Middle Teton

A man who became stranded on the Middle Teton on Monday evening was rescued rangers the following day. Eric Rohner, 27, intended a solo summit of the Middle Teton on Monday, but traveled off route and became ‘cliffed out.’ Rohner ended up in a location from which he did not feel he could safely get down without risk of injury. Rohner placed a 911 call for help just after 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The call was received in Teton Valley, Idaho, and transferred to a park dispatcher. The ranger who was scheduled to coordinate rescues on Monday was able to communicate directly with Rohner via cell phone and determined that he had enough food and water, as well as appropriate gear and extra clothing, to spend the night on the Middle Teton. Rescue operations began at 4:30 Tuesday morning as two rangers started hiking at first light. Rangers were not able to locate Rohner from the ground. Fortunately, a Teton interagency contract helicopter was scheduled to be at Lupine Meadows for short-haul training that day, so rangers decided to employ that ship for a reconnaissance flight to pinpoint Rohner’s location on the mountain. Rangers and the helicopter pilot determined that the best rescue plan was to short-haul Rohner from his precarious location to a landing zone in the South Fork of Garnet Canyon. From there, park rangers escorted him down the canyon. A technical lowering and rescue by ground was estimated to require six people and approximately six hours to perform, exposing more rescuers to hazardous terrain for a longer period of time. Once in a hazardous situation, Rohner made sound decisions – he stayed put, called for help, followed rescuer instructions, and was prepared to spend an unexpected night on the mountain, having brought extra food, water, and clothing. This decision may very well have prevented him from getting seriously injured or worse. This was the park’s third major search and rescue in the mountains this summer.
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