Grand Teton Mountain Guide Gary Falk Falls To Death In Canyon

A mountain guide at Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park died on Saturday after falling about 2,400 feet into a canyon.

Gary Falk, 42, was leading a group of clients to the summit of the Grand Teton when he fell into the Valhalla Canyon, according to a statement released by the National Parks Service. Local News 8 reported that Falk was descending with the group when he fell from the Owen Spalding Rappel.

It is unclear what caused the mountain guide to slip and fall at the Grand Teton Park.

Falk, who worked for Exum Mountain Guides, is said to be a 12-year veteran. A brief description of Falk on Exum Mountain Guides’ website states that he is an extensive climber and has traversed several mountains in the U.S. and neighboring states. He reportedly even completed the Grand Traverse, a trek through some of the highest points in Grand Teton.

Grand Teton Mountain Guide
A climber at a U.S. national park. [Photo by: Mike Powell/Getty Images]

Two park rangers were dropped into the canyon to assess the situation after Falk fell. He was hauled to safety by a helicopter on a long-line. Falk was later pronounced dead by the Teton County coroner.

Following the announcement that the Grand Teton Park mountain guide is dead, many people have paid tribute to Falk on social media.

“The Teton Guiding community is devastated with this loss. Gary was a diligent guide, always the consummate professional. Exum is grieving from this news and struggling to comprehend the situation,” Nat Patridge, the co-owner and president of Exum Mountain Guides, said in a statement.

Patridge revealed that Exum would suspend its operations on Sunday in honor of Falk. Meanwhile, San Juan Mountain Guides have revealed on Facebook that a bell would be rung in memory of the late mountain guide at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Climber’s Memorial.

Falk is survived by a wife and two sons, according to Local News 8. There has been no announcement yet about funerary plans for the late mountain guide.

The Grand Teton National Park is one of the most popular parks in the country. Besides climbing mountains, visitors to the Grand Teton can also camp, enjoy a boat ride and fish. During the winter months, the park is an ideal destination for winter sports. Last year, the Grand Teton welcomed up to 4.6 million visitors, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Prior to the announcement of the death of Falk at the Grand Teton, the park had been getting some attention in the press following the release of a video of time-lapse photography and some footages of the park.