Two rescue missions for injured climber, hiker accomplished Tuesday in GTNP

(Moose, Wyo.) – Tuesday was a busy day for Grand Teton National Park rescue teams, with three searches. One ended with the discovery of an overdue hikers body, but the others assisted injured parties off of the mountains.

Scott Huntsman, 48, of Salt Lake City, Utah and his climbing guide with Exum Mountain Guides were attempting the Grand Traverse of the Teton peaks and had just descended to Gunsight Notch above Valhalla Canyon at approximately 4 p.m. Monday when a rockfall, possibly triggered by the afternoon rainstorm, struck Huntsman and injured his foot.  The climbers’ rope was trapped by the rockfall and they had to cut it free. Using the remaining 120 feet of rope, the two climbers rappelled to a point in Gunsight Couloir where they settled in for the night on a ledge. Early Tuesday morning, the Exum guide helped Huntsman descend over snow to a location near the bottom of Valhalla Canyon where a rescue helicopter could land. He then hiked out to seek help from park rangers.

The Exum guide encountered searchers in Cascade Canyon who were looking for Will Cornyn, a hiker who’s body was found Tuesday afternoon near the mouth of Cascade Canyon (see that story here). The helicopter attached to the Cornyn search was able to land near Huntsman at an elevation of 9,500 feet. He was placed inside the ship for an evacuation flight to the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache and to St. John’s Hospital in Jackson.

An additional emergency call came in at 11:30 a.m. for a 16-year-old hiker with a knee injury who was situated just below the Cascade Canyon forks. Searchers already in the field for the full-scale search for Cornyn diverted to assist the injured teen and provide medical care. The young hiker was ultimately able to hike out with assistance by the attending searchers.