Climber Who Abandoned Companion In Grand Teton National Park Cited For Disorderly Conduct

A Montana man who abandoned his climbing companion in Grand Teton National Park, thinking rangers would rescue his friend, has been cited for disorderly conduct, the park announced Thursday.

Dave Shade, 33, of Missoula, was cited because he assumed a rescue would occur and left his partner, taking their only climbing rope, a park release said. Mr. Shade’s decision "created a hazardous condition" for his companion as there was no guarantee of rescue, the park said.

The incident occurred on August 19, when Mr. Shade and Jesse Selwyn, of Florence, Michigan, set out to climb the Black Ice Couloir on the northwest side of the Grand Teton. However, the two couldn't find the entrance to the couloir and ended up on a pitch known as the Grandstand.

"After an extended discussion about how to proceed, Selwyn informed Shade that he felt he was unable to continue. Selwyn said that he believed he would become injured or die if he attempted to retrace the route they had come," park officials said in their release. "He then told Shade that he was going to call for a rescue by activating the SPOT rescue locator that he was carrying."

Not long after the device was activitated, rangers aboard a Teton Interagency helicopter hovered over the duo's location, and Mr. Selwyn signaled that he wanted to be rescued, the release said.

"Shade told Selwyn that he (Shade) did not need to be rescued. Further discussion ensued and ultimately, Shade left with the party’s climbing rope, made four rappels and then began to retrace his route to the Valhalla Traverse," the release added. "Shade made this decision before confirming that rangers were indeed going to return to rescue Selwyn."

The citation was issued because the Montana man assumed a rescue would occur and left his partner, taking their only climbing rope, the park said.

"Mr. Shade’s decision created a hazardous condition for Selwyn, since at this point there was no guarantee of rescue," it added. "Selwyn was reached by rangers that night, and was extracted via short-haul with darkness imminently approaching."

Comments

The guy is a jerk but a citation seems a bit much. It's not like he left before the chopper got there.
I wonder what the rescuers were thinking when they saw one guy walk away and start rapping down the mountain.

I don't believe I'd go climbing with anyone that might be so cavalier about leaving me stranded on a route.

I'm not willing to judge Shade so quickly. While I would have a hard time leaving my partner, if it was a toss up between a fairly straight forward retreat (which I would doubt if it includes the Valhalla Traverse) and paying for an unneeded rescue, I would likely bail.
This just confirms my belief that Spot tranmistters need to include a requirment to buy a bond of put up earnest money. This might reduced the reports of people calling in a helicopter to bring water or help hikers with sore feet.

Priro comment: "While I would have a hard time leaving my partner, if it was a toss up
between a fairly straight forward retreat (which I would doubt if it
includes the Valhalla Traverse) and paying for an unneeded rescue, I
would likely bail."
Please know that SAR agencies in the US never charge for rescues. (There has been occasional talk abou it in particularly egregious situations, but it doesn't ever actually happen.) Please don't do dangerous things in an attempt to avoid a bill you will never see.

Yikes, from Michigan like me, I'll be keeping an eye out for anyone looking for a new ice buddy this winter.