This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of our print edition.
Last year we shared the stories of five ordinary climbers thrust into desperate situations in which they ended up saving a life. When it comes to climbing, it turns out, the well of heroism is deep. In fact, climbers may be particularly well-disposed to handle intense crises.
“In the classes I teach, I generally compare the calm and focus needed during an emergency to the focus that climbers have when making a difficult move,” says Bryan Simon, a registered nurse and co-owner of Vertical Medicine Resources. “The concentration and focus on the immediate needs of the patient are directly comparable to what we all do every day while on a route—just a different task.”
Here are five more true stories of extraordinary saves—feats of strength and determination—and their inherent lessons.
Part 2: True Teamwork
In backcountry climbing, the approach can be just as hazardous as the climb. Three men had met because of a common interest in new routes in the obscure back corners of Pinnacles National Park, southeast of San Francisco. Before the day ended, each would help save another in extraordinary ways. Read the full story.