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Climbing Fatality at Gardiner Headwall on the Beartooth Highway

The Park County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division received a call Friday, July 14 shortly after 2 p.m. about a stranded and injured climber in the area of the Gardner Headwall on the Beartooth Highway.

Multiple agencies in both Montana and Wyoming were dispatched to the scene in order to reach the stranded and injured climber quickly, who was approximately 400 feet from the headwall.

The crews worked diligently and professionally to reach the man, but unfortunately the climber succumbed to his injuries prior to their arrival.

The climber, who was wearing a protective helmet, was reported to have been struck by falling rocks on his head, which ultimately caused life-ending injuries prior to responders’ arriving on the scene.

The climber was identified as Andrew Evans, 32, from Red Lodge, Montana. He was also a member of Montana’s Carbon County Search and Rescue.

Park County Search Rescue (PCSAR) and Carbon County SAR then pivoted from a life saving mission to one of recovery. The PCSAR Incident Command (IC) did attempt to find an available helicopter to transport the victim, but soonest availability for a recovery flight was the next morning.

The decision was made to send in a ground team to transport the victim out via a rope/haul system. The victim was carried to the parking lot area to meet the Park County Coroner’s Office.

Park County Coroner, Cody Gortmaker advised the cause of death was from blunt force head trauma.

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