Mountain Guide Falls To Death While Guiding the 13,770′ Grand Teton, WY

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Climbing the 13,770' Grand Teton. photo: exum mountain guides
Climbing the Exum ridge on  the 13,770′ Grand Teton. photo: andy bardon/exum mountain guides

An Exum mountain guide fell to his death while guiding a group of clients down from a successful summit of the 13,770′ Grand Teton in Wyoming yesterday.

Guide Gary Falk, 42, died after falling 2,400 feet from the top of the Owen-Spalding rappell into Valhalla Canyon at 10:30am on Saturday.

Gary fell on the Owens-Spalding rappel, shown here in BLUE. image:
Gary fell on the Owens-Spalding rappel, shown here in BLUE. image:  wyomingwhiskey.org

Two park rangers were flown onto the peak to investigate and locate Gary’s body.  They found Gary’s remains and had them extracted via helicopter long-line.  Another guide helped the rangers down the mountain.

Gary was from Ouray, Colorado and was a highly-respected mountain guide with 12-years of guiding experience with Exum.

Gary leaves behind a wife and two small boys.

Gary Falk.  photo:  exum mountain guides
Gary Falk. photo: exum mountain guides

“Gary was a diligent guide, always the consummate professional.  Exum is grieving from this news and struggling to comprehend the situation. … Our love goes out to Kate and their sons.” – Exum chief Nat Partridge

Exum Mountain Guides are the most badass guides in the USA – guiding technical routes, such as the Grand Teton, every day.

Our deepest condolences to Gary’s family, friends, Exum Mountain Guides, and the entire guide community.

The Grand Teton, WY. image: national geographic
The Grand Teton, WY. image: national geographic

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4 thoughts on “Mountain Guide Falls To Death While Guiding the 13,770′ Grand Teton, WY

  1. My heart goes out to Gary’s family and all the outstanding guides at Exum. The Exum guides are among the best and Mike Abby took great care of me during our summit ascent and descent 2 years ago. I remember this rappel well and can appreciate how a minor distraction or a loose rock can cause a fatal error getting on and off this rap. Gary died far too young, but I know he died doing what he loved in a place that he loved that will now forever hold his body and soul. My prayers are with his family and the Exum guide family.
    Duke Maloney

  2. He is from Chicago, not Ouray. He also worked for San Juan mountain guides, and that’s three of their guides in two years, jinx and bad training by the AMGA?

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