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Man recovering in hospital after falling into ice crevasse at Grand Teton National Park


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Grand Teton National Park | Stock image

MOOSE, Wyoming — A Wyoming man is recovering at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center after falling into an ice crevasse at Grand Teton National Park.

Tyler Willis, 34, was hiking with a partner when he fell Friday night near the Teton Glacier. The Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a “fall into crevasse” notification around 10:30 p.m. from a satellite communication device but were unable to establish a connection with the sender.

Two park rangers began hiking to the glacier around 12:30 a.m. and found Willis with his partner around 4 a.m., according to a news release from Grand Teton National Park. Two other people had also stopped to help.

Authorities say Willis and his climbing partner had successfully summited Mount Owen earlier in the day. They were descending via the Koven Route and crossing the Teton Glacier when Willis fell approximately 30 feet into the narrow crevasse.

The two other climbers used their satellite communication device to call for help before setting anchors and using a rope raising system to extricate Willis from the crevasse.

“Willis had been in the crevasse for over an hour before the other party of two came on scene to assist,” the news release says. “His condition had significantly deteriorated due to hypothermia and he was unresponsive. After extricating Willis, the three climbers replaced his wet clothing with dry clothing.”

Once park rangers arrived, they provided medical care and helped Willis warm up. Around 8 a.m. Saturday, he was transported via short-haul rescue by the Teton Interagency Helicopter to Lupine Meadows and then airlifted to EIRMC. The three other climbers were transported to Lupine Meadows by helicopter.

Willis was listed in good condition Tuesday evening. Park rangers remind visitors that glaciers are always moving and anyone climbing near them should be cautious.