According to Teton County Search and Rescue, a boater was involved in a whitewater accident on the Gros Ventre River outside Jackson on Tuesday June 21 and tragically did not survive. An emergency call came in Tuesday afternoon that reported a pair of two-person catarafts launched onto the whitewater stretch just below Slide Lake. One craft flipped in the Hermit rapid, dumping both passengers, one of whom was swept downstream. TCSAR responded on foot and in boats, with GTNP Rangers dispatching a helicopter to assist, along with a number of recreationalists already on scene.
The man was reportedly last seen near a large boulder about a quarter mile upriver from the park boundary at a sharp bend known as Jumping Rock. SAR volunteers probed the area but were unable to locate the missing person. Shortly after, a spotter at Jumping Rock saw the man floating downriver. He was unresponsive.
The helicopter was able to follow the man as he floated downriver and eventually became hung up on a log jam about a mile downriver from Jumping Rock. TCSAR volunteers managed to reach the man and bring him to shore. Tragically, he did not survive. His party was visiting from out of state and had been well equipped, prepared and experienced. The man was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).
This three-mile stretch of whitewater in question is categorized as Class IV and is the most demanding, accessible whitewater stretch in Teton County. On Tuesday, it was flowing above average at about 2,000 cfs, or 2.5 feet. Local boaters characterize the current level as the low side of medium, but the stretch is very fast with few eddies. The numerous rapids were formed by the Gros Ventre Slide from 1925 and ensuing flood, which created sharp, angular rocks that make any swim especially hazardous.
When it rains it pours--or slides in this case. Yesterday, a massive rockslide came careening down the hill in Rocky Mountain National Park. The south face of a popular climbing spot, Hallett Peak, came crumbling down out of nowhere. Area local Ryan Albert was lucky enough to be standing there but out of the way and capture this insane video of it. At this point, no injuries or missing people have been reported but climbers are still advised to stay out of the area.
The North Face and Pattie Gonia (they/she/he) are teaming up to host a Summer of Pride, aiming to celebrate how nature lets you be who you are, and all of the beautiful ways that you get outside. With workshops, panels and activities for all, Summer of Pride is about exploration in all shapes and forms. Their mission is to help cultivate community together through a love for nature and having a good time outside. The tour heads to Portland, OR, Columbus, OH, Denver CO, and San Francisco, CA.
Over the past few days, Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding areas have seen record amounts of rainfall, creating extreme flooding conditions in many parts of southern Montana. Currently, park officials have shut down all access and are evacuating visitors and residents already inside. The park will remain closed at least through Wednesday. At the northern end of the Park, near Gardiner, Red Lodge, and Cooke City videos have shown the extensive damage from flash flooding rivers.