> There have been a lot of rescues in the Grand Tetons lately, so many that they have tied the all time high number of major rescues at 31. And the fiscal year isn’t over yet.
Marty Vidak has been a Ranger with Grand Tetons National Parks for twelve years and has seen the dangers first hand.
?People commonly get in over their heads and I think they underestimate the Tetons,? said Vidak.
With almost double the normal amount of the snowfall this year the mountains are slick, making risks even higher.
And while park rangers are here to help.
?There’s no guarantee we can get to someone who’s injured,? said Jackie Skaggs, Public Affairs Officer for the National Park Service.
This crew of Jenny Lake Rangers are some of the best.
?Everyone knows their position, these men and women are trained, they’re experienced, they’re incredible people,? said Skaggs.
But even with the best, the risks are high.
?There’s always a risk, mechanical fails with the helicopter, weather,? said Vidak. ?I mean we’re in the Tetons.?
Sometimes helicopters just can’t get out to the rescues because it’s too dark or too windy and crews have to rely on less technical tools like this wheeled lifter.
?Ideally, anyone who goes into the mountains should, first and foremost be able to self rescue,? said Skaggs.
Get informed before hitting the trails: make sure you have the right equipment, that you know how to use it and talk to the rangers.
?We’re encouraged to climb so we know our range intimately and what conditions are like up there so we can pass that onto the folks,? said Vidak.