Woman falls to her death Monday on the Grand Teton; Climber injured in separate fall

(Moose, Wyo.) — A climbing accident on the 13,770-foot Grand Teton resulted in the death of one member of a guided climbing party on Monday morning, July 14 , in Grand Teton National Park. Mary Bilyeu, 43, of Edmond, Oklahoma was ascending to the Upper Saddle of the Grand Teton (elevation 13,160 feet) with her climbing partner and a guide from Jackson Hole Mountain Guides when she fell while negotiating a short section above the Exum Gully about 8:30 a.m.

Bilyeu was unresponsive when park rangers arrived on scene and could not be revived. She was pronounced dead in consultation with the park’s medical director, AJ Wheeler, and park rangers on scene.

The circumstances leading to this climbing accident are under investigation by Grand Teton National Park rangers and no further details are available at this time.

Rangers began to coordinate a body recovery on the Grand Teton when Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a second emergency call at approximately 11 a.m. from a hiking party near Paintbrush Divide. Silas Peterson of Santa Fe, New Mexico fell while descending Paintbrush Divide into Paintbrush Canyon and sustained multiple injuries.  Although Peterson was using an ice axe, he slid down a steep snow-covered slope, could not self-arrest, and fell an additional 150 feet through steep loose rock.

Park rangers remind backcountry hikers that late season snow remains in the high country and some of the mountain passes still have very steep and firm snow that must be cautiously negotiated.  Ice axes and crampons may be necessary for safe travel in some areas.  Please consult the Teton Canyons blogspot at http://www.tetonclimbing.blogspot.com or stop by a Ranger Station for the most up-to-date trail conditions.

–Grand Teton National Park Public Affairs Office