12,300-Foot Teewinot Wyoming Mountain Claims Two Lives

Two women from Jackson, Wyoming, fell to their death while trying to climb the Teewinot Mountain in Grand Teton National Park on Saturday. The incident occurred at about 11 a.m.

The park service identified the women as 27-year-old Tyler Strandberg and 28-year-old Catherine Nix. A third woman, Rebecca Anderson, who was also climbing Teewinto Mountain with Strandberg and Nix, was stranded on a ledge and used her cell phone to call Park Rangers for help after her climbing companions fell and she couldn’t see or hear them. Anderson, also of Jackson, Wyoming, was rescued after an hour by the Rangers.

“The three women were attempting to ascend the East Face of Teewinot Mountain. The East Face is the typical route to the summit of Teewinot and also the easiest. It is rated a class 4.0 climb, meaning that it consists of exposed rock climbing but is not considered technical in nature. Though the route is frequently climbed without ropes, the terrain is very steep and good route-finding skills, mountaineering experience, and caution are essential. The climbers were well off the East Face route and in much more difficult technical terrain when the fall occurred. They were not using ropes at the time of the fall and were apparently trying to find the proper route,” said Park Rangers.

The Teewinot Mountain is the sixth tallest peak in the Teton Range.

According to the Mount Everest website, there are seven main rules for surviving a mountain climb:

  • Don’t count on anyone but yourself, even if you are in a group. Have your own climbing gear, oxygen, and make your own decisions. If you get partway up and the situation is dangerous, turn around. It’s better to try several times then end up dying. Don’t take stupid chances.
  • Make sure you know weather conditions. Weather can change very rapidly on a mountain. Check conditions before you climb, but watch the sky closely as you are climbing. If there’s even a slight chance of bad weather, turn around quickly. Storms can strike very quickly at that high altitude.
  • Always climb with ropes. Don’t hurry. Allow yourself plenty of time to get up the mountain.
  • Drink lots of water and carry water with you. Dehydration can cause headaches, confusion, frostbite, and edema.
  • Know how your body is going to react at different altitudes. Studies have shown that your brain loses oxygen at high levels, so therefore, you might experience some strange feelings and symptoms. Try climbing a smaller mountain before scaling a huge one to let your body prepare.
  • Know your gear and how to use it. Read books, talk to experienced climbers, and just make sure you have covered every angle and possible situation before climbing.
  • Avalanches kill a lot of people every year. Don’t climb a mountain after a heavy snowfall, especially on the north sides of a mountain. Talk to mountain climbers who climb with snowfall and take their advice.

The Teewinot mountain is a dangerous mountain if you’re not prepared. Preparation and planning is your safest plan of action when attempting to climb any mountain.

[Photo via WNCN website, Video via YouTube]