Joe Ryan Counts His Blessings

05/29/14 | By | More


Sitting here today almost two weeks after my rescue on Wilson Peak causes me to be quite thankful. Untold thanks goes out to a number of people for plucking me off the side of Wilson Peak. Having taken a 2,000 (+) footer from the summit of the peak is an experience never to be forgotten. I wasn’t in very good condition to extricate myself from my predicament, to say the least! My gratitude to my two partners Brad Johnson and Eric Ming is priceless for putting this rescue into motion and administering 1st Aid at the site.

I also have a debt of gratitude to the San Miguel Search and Rescue and Sheriff’s Department. Thanks go out to Todd Rector, Emil Sante, Ryan Mason, Eric Berg, the two unknown climbers from Park City, pilots, nurses, and others not mentioned here. An irony of the situation is that my ski/climbing partner, Eric Ming, was a student of Ryan Mason’s in his most recent WFR course. Thanks to the ground crews for coming in despite potential wet slides on the flanks of Wilson Peak. Thanks to the pilots and their crew for risking their necks on the face of a mountain with wind currents, and down drafts all over the peak.  All of the inherent danger of these operations was demonstrated in short order just a week later when the same chopper, pilot, and Todd Rector went down near Lizard Head in another rescue.

In light of all this, one thing to remember, when all of us skier/climbers are somewhat taking for granted the wild terrain that we run around in, is that it is a completely different world when things go ‘south’ and rescue personnel are called in to effect medical attention. Thanks again to you all!

- Joe Ryan

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Category: Letters to the Editor

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