Anthony McCormack, 55 year-old male from Decatur, Illinois, was coming down the South Fork of Garnet Canyon Monday evening after climbing the Middle Teton in Grand Teton National Park. As he was descending, he lost control and slid down a rock slab and injured his ankle. With help from his climbing partner and another climbing party, he crawled to a nearby backcountry campsite where others assisted him. A call for help was made to 911 and transferred to the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Jenny Lake Rangers responded by hiking to the site and treating McCormack’s injuries. Due to the time of day, and impending darkness, an aerial transport was not possible. The rangers stayed at the scene with the injured climber through the night. The Teton Interagency Contract Helicopter was used to short-haul McCormack and a ranger to Lupine Meadows at approximately 7 a.m. today. The climber was then transported via ambulance to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson Hole.
Rangers remind climbers and backcountry users that day-light hours are decreasing, as well as staffing levels in the park. Climbers and other recreationists should not assume that an aerial rescue is always available. All backcountry users should be prepared with appropriate equipment for their respective activity, as well as be prepared to spend an extra night in the backcountry if needed.