Colorado Guide Who Saved Climber’s Life on Denali Honored With Bravery Award

by Megan Molseed

It was a harrowing outdoors rescue when members of the Colorado-based climbing tour guide service  Mountain Trip set out to rescue a climber who was lost in Denali Alaska. Now, the Colorado guides are being honored for their bravery. Receiving awards for the life-saving rescue. The guides were honored for their bravery earlier this month.

Brave Mountain Climbing Guides Work Tirelessly To Save Fallen Climber On Denali

The brave rescue mission occurred in 2017 when the guides were sleeping in their tents on Denali’s Kahiltna glacier. This area sits about 78,000 feet up. It was after midnight when they heard the distressing calls for help. The person, who didn’t speak much English, reported to the crew that his climbing partner had fallen from a peak. However, the situation became even more dangerous as the guides learned the fallen man fell without a rope.

According to the recounting of events, the guides gathered their gear within minutes, roped themselves up for safety, and set out, down the glacier looking for the fallen hiker. It wasn’t long before the guides pinpointed a hole in a snow bridge. And they heard some nearly inaudible calls for help coming from that direction. However, the rescuers were unable to see the fallen climber initially through the hole.

So the crew set up an anchor, with one of the guides repelling into the area while the others designed a rescue system above. After all of the effort, the guides were able to uncover Martin Takac of Slovakia. Takac was badly injured and was tightly wedged within the walls of the hole about 40 feet down. The team secured Takac in place to prevent the climber from falling even further. However, pulling the fallen climber free was a much bigger task.

Rescuers Take Turns Working To Free Injured Climber

The fallen climber was wedged into a tight crevasse, making efforts to free Takac a little more difficult. Eventually, a larger ranger rescue crew flew in to help, Armed with power tools to free the man from the walls of ice. It took around 14 hours to free Martin Takac from the crevasse. He was then taken to the hospital where he was treated for critical injuries and hypothermia.

Mountain Trip Has Led More Denali Guide Services Than Any Other Company

The Telluride Colorado-based company Mountain Trip is the only guide service in the area that is certified to take climbers on some of the biggest journeys. Such as the journey from the San Juan Mountains to the Seven Summits. The world-class climbing guide service leads in the number of expeditions to Denali more than any other service of its kind.