Monday, August 1, 2011

Mystery On The Grand


It was about a year ago that some climbers from Iowa and Minnesota were caught in a storm on the Grand and one of them was lost. This is an article about that trip from the Des Moines Register newspaper. . .

Greg Sparks, right, the new city manager in West Des Moines, climbs in the Grand Tetons last summer with Brandon Oldenkamp, left, and other members of their group from Iowa and Minnesota. Oldenkamp fell to his death on the trip.

“He had spent hours in his garage tying ropes through carabiners and harnesses, replaying it again and again, but never finding an answer to why it happened…..Then lightning hit again, a more direct jolt this time that zapped through Greg’s body and knocked him down. ‘Is this going to kill me?’ he thought…Lower on the mountain , they found crampons fused together by the lightning and an axe with a hole in it.”



Here’s what Sports Illustrated writes about that trip. I like this quote:

The appeal of the Tetons is obvious, even if you get no closer than a turnout on U.S. 89, 12 miles away. With no foothills, the 40-mile range rises from the earth's crust in one precipitous sweep, like an ax through a door. Upon seeing the mountains, Teddy Roosevelt is said to have remarked that they were ideal—the way a child draws them—and it's easy to see his point. The pinnacles are etched like a fever chart into the Western sky.”

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