Idaho Man Killed After Falling 40-50 Feet From Grand Teton National Park Peak

An Idaho man died on a popular rock-climbing route in Grand Teton National Park after falling 40-50 feet from the Owen Chimney pitch, the National Park Service announced on Saturday.

Andrew Rossi

July 23, 20232 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

An Idaho man died on a popular rock-climbing route in Grand Teton National Park, the National Park Service announced on Saturday.

Braydan Duree of Kuna, Idaho, was hiking the Owen-Spalding route on Thursday when he fell between 40 and 50 feet from the Owen Chimney pitch. Duree suffered significant injuries during the fall. When Grand Teton Rangers arrived, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue told the Jackson Hole News & Guide that DuRee died of head trauma.

Because of the difficulty of the terrain, Duree's body was short-hauled from the scene. Short haul - a technique where an individual or gear is suspended below a helicopter on a 150 to 250-foot rope — is a common technique used in search-and-rescue operations in the Teton Range.

Two individuals climbing with Duree were picked up at the scene and flown to the Jenny Lake Search and Rescue Cache at Lupine Meadows.

The Owen-Spalding route is one of the better-known hiking routes in Grand Teton National Park. First completed in 1898, the one to two-day route takes climbers along the summit of the Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range.

According to the Yosemite Decimal System - a common rating system for mountain climbers in the U.S. - the Owen-Spalding route is rated as Fifth Class, which means climbing involves "technical moves" and protective equipment, even for experienced climbers. Serious injury or death is possible, especially from an unprotected fall.

The Owen Chimney pitch is the only pitch on the Owen-Spalding route. In climbing terms, a pitch is a steep section of a climbing route that requires a rope between two belays - additional "anchored" climbers using ropes and tension to assist one active climber - as part of a climbing system.

In Saturday's statement, Grand Teton National Park "extend(ed) their condolences to Braydan Duree’s family and friends."

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Andrew Rossi

Features Reporter

Andrew Rossi is a features reporter for Cowboy State Daily based in northwest Wyoming. He covers everything from horrible weather and giant pumpkins to dinosaurs, astronomy, and the eccentricities of Yellowstone National Park.