A Colorado man searching for a campsite after a storm with pelting rain and hail fell to his death in Grand Teton National Park a day before he hoped to summit the Grand Teton.
Rangers recovered Edward Tom's body Saturday. The 40-year-old Boulder, Colorado man, had fallen about 100 feet Friday evening while looking for a campsite near the "Petzoldt Caves" area in Garnet Canyon in the Tetons.
Tom was in the Caves area looking for a campsite when he apparently fell over a nearby cliff band, a park release said.
Multiple 911 calls were placed just before 6 p.m. Friday to report a man who fell nearly 100 feet and who was unconscious when bystanders got to him. Two physicians in the area, rappelled to Tom’s location, and with the help of bystanders, attempted to provide emergency medical care, a park release said.
Three park rangers were flown into the Meadows of Garnet Canyon arriving on scene just after 7 p.m. Teton Interagency dispatchers and rescuers used text messages to communicate with the bystanders on scene due to challenges with phone reception. This allowed park rangers to have a better understanding of what was happening and to provide support remotely until they arrived on scene.
CPR efforts were underway when rangers arrived, but efforts were terminated shortly thereafter. Due to lingering weather and fading light rangers determined they would need to complete the recovery operation the following day.
Saturday morning, four park rangers were flown to a nearby landing zone in Garnet Canyon. One ranger served as a lookout for rockfall while the three others completed the recovery and scene investigation. Using a Teton Interagency contract helicopter, rangers then flew Tom’s body from Garnet Canyon to the parks rescue cache at Lupine Meadows where his body was turned over to the Teton County Coroner at 11:40 a.m. Recovery operations were delayed Saturday morning due to weather in the Jackson Hole valley.
The incident remains under investigation.