Grand Teton Climber
Killed by Lightning Strike
July 29, 2003
An Idaho woman was struck and killed by lightning as she and five
others in her group were ascending the 13,770 foot Grand Teton,
a park spokewoman said. The surviving climbers were taken to area
hospitals to evaluate the extent of their injuries.
The injuries of the surviving climbers which included her husband,
could have been caused by electrocution or from falls caused by
the lightning's shock wave.
The climbers were in Grand Teton's Exum Ridge when a fast moving
thunderstorm developed in mid afternoon.
Erica Summers, 25, was struck directly and killed. She was one of
13 climbers including her husband, who had divided themselves into
four groups for the climb. Each group had at least one experienced
"They all felt rain sprinkles and they didn't sense a big storm,"
said park spokeswoman Joan Anzelmo. "In fact, they only saw
two major lightning strikes and one was the one they were struck
Rangers were flown onto the mountain
to evacuate four of the five injured. Rangers had to rappel down
to the fifth climber before he could be airlifted to safety.
The fatality marks the third time this
year that a visitor to the park has been killed. All the deaths
have been climbing related and all three victims have been females.