Two women plunged 200 feet (60 meters) to their deaths over the weekend while mountain climbing in Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming, park officials said on Monday.
Tyler Strandberg, 27, and Catherine Nix, 28, both of Jackson, Wyoming, were part of a group of three female climbers attempting to ascend the east face of Teewinot Mountain, a climb of exposed rock, when the accident happened on Sunday morning, park officials said in a statement.
The third member of the climbing party, 26-year-old Rebecca Anderson, also of Jackson, used her cell phone to call for help just after 11 a.m. on Sunday after noticing her friends were missing.
Anderson said she could no longer see her companions and that they were not responding to her repeated shouts down to them, park officials said.
Rangers found Strandberg and Nix on a rock ledge at 11,500 feet (3,500 meters) up the mountain. Both women were unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene after a fall of 200 feet, according to Grand Teton officials.
Rangers later found Anderson uninjured but stranded at a ledge. A helicopter with ropes was used to haul her off the mountain.
The route up the east side of the mountain is not considered technical in nature and often is climbed without the use of ropes, Grand Teton officials said.
Sunday’s climbing party had veered from the route up the hill they had initially sought and, as a result, were challenged by more difficult and technical terrain when the fall occurred, according to the park.
Rangers at the park in northwestern Wyoming, celebrated for scenic views of the towering Teton Range, pristine mountain lakes and wildlife like grizzly bears, also rescued on Sunday a hiker who injured his leg after accidentally pulling a “suitcase-sized” rock down on himself, officials said.