It took 10 elite Jenny Lake Rangers more than 10 hours to evacuate an injured climber after she fell on a summer snow field on Disappointment Peak. The biggest lesson this climber learned isn’t likely what you’d think, but it’s one you should hear. Listen to the story in this month's episode of The Fine Line podcast.
On June 29, 2014 Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received an emergency call at 6:30 p.m., reporting an injured climber on the east flank of the 11,618-foot Disappointment Peak. Angela “Fio” Lazarte, 27, of Jackson, Wyoming and her partner were climbing in the Lake Ledges area above Amphitheater Lake when she slipped and tumbled over snow and rock before coming to rest in a snow moat near the base of the cliff. A second Teton Interagency contract helicopter flew six park rangers to provide emergency medical care and make preparations for a short-haul evacuation. To assist with the rescue, four additional rangers hiked to Amphitheater Lake (9,750 feet) from the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache. High winds ultimately prevented the helicopter from completing a short-haul evacuation. Instead, rangers resorted to placing Lazarte into a rescue litter and lowering her over steep, snow-covered slopes until they could carry her via wheeled litter—a distance of five miles—over an intermittent snow-covered and rocky trail to the Lupine Meadows trailhead. The rescue operation took over 10 hours to conduct; it did not conclude until 5 a.m. Monday, June 30. A park ambulance met the rescuers and transported Lazarte to St. John's Medical Center in Jackson for further care. Lazarte was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, which may have prevented a head injury.