The East face of 12,326' Teewinot Mountain in Grand Teton National Park. Wikipedia photo.
Two young hikers died tragically this weekend ascending the popular East face of Teewinot Mountain in Jackson Hole's Grand Teton National Park, according to park officials. The pair, who were joined by a third who survived this weekend's ordeal without injury, had lost the main route to the summit and were attempting to navigate much more technical terrain when they fell 200 feet off of a rocky ledge at 11,500 feet to their deaths. The deceased were identified as Tyler Strandberg, 27, of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Catherine Nix, 28, of Port Chester, New York. Both were residents of Jackson.
Park officials received an emergency call from the third, Rebecca Anderson, 26, around 11:15 am Saturday, detailing that her two partners had fallen and were non-responsive to her calls down to the location where they both fell, which Anderson could not safely see from her position. Three park rangers were inserted at the location of the two victims by helicopter, immediately pronouncing Strandberg (pictured at right) and Nix as deceased while a third made for an hour of technical rock climbing to reach Anderson, who was then short-hauled down by helicopter with the ranger to the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache.
After responding to an injured hiker in another part of the park, the helicopter returned to Teewinot to remove the bodies of Strandberg and Nix (pictured, left) from the mountain, returning them to Lupine Meadows by late afternoon.
Teewinot's East face is rated a 4.0 climb–meaning that it has exposed rock climbing, but which is not technical in nature. It is frequently climbed without ropes or helmets, but the location where the three climbers ended up was far off route and much more technical than the official trail, which takes good route-finding skills to stay on.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Tyler Strandberg and Catherine Nix at this moment.
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