AFTER THE AVALANCHE
“I just had to keep my eyes open and ignore the pain.” — Colby Coombs
In June 1992, 25-year-old Colby Coombs and two of his buddies were climbing Alaska’s 17,240-foot Mt. Foraker when they were caught in an avalanche. It swept Coombs and his friends 800 feet down the side of the mountain in a crushing river of snow. Coombs suffered a concussion, two fractured vertebrae in his neck, a broken shoulder blade, and a fractured ankle; his friends were killed. In order to make it out alive, Coombs endured a painful six-day descent followed by a miserable five-mile walk across a glacier in order to reach a camp. Today, he continues to climb regularly.