Mountain Responder

    As a member of a busy mountain rescue team, Steve Achelis participated in hundreds of rescues that frequently made the evening news.
    In Mountain Responder, Steve takes the reader along on these life-and-death rescues as he and his teammates dig people out of avalanches, hang on a thin cable below a helicopter, and rescue climbers stuck on rock walls.
    Threaded throughout these unforgettable rescues, Steve shares the exhilaration of saving a life, the fears and uncertainties during the struggle to keep a patient alive, as well as the doubts and second-guessing when someone doesn’t make it.
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Avalanches Climbers
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Hikers Skiers
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Book Cover
Mountain Responder contains special "story codes" that link to hundreds of color photographs taken during the actual rescues.

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What Others Are Saying
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"This isn't a study of world-class mountaineers scaling Everest. It's about ordinary people stuck in bad situations because of their own foolishness, or bad luck, or the sheer evil of others. The stories are short, and as with eating potato chips I found it hard to stop."
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"Achelis has written a gripping first-person narrative of backcountry rescues he made during his years..."
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"...a clearly written and engaging account from an impressively humble yet impressively accomplished search and rescue leader explaining the real details of technical backcountry rescue..."
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" in-depth look at the complex operations of search and rescue and insight into the people who don't mind being called out at 3 a.m. to pull someone out of a raging creek or put themselves in harm's way..."
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More Reader's Comments
"A damn fine book! ... this book was a complete blast to read. Steve does a great job at creating wonder and awe as he goes through the many different mountain and city rescues he was involved in ... I highly recommend this book to anyone who is at all interested in just what goes on during a rescue in the high country."
"You did a great job of capturing 'the moments' that you and I and other rescuers completely understand, but can never quite convey. As I read, I found that I could stand by your side as you dealt with both the practical and physiological aspects of each call. Your writing did a great job of putting me in the thick of it, yet your explanations were such that a layperson can gain an insight into what we do and why."
M.S., Augusta KS
"I couldn't put it down. [Mountain Responder] brings to the public's attention the tremendous amount of expertise that goes into a rescue. I can hardly believe [Mr. Achelis] is still alive after so many intense challenges!"
C.L., Talent, OR
"...the book quickly accelerates into a variety of stories [that] ... aren’t bogged down with excessive technical explanations, and read simply as exhilarating rescue tales. ... Achelis reflects poignantly on the difficulties in many of his decisions and the second-guessing that haunts him. 'Crap! Should I have delayed transportation a few minutes to get the IV started or to put him on oxygen?'"
"It was great! I sat down to read it and couldn't put it down until I finished..."
T.B., Salt Lake City, UT
"I just finished Mountain Responder and I must say I've never been so engaged and impressed and entertained and informed all at once. [Mr. Achelis] strikes a well crafted balance between so many elements including personal and public, technical and nontechnical, humorous and serious, ... to name a few! [Mountain Responder] will serve many purposes, from entertaining those familiar with mountain rescue, to educating those less familiar, to inspiring some to seek out and join a local SAR organization, ..."
R.L, Corvallis, OR
"Steve's writing is real, honest and gripping... He knows the topic intimately and gives voice to the feelings and emotions all responders share... A must read for anyone involved in emergency care and rescue operations. "
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"I recommend this book for anyone who spends time in the outdoors, or who would like a good read."
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"What a good idea for a book! You are a captivating writer with topics that are interesting to folks like us."
L.B., Salt Lake City, UT
"I enjoyed it until the very last page!"
F.K., Germany
"Great read. Only problem is I couldn't put it down. I read the first nine chapters right after I received it and finished it the next day... Anyway, GREAT READ!"
T.W., Lore City, OH
"... it is hard to put down. Steve has a wonderful writing style. His personal reflections on the nature of SAR team members is spot on. There have been a lot of times when I read a passage and thought, "Wow, that was well said!"
J.S., Ogden, UT
"It was hard to put down."
N.M., Los Altos, CA
"Fantastic book!"
K.S., Salt Lake City, UT