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9/17/13 – Around 2:00 a.m. on Monday, September 16, a climber from Ecuador was shot outside his tent in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, the popular sport climbing destination. Details are scarce at the moment, but Tom Lindner (father of Chris Lindner) was camping nearby with his wife, Elke, and he spoke with the Washakie County Sheriff.
Lindner says, “Based on what the sheriff told me, around 2:00 a.m. on the morning of September 16, two climbers from Ecuador, Ana and Jose Luis, were sleeping in their tent along the road just west of Leigh Creek Campground. They supposedly heard a noise ‘like a branch breaking’ and went outside to investigate. He was shot in the stomach region by a ‘small caliber’ weapon. Ana drove him to Worland, Wyoming. The sheriff was notified around 3:00 a.m. and woke us up around 4:00 a.m. By the time we went to check on him in Worland later in the morning, he had already been life-flighted to Billings, Montana.”
Washakie County Sheriff Steve Rakness said the victim and his girlfriend are fine, and he is expected to make a full recovery, according to the attending doctor. The victim was life-flighted to Billings because of its state-of-the-art trauma unit. Not many details are being released since the case is still under investigation, but Rakness had this to say: “At this time I do not feel there is any immediate threat to the climbing community in the canyon or the Ten Sleep area, as we have not received or obtained any information or evidence to suggest otherwise. However, because details are sketchy and we are still investigating this issue, I would like everyone to please call with any info they might have about this case, or if anyone observes or hears about suspicious persons or incidents in the area. Any information will be helpful.”
Rakness called the case “puzzling,” and said investigators have no idea as to why it happened. From initial interviews with climbers in the area, nothing was unusual with the victim during earlier climbs, while eating dinner with another climber, or with the victim’s personal relationship.
Contact the Washakie County Sheriff’s office at 307-347-2242 if you have any info.