Two young women tragically lost their lives this weekend while climbing in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, USA.
According to park authorities 27-year-old Tyler Strandberg and 28-year-old Catherine Nix had been climbing the East Face of Teewinot Mountain with a third friend, Rebecca Anderson, when they lost their way and slipped off a rocky ledge, plummeting over 200 feet to their deaths.
“Rebecca Anderson couldn’t see her two friends and they weren’t responding when she shouted.”
The route they were taking is apparently a popular one that is considered easy (rated class 4.0) and is often climbed without ropes. However the three had apparently accidentally strayed off the main climb and stumbled into more technical terrain when the fatal fall occurred.
Rescue services were alerted to the horrific accident when Rebecca Anderson called 911 to say she was stuck on a ledge at 11,500 feet and her two friends had fallen.
She couldn’t see them, she told the dispatcher, and they weren’t responding when she shouted.
In a statement the park authorities explained: “On arrival, the rangers assessed the condition of Strandberg and Nix, who were both unresponsive. They were pronounced dead on the scene by the rangers in consultation with park medical director Dr. Will Smith.
“The rangers then turned their attention to Anderson who was stranded above the scene. Two rangers climbed steep and technical terrain for about an hour to reach Anderson.”
Anderson who was uninjured, was then evacuated by helicopter.
Strandberg, originally from North Carolina and Nix, from New York state had both been living in the nearby mountain town of Jackson and were apparently keen hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Their deaths serve as a tragic reminder of the dangers of hiking and climbing, even when those involved have prior experience. As the park’s official statement emphasised: Though the route is frequently climbed without ropes, the terrain is very steep and good route-finding skills, mountaineering experience, and caution are essential.
Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the two girls and with Rebecca Anderson at this difficult time.