A tragic incident unfolded in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park when a California woman lost her life after falling from a mountain. The woman, identified as Joy Cho from Simi Valley, California, fell from the west side of Teewinot Mountain, a part of the Teton Range, in the early hours of Friday, according to the National Park Service.
Cho was discovered by park rangers who reported that she had sustained severe injuries from the fall and was declared dead at the scene. Her body was subsequently transferred to the coroner’s office. The seven individuals accompanying Cho on the hike were airlifted to the Jenny Lake Search and Rescue Cache at Lupine Meadows and then transported back to their vehicles at the trailhead.
Teewinot Mountain, standing at a height of 12,325 feet, is a popular destination for mountaineers. However, it is not a typical hiking trail. According to trail information on the mapping app Gaia, the mountain is a third-class scramble with steep and exposed sections that may require some parties to be roped in certain conditions.
Details about the distance of Cho’s fall and the equipment used by her party remain unclear. However, it was reported that she suffered significant injuries from the fall. Tributes to Cho online reveal that she was deeply religious and had a passion for nature.
Tim Hopkins, a friend of Cho, shared on Facebook that Cho’s fall occurred after a ledge she was holding onto gave way. He described her as the most joyful person he knew, always smiling and blessing others. Hopkins also mentioned that Cho was a person of deep religious conviction who dedicated her life to celebrating and spreading her faith.
The National Park Service did not disclose the cause of Cho’s fall. This incident follows another tragic event last month when an Idaho man, Braydan DuRee, fell more than 40 feet from a mountain in the same park and was pronounced dead at the scene. Both bodies were short-hauled by first responders, a technique where a rescuer or gear is suspended below a helicopter on a rope that’s up to 250 feet long, often used in the Teton Range due to the challenging terrain.