Twain Publishers Launches Book Of True Mountain Rescue Stories

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"Rescues and Tragedies in the San Juan Mountains" features universal cautionary tales of Colorado mountain dangers and mishaps, with accounts of volunteer rescuers’ ingenuity, teamwork and bravery. Colorado-based, award-winning author Kent Nelson's own rescue is included in the collection.

The stories involve stranded climbers, injured hikers, lost hunters, unlucky motorists, off-road vehicle accidents, exhausted trail runners, avalanche victims and a woman confronting deadly bears.

Whether an armchair adventurer or a serious hiker or outdoorsman, the reader will find much to like in newly released "Rescues and Tragedies in the San Juan Mountains:True Stories from the Region." Colorado-based, award-winning author Kent Nelson writes with an authentic regional voice and the experience of a survivor. His own rescue is included in the collection.

The 18 stories recount some of the harrowing experiences of the Ouray Mountain Rescue Team and other emergency personnel in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The stories involve:

  •     Stranded climbers
  •     Injured hikers
  •     Lost hunters
  •     Unlucky motorists
  •     Off-road vehicle accidents
  •     Exhausted trail runners
  •     Avalanche victims
  •     A woman confronting deadly bears.

More than 50 color photos of the events and the mountain settings illustrate the book, some of which can be seen on the book website and in a YouTube video Also available on the website is a free download of one of the tales: “Ordeal on Mount Sneffels”. The 182-page book is available at the website and in San Juan Mountain area bookstores for $25.

This is the first non-fiction book for novelist and short story writer Kent Nelson. His work has won the Edward Abbey Prize for Ecofiction, the Colorado Book Award, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award and the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. As a bonus, two of Nelson’s previously published short stories set in Ouray are also included in the book.

Twain Publishers released another book about the region,"Mines, Miners and Much More," in 2015. President Paul LeRoux has been an avid hiker in the U.S. and Europe for more than 40 years, and his experiences in the San Juan Mountains inspired both books. He contributed to photo research for the rescue book.

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