Lightning injures 16 Grand Teton climbers, rescuers search for 17th climber

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 22, 2010 9:53 am

Rescuers conducted a dramatic helicopter rescue yesterday of 16 climbers caught in a severe lightning storm on Grand Teton mountain.

Three different parties reported injuries sustained during the Wednesday mid-day lightning strikes on the 13,770 foot peak. All the rescued climbers were stationed at more than 13,000 feet on the mountain.

Rangers are continuing their rescue search today, as a 17th climber had been reported missing by other climbers. Officials say the missing climber went over a cliff, causing them to lose sight of the climber.

A spokeswoman for St. John’s Medical Center in nearby Jackson, WY says the hospital treated eight climbers for injuries related to lightning strikes. Most of those admitted were in fair or good condition, however, one patient was moved to an Idaho hospital with more serious injuries.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first instance of a lighting strike wreaking havoc on the Grand Teton, as a climber died in 2003 from a lightning strike on the mountain.