On Monday, June 24, 27-year-old Burak Akil was found dead on the east face of Teewinot Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, according to a press release from the park.

As reported by the Jackson Hole News & Guide, Akil was a traveling nurse from New Jersey that frequently worked at the St. John’s Medical Center in Wyoming. And after not reporting to work on Monday morning, rangers were notified that he had been climbing solo on Sunday. Two rangers confirmed his death at 11:45 a.m. later that day. Although Akil was climbing alone, he was an experienced climber that was using all of the appropriate gear, including a helmet, ice axe, and crampons.

grand teton death

Teewinot Mountain from the lower end of Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA. Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia Common grounds/Acroterion

What actually happened is still unknown, however Teton park spokeswoman Denise Germann said in a statement, “We believe that he summited, and it happened on his descent.” The rangers recovered his body via long-line aerial operation.

Park rangers encourage backcountry climbers and hikers to “Know Before You Go” and be well prepared for any backcountry excursion. It’s important to bring all of the appropriate equipment, and always let someone know your planned route and estimated return time.

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