Daring rescue after Teton lighting blast | VailDaily.com

Daring rescue after Teton lighting blast

Allen Best/Special to the Daily

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – A lightning strike near the summit of the Grand Teton left one woman dead and various others among the party of 13 climbers badly injured, one of them critically.The rescue that was subsequently executed was described by a 30-year climbing ranger at Grand Teton National Park, Tim Kimbrough, as possibly “the most spectacular rescue in the history of American mountaineering in terms of numbers of people being extricated and the way the helicopters worked and how fast the boys did it.”The climbers had started relatively late, reports the Jackson Hole News & Guide (July 30), and hence at mid-afternoon were still short of the summit when a storm arrived. The blast left one climber severely injured, clothing melted to his wrist as he dangled upside down in his harness. Barely conscious, he only moaned when his name was called during the nearly 4-hour ordeal.Alerted by a cell phone call from the climbers, park authorities dispatched two helicopters, who set down climbing rangers on the peak. Part of the rescue was a retrieval of the severely injured man into a litter, which was then dangled from a helicopter that lowered him more than 6,000 feet down to the base of the mountain, with a climbing ranger clipped into the dangling rope at his side. That daring operation may have saved his fast-ebbing life.Life expectancy for aboriginals shorterWHISTLER, B.C. – Life expectancy for First Nations (a.k.a. aboriginal) peoples in British Columbia is 7.5 years shorter than non-First Nations People, reports the Whistler Question.There’s a correlation of declined health with lower income. First Nations people have a standard of living that is 20 percent lower, according to a report issued by the provincial health office. First Nations people had a higher incident of tobacco use (40 percent) than non-aboriginals (20 percent). While two-thirds of health monitors improved during the 1990s, several worsened.As First Nations tribes gain control over their own affairs, their general health improves, according to the report.In Whistler, Mayor Hugh O’Reilly promoted the 2010 Olympics as a way of elevating the lot of aboriginals.Bikers, hikers feud over wildernessLAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A proposal to designate 9,500 acres in the Lake Tahoe Basin as wilderness has mountain bikers and wilderness purists feuding. If the proposal by a California senator is approved, mountain bikes will be banned from the tract.The Tahoe World (Aug. 6) didn’t find two sides to the issue. Banning motorized vehicles was OK, the paper said, but why allow big and heavy horses but not small and light bicycles? “How ridiculous,” said the paper.a

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