June 27, 2010

Park Rangers are bad ass

While most of us live in our air-conditioned domiciles, occasionally venturing outdoors for a run or to get a ten, there are still modern-day John Waynes rolling around our nation's parks.

Yes, park rangers. Learn to respect them.

Why? Cause they have stories like this...

"There is the ranger now!" someone called, and two men ran off the ice and into Liebig's camp. A woman had fallen into a crevasse, they reported, and was wedged tight, 35 feet below the surface.

Liebig grabbed his axe, chopped down a small fir, cut his horses loose, strung the lash ropes together, and then hacked a hole in the glacial ice.

"I selected a place on the lower side of the crevasse and set the green post into the hole and packed ice all around to make it fairly solid," Liebig later wrote.

Then, with the men anchoring his post, he tied off and lowered himself into the crack. At the bottom was the poor woman, "dead as a doornail."

Liebig sent the rope back up, with orders to lower his axe back down, and when it arrived chiseled footholds into the icy walls so he could work with both hands.

"I started to pull the woman loose and nearly pulled her arm out, she was wedged in so tight."

He finally wrangled the rope around her waist and the men up top hauled her out. When they lowered the rope again Liebig was too frozen and exhausted to climb, so he tied it around his chest and they pulled him up, too.

That's just part of the story. Check out the entire write-up on how being a park ranger has changed but has stayed largely the same. With the modern-day person becoming more and more indoorsy, it's nice to know there's still some people out there that know what the heck they're doing.

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