Last updated: 11:02 PM ET, Sun August 23 2015

2 Climbers Fall to Their Deaths at Grand Teton National Park

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | August 23, 2015

2 Climbers Fall to Their Deaths at Grand Teton National Park

PHOTO: Teewinot Mountain. (via Twitter/GrandTetonNPS)

A trio of climbers were attempting to summit Teewinot Mountain at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Saturday when two fell two their deaths, the National Park Service (NPS) announced in a news release.

The NPS said in the release that the East Face of the mountain is the easiest route, but even then, mountaineering experience and skill are “essential.” The deceased female climbers — identified as Tyler Strandberg, 27 and Catherine Nix, 28, both East Coast transplants living in Jackson, Wyoming — were “well off the East Face route and in much more difficult technical terrain when the fall occurred,” the release said, adding that they were not using ropes and could have been trying to find the correct ascent route at the time of the deadly, 200-foot fall.

Third climber Rebecca Anderson, 26, also of Jackson, called 911 from her cell phone, which passed the call to the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center. According to the release, Anderson informed the operator that Strandberg and Nix had fallen and were out of sight. She had repeatedly yelled down to them, but there was no reply.

Anderson herself was stranded on a small ledge and could not change position to check on her climbing partners.

After a swift planning phase, rescuers headed to the scene.

Rangers lowered themselves via rope from a helicopter to the ledge on which the climbers had fallen — about 11,500 feet in elevation — above the "Worshipper" and "Idol" rock towers, the release said. Both were unresponsive, and after consulting with Dr. Will Smith, the park’s medical director, rangers pronounced them dead.

To rescue Anderson, two rangers ascended what the release called “steep and technical terrain” for around an hour to reach the uninjured climber.

Anderson was evacuated by helicopter and, separately, Strandberg and Nix’s bodies were flown to the Teton County coroner.

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