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Snowboarder dies after fall in Grand Teton National Park

Helicopter can't rescue injured man due to weather

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. - A snowboarder with ties to Jackson, Wyoming, died after a fall on Teewinot Mountain in Grand Teton National Park.

According to a news release from Grand Teton National Park, Joseph Lohr, 24, fell 1,500 feet and likely died from traumatic injuries.

Lohr was with two friends when the accident occurred. They reached the peak at 10 a.m., and were descending the 12,325-foot mountain.

They were on snowboards and skis. Lohr was wearing a helmet.

Lohr's friends made an emergency call on a cell phone as soon as they reached him. Lohr was unconscious but breathing on a steep slope of Teewinot's eastern flank. They tried to keep him warm and breathing.

Park rangers responded with a helicopter from Ogden, Utah, and a team that skied 3,000 feet up the mountain to prepare him for transport. However, high winds and low visibility prevented the helicopter from rescuing Lohr.

Lohr died at 4 p.m., not long after park rangers arrived.

Lohr's father said his son's companions were all experienced backcountry snowboarders and skiers. They knew how to handle themselves well in such mountainous terrain, he said.

Although he most recently lived in Salt Lake City, Lohr was in the process of moving to Jackson.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to Joseph Lohr's family and friends," said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela in the news release Tuesday. "The park's rescue personnel made every effort to tend to Joseph's injuries and get him off the mountain and transported to the appropriate medical facility. Sadly, this marks the first fatality in the park's backcountry for the 2014 season."

The park is reminding the public to be careful on the mountain due to its steep snowfields and "to be prepared for the unexpected and carry appropriate emergency gear."

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