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348 Phelps Lake Snowshoer Rescued 2011-02-15

Phelps Lake Overlook in summer

In Grand Teton National Park, two snowshoers were on a backcountry adventure when one of the snowshoers became ill. They were at, or near, the Phelps Lake Overlook. They called for a rescue.

Ten National Park Rescuers worked for seven hours to bring the ailing snowshoer back to the trailhead. At the trailhead, the once sick snowshoer refused treatment and drove away.

From the Grand Teton National Park News Release posted by Jackie Skaggs of the Park's Public Affairs:

"While most rescue operations involve injured, stranded and/or lost persons, rangers and other park staff often conduct rescue missions to locate individuals—who are incapacitated for whatever reason—and bring them to safety and/or medical care. Emergency responses for persons "in need" are part of the proud National Park Service tradition. However, visitors and local residents should accept responsibility for their own safety and welfare, and always be prepared to self rescue as a first option."

I too have felt sick on the trail. If you walk enough trails you will eventually find days that are not good. In fact I have felt bad enough that I wished someone would shoot me; but never so bad that I needed a rescue! If I ever did need a rescue, especially one that involved ten Ranger for seven hours, I would grant them the satisfaction of knowing that the person they rescued was sick enough to go the doctor!

Be safe and always have a self-rescue plan.

Happy rescue-less trails


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