Photo Credits

Mountaineers Descending in a Storm

University of Alaska Fairbanks students descend a snow slope in a growing storm. Thanks to Mark Oldmixon!

Image © Outdoor Adventures, U of Alaska, Fairbanks

Lightning Incident

tetonsJuly 21st, 2010.  Jackson, WY.  Three separate climbing parties reported injuries after a storm hit around midday. The groups were all above 12,000 feet on the 13,770-foot Grand Teton Mountain. Rescue teams used helicopters to remove 16 injured climbers after a thunderstorm and severe lightning struck the area, a park spokeswoman said. One climber was still unaccounted for Wednesday night.  This climber’s body was found the next day. This search and rescue operation was reported to be the largest and most complex rescue effort in the parks history.

After reading the details of this situation it’s evident that the search and rescue personnel pulled off a complex mission with amazing results.  Thanks to all involved.  I’m sure this incident has many stories to gain insight from.  Among other thoughts I wondered about the storm and its build-up.  I know sometimes it feels like storms hit so suddenly, especially when it’s coming from the opposite side of the mountain. After looking into this I came across personal lightning detectors.  Does anyone have experience with these? Don’t’ get me wrong here because I believe strongly in the utilization of sound observation and decision-making. I just don’t know anything about these devices.  Do they work?  Do they give information that is not obtainable through novice observation?  I’m hoping to give an update on lightning detectors and the O-S Lightning SAR as further details become available.  If you want more information on the Lightning incident check out the NPS report: Grand Teton National Park Report

Posted by

Ryan Van Luit

on 7/26/10
Categories: 
Field SafetyIncidentsResourceNews

Comments

This article from Outside Bozeman, our local outdoor magazine, provides an account of this incident from locals who were involved in this incident. It is intense & a highly recommended read.

http://outsidebozeman.com/magazine.php?action=fullArticle&articleID=1581

By Alex Kosseff on 11/11/2010 at 05:28 PM

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