Rangers Rescue Mountaineering Guide from Grand Teton

Rangers prepare for helicopter rescue of injured climbing guide

August 6, 2010
Grand Teton National Park rangers used a Teton Interagency contract helicopter to rescue and evacuate an injured climbing
guide from the Grand Teton on Friday, August 6. Nate Opp, age 31, an employee of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, fell approximately 20 feet while hiking just below the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton. He was not guiding clients at the time of the accident.

Opp sustained a head injury in the fall, which prompted a timely and expeditious flight from the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides’ Corbet High Camp at 11,200 feet to Lupine Meadows at 6,700 feet, where a park ambulance waited to transport him to medical care in Jackson, Wyoming.

A separate employee with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides contacted the Jenny Lake Ranger Station via satellite phone at 10:10 a.m. on Friday to report the accident. Rangers initiated a rescue operation that involved landing the helicopter with one ranger on board onto Teepe Glacier below the Grand Teton. The ranger got out of the helicopter and continued on foot to reach Opp’s location—near the high camp that is situated below the Lower Saddle.

Two additional rangers hiked down from the Lower Saddle and provided emergency medical care to Opp before the third ranger could arrive by helicopter and prepare him for a short-haul evacuation in a rescue litter suspended below the helicopter. One ranger flew in tandem with Opp during an aerial evacuation directly to the Jenny Lake rescue cache on the valley floor.

No further details about the accident are known at this time.