With so many mountain tragedies out there, I wanted to share this story about a recent rescue on an Aconcagua Cops on Top climb.
Jen and I did a Cops on Top climb a couple years back, and we learned about it from Officer Ryan Hunt, who we met and climbed with on Mt. Rainier years back. I'm super proud of him for his physically demanding rescue and sound decision making -- at high elevations no less (from what I understand, he activated his SPOT at 19,000 feet and then proceeded to descend). No one could ever ask more of a climbing partner.
Here's the statement from Cops on Top:
The Cops on Top Board of Directors would like everyone to know of the heroic efforts of Detective Ryan Hunt of the Mesa Arizona Police Department who is a member of the 2012 Officer Jonathan Schmidt Aconcagua Memorial Expedition. The actions of Officer Hunt directly resulted in the events that preserved team member, Officer Bob Gabrych's life.
Officer Hunt recognized the rapid onset of High Altitude Cerebral Edema, a very severe, life threatening, rapid developing condition that was quickly taking the life of his team mate, Bob. Ryan activated emergency alert equipment, then organized the descent to treatment and safety for Bob. Aided by an Australian climber from Camp II, Ryan carried/assisted Bob for almost 1000 vertical feet until more help arrived. Ryan's emergency signal caused resources to mobilize from the International Rescue Center, the US Embassy, Argentine officials, and the rescue rangers of the Provincial Park. Were it not for Ryan's actions, this story may have ended quite differently and quite tragically.
To Ryan, we offer our salute for representing the best the profession of Law Enforcement has to offer. It is because of Officers such as Jonathan Schmidt and Ryan Hunt, that Cops on Top does what we do. Although Ryan could have easily stood on the summit of Aconcagua, he selflessly surrendered that goal for a greater one. We salute Ryan Hunt for a job well done.
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