Climber rescued near Pyramid Peak speaks to Denver7: 'I thought I was going to die'

Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 00:21:37-05

ASPEN, Colo. -- Despite some frost bite on his fingers and an injured arm, Ryan Montoya is celebrating his survival. He was about to summit Pyramid Peak near the Maroon Bells when he suddenly slipped, falling what he believes to be between 1,500 to 2,000 feet to the ground below.

"My goggles were all fogged out. So I don't really remember much, except some big drops, and a lot of sliding and some impacts. I think I even started praying at one point. I just wasn't really sure what was going to happen," Montoya told Denver7. "I think at the point, more than any other time, I thought I was going to die."

The intensity of his descent was so strong that part of his helmet was ripped apart.

"I couldn't believe I was conscious through the whole thing. Every time I hit something, I'm like, 'I'm still going, it's not over?'"

Eventually he was able to stop, situating himself on the slope. His phone was broken but his backpack was full of food. For two days, he was stuck in the elements.

"So falling I was feeling like I was going to die. And then after I landed, I was like, 'that's still a pretty good chance.'"

Eventually, a biker found him and Montoya was then taken to Denver for treatment where he's currently healing from the fall.

"To no surprise, mountains don't care that you're there. You mess up, you take a big fall and pay the price."

Montoya regrets the fear this caused family and friends. He hopes to work with a mountain rescue squad in the future as a sign of his appreciation for their efforts.


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