Hiker seriously injured in Grand Teton | VailDaily.com

Hiker seriously injured in Grand Teton

Associated PressVail CO, Colorado

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. A 58-year-old man is recovering after he slid off a 10-foot ledge and spent about 32 hours alone in the Grand Teton National Park backcountry before rescuers found him.Officials say that if rescuers had not found Richard Felder, of Houston, he might not have survived another night in the mountains with several broken bones, a head wound and internal injuries.He was airlifted out of the park around 5:40 p.m. on Wednesday. About 65 people were involved in the rescue.Grand Teton spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said Felder fell about 9 a.m. Tuesday while trying to traverse a steep snowfield.He and his wife, Patty, had been hiking since Sunday, but split up with the intention of meeting at Jenny Lake on Tuesday afternoon, Skaggs said.He fell twice, the second time suffering broken bones and internal injuries.”He’s badly injured at this point and not at all capable of getting himself out of the backcountry,” Skaggs said. “He talked about how cold it was after the sun went down.”When Felder didn’t meet his wife Tuesday afternoon, she contacted park officials. Skaggs said that by 8 p.m., rescuers realized he was probably in trouble and a search was begun early Wednesday morning.Skaggs said Felder told officials he heard the helicopter and tried to retrieve a yellow shirt in his backpack to use as a signal but was unsuccessful.Rangers eventually spotted Felder at 4:52 p.m. Wednesday near some rocks at the base of a snowfield. He was airlifted out and taken to St. John’s Medical Center where he was waiting for air transport to Houston.”Basically our understanding is that he likely would not have survived another night in the backcountry,” Skaggs said.___Information from: Jackson Hole News & Guide, http://www.jhnewsandguide.com

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