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."