Lightning SAR - July 21, 2010

Lightning SAR - July 21, 2010
Two patients are short-hauled to the Lower Saddle

Preventing Mountain Accidents

Objective Dangers in the Mountains
Climbing and mountaineering are inherently risky activities and falling is but one of the risks faced when venturing into the vertical world.  Objective dangers include, but are not limited to, falling rock and ice, avalanches, lightning, and severe storms.  Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the Tetons during summer, and clear skies in the morning often turn into severe weather later in the day.  Consider the escape routes available to you before you start your climb.

Both Experienced and Inexperienced Climbers May Become Involved in Accidents
Each year a number of accidents occur in Grand Teton National Park that require rescue.  All climbers, no matter their experience and ability, are susceptible to objective dangers.  Good judgment and proper preparedness can minimize your chances of becoming a victim.  Bring the proper clothing and equipment for your climb and know how to use it.  Take a class if you are not familiar with the proper use of an ice axe, correct belaying techniques, or placing protection  Know your limitations and choose routes that are within your ability.  Keep a watchful eye on the weather and be prepared to retreat if conditions deteriorate.

Steep Snowfields are Found in the Tetons Year-Round
Some of the most dangerous terrain in the Tetons are the snowfields, which are the source of serious accidents each year.  These snowfields are especially abundant in early and mid-season (through July), but can be found all summer long on some routes and/or in some seasons.  Inexperienced climbers are strongly urged to obtain instruction and experience in proper ice axe technique (self-arrest & self-belay) before tackling routes that require potentially hazardous snowfield crossings.