(Pinedale, WY) – The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) released additional information Thursday afternoon about the search and recovery of 41-year-old Cheyenne resident Thor Hallingbye’s body in the Wind River Range earlier this week.
On Monday, August 16th, the SCSO and Tip Top Search and Rescue (TTSAR) continued the search for Hallingbye who was last seen near Gannett Peak in the Wind River Mountain range. He was reported missing the evening of August 14th when he failed to return to his base camp near Three Forks Park in the Green River Lakes area of Sublette County.
Initial search efforts were unsuccessful on Sunday, August 15th. The search resumed Monday morning with ground teams being inserted along Hallingbye’s intended route of travel while the TTSAR short haul team canvased the area from above in the contract helicopter. Just after noon on Monday, the helicopter crew located a body believed to be that of Mr. Hallingbye on Gannett Glacier inside of Fremont County at an elevation of 12,942 feet. Unfortunately, Mr. Hallingbye was found to be deceased from an apparent fall.
After coordinating efforts with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and the Fremont County Coroner, the TTSAR short haul team planned the rescue of Mr. Hallingbye.
In a statement from TTSAR Short Haul manager, Milford Lockwood, “This was a very challenging mission, and a very challenging recovery. Our team did a superior job and I am proud of their accomplishments on this mission.”
Sublette County Sheriff, KC Lehr, echoed those sentiments: “Even though it isn’t the outcome we had hoped for, the collaborative efforts of our Tip Top Search and Rescue volunteers, the Bridger Teton National Forest, the Shoshone National Forest, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Fremont County Coroners Office, and the outpouring of help from backcountry hikers, we were able to bring closure to the family by brining Mr. Hallingbye home. I can never thank our Search and Rescue volunteers enough for their invaluable service. This was a very technical rescue. If it weren’t for the expertise of our pilot and the short haul crew, this recovery may not have been possible. My deepest condolences to the Hallingbye and Colson families.”
Mr. Hallingbye was airlifted off the mountain to the Lander Airport and the death is currently being investigated by the Fremont County Coroner’s Office.
“This appears to be a tragic climbing accident, and our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Hallingbye”, said Public Information Officer Sergeant Travis Bingham. Additional details will be released from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and Fremont County Coroner when the investigation is completed in the coming weeks.