I received this photo from Jeff Witt, a climbing guide who works with Exum Mountain Guides. It is of an ice axe that was with one of the parties injured and pinned down by lightning near the summit of the Grand Teton last Wednesday. We’ve all heard of blue sparks or humming coming from our ice axes when a thunderstorm is near, but I bet very few people have had one actually struck by lighting. They say golfers are the ones who get killed by lightning strikes the most, but I wonder if someday mountaineers will lead the pack? I sure hope not, and imaging if this ice axe was on your back or in your hand when the lightning bolt struck. I think I’d be calling the Jenny Lake Rangers too…that is, if my fingers still worked.
Be safe in them there hills!!!