Survival story: Colby Coombes. Survive in the mountains of Alaska

Any person involved in extreme sports, you must understand what it is fraught with. There are two types of opportunities for those who want to get a little bit of experience. And the one is a fraught with extremely unpleasant consequences. This is especially characteristic of climbing and mountaineering. AND Colby combs it is a healthy skin.


Colby coombs always lured mountains. This is an opportunity to overcome the cost of your feet. He received the invitation to become an instructor at the National Outdoor Leadership School. And at first everything went quite well. Up to the fateful ascent of Foraker peak in Alaska in 1992.

It’s necessary to build a new tourist route. It is a mountain of five thousand meters. So that Colby combs With comrades Ritt Kellogg and Tom Walter quietly began the ascent. It was taller and harder than the Foraker Peak. As it turned out – in vain.

This is where the camp has been. Snow, poor visibility, other delights of the harsh Alaskan climate. But this didn’t stop the comrades. The camp was continued. It was already easier to go, since it was heavily left below. But the weather was not going to improve. There is a significant increase in the number of snowfalls. What happened.

Problems and Solutions

Colby combs recovered from the pain. I mean, I’m trying to make it out. A quick inspection revealed a few things. The neckline gives a terrible pain. Secondly, it hangs over a thick branch. Without a backpack. Third – it is balanced by Tom Walter, who shows no signs of life. So-so disposition.

What should be done in such situations? Call for help. But you still had to get. And this is a descent along the icy slope. It is not healthy, but with broken legs? But I want to live … So Colby combs started acting.

It wasn’t been difficult to go down. I took off my backpack, a comrade, a bag of clothes, a set of clothes, a bag of clothes, a bag of clothes, a kit. Colby I had a quick snack, melted some water, I slept for a few hours. To say nothing. Something like the pain turned out to be ignored. And if you’ve walked carefully, leaning with a stick, then you’ll appear.

Colby Coombs had a sleeping bag, food, fire, relatively warm clothes. Make it out. When he became completely unbearable. Fortunately, the cold helped in some way. But the task was difficult.

Distance climbers 300 meters down Then there was a gentle horizontal descent, interrupted by difficult sections. If it was carefully calibrated. After a while of such a hellish descent, Colby combs discovered the corpse of his second comrade. But the sad find only strengthened his determination. The descent to the base camp took 5 days. Communication, fortunately, worked.


Three months in a wheelchair, then three months in crutches. Complicated fracture of both ankles, a broken scapula, a fractured cervical vertebrae, a shock condition, a slight frostbite … And a long rehabilitation afterwards. But luck accompanies decisive. Colby Coombes was able to return to mountain climbing. Yes. Exactly. As he said himself – “in memory of the fallen comrades.” This is a study of the instructors in mountaineering, In this case, it would be possible to have survived.

Well, what can I add. Yes, it really is a feat. Iron will, excellent self-control and everything. And no, no matter how cool you are now. But it is not necessary to … MIRACLE survived. And teaches others that it is OK. What is important is power and determination. I understand, mildly, poorly combined, but damn it. There are no corpses (which is, by the way, were not found).

In short, as usual. He had a perfect self-control. What does this teach us? A little more help and a little more help. So, dear survivors, beware. Do not overestimate your own strength – not everyone is lucky as Colby coombs.

Survival story: Colby Coombes. Survive in the mountains of Alaska

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