Anchor failure led to climbing deaths |

Anchor failure led to climbing deaths

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. ” Two experienced climbers found dead on Grand Teton earlier this week had tumbled about 1,500 feet down a steep snowy slope after one of their anchors gave way, a park official said Thursday.

Why the anchor gave way is not known and might never be known, park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said.

The anchor could have popped loose, or a rock could have fallen from above and knocked the anchor loose, she said.

“It’s all speculation at this point,” Skaggs said.

Alan Rooney, 38, and Jonathan Morrow, 28, both of nearby Kelly, Wyo., were experienced climbers, she said.

“They had the appropriate equipment with them and were wearing helmets,” Skaggs said.

The two were believed to have fallen sometime Sunday, and their bodies were recovered Tuesday still roped together at the 10,650-foot elevation of the 13,766-foot mountain.

Skaggs said the two were preparing to climb a couloir on a part of the Grand Teton known for “some serious terrain” and rock fall.

Friends of the two climbers planned two memorial ceremonies on Saturday in their honor.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User