16 climbers struck by lightning, rescued off Grand Teton; 1 dead

This is sad news from Grand Teton National Park.

According to the Jackson Hole Daily, 16 climbers were rescued by Grand Teton National Park rangers on Wednesday after a lightning storm struck on the 13,770-foot Grand Teton. All 16 sustained some injuries, from bumps and bruises to burns and secondary trauma. The body of a 17th climber, who died after being struck and knocked off the mountain, was located today. Brandon Oldenkamp, a 21-year-old college student from Iowa, was wearing a harness, tied into a rope, and on belay when he was hit and disappeared off the mountain.

The search and rescue operation by climbing rangers used two helicopters and is believed to be the largest in Grand Teton National Park since the early 1960s. The climbers were climbing in three separate parties and all above 13,200 feet.

Read more in the Jackson Hole Daily

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73 reviewer rep
303 forum posts
July 22, 2010 at 9:41 p.m. (EDT)

God bless search and rescue crews. Those folks are really unsung heroes. I may have to give it a try someday. Until then, my condolences to the family of Brandon and my heart-felt thanks to those who risked their lives to save others.

244 reviewer rep
5,384 forum posts
July 22, 2010 at 10:34 p.m. (EDT)

Wow, such sad news!

125 reviewer rep
3,423 forum posts
July 23, 2010 at 3:05 a.m. (EDT)

It must have been hell. Imagine a lighting storm so violent it affects three separate climbing parties thusly.

Rafting The Grand Canyon
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
July 28, 2010 at 1:29 a.m. (EDT)

A great salute to the rescuers who had risked their life in order to save the climbers from the disastrous situation. But for the guy who had lost his life, its a sad news indeed!!

0 reviewer rep
6 forum posts
July 28, 2010 at 11:05 p.m. (EDT)

How very tragic. Praying for the survivors and the family and friends of those who lost their loved one. Many thanks to the rescue crew(s).

28 reviewer rep
12 forum posts
July 28, 2010 at 11:54 p.m. (EDT)

God rest his brave soul.

925 reviewer rep
301 forum posts
July 29, 2010 at 6:53 p.m. (EDT)

I was in the Tetons when this happened. I was hiking Paintbrush/Cascade Canyons and watched the rescue helicopters flying all afternoon. We had a few lightening strikes very close, but nothing hit closer than 1/4 mile.

Yes, a sad day, to be sure.

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