NewsLocal NewsFlathead County


Intense training pays off in Hyalite Canyon rescue of Kalispell climber

Posted at 7:32 AM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 09:32:50-04

BOZEMAN – Gallatin County Search and Rescue rescued a climber from Kalispell who fell about 20 feet at Practice Rock in Hyalite Canyon over the weekend.

It was a successful rescue and the climber is expected to recover, but how exactly does Search and Rescue train for situations like this one?

Gallatin County Search and Rescue has sub-teams within it, and the alpine team that rescued this climber was actually training at Practice Rock just last month.

It took just over an hour from the time SAR received the call to the climber being transported.

To execute a quick rescue like this one, these volunteers have to be well trained.

“We have guys that train all year round, they train specifically on that rock because it gets so much activity and it’s easy for us to get to it to practice on,” Gallatin County Sheriff’s Captain and SAR Commander, Jason Jarrett said.

Thankfully, a lot of technical climbers live in Bozeman and volunteer their time to Search and Rescue.

Captain Jarrett says these world-class volunteers are experts at what they do because they live here.

Training obviously differs between seasons, but volunteers are constantly making sure they’re ready for any rescue situation.

“It’s a continuous cycle of training, those people are training all the time, it never stops here. It’s an outdoor recreation-oriented community, the community values that a lot,” Jarrett said.

And needing the help of these volunteers can happen to anyone.

“Our activity is not people that are typically unprepared. Mostly, good people, doing good stuff that just have a run in with gravity or nature,” Jarrett said.

He added that Search and Rescue mostly train in high probability areas which are also the most visited outdoor recreating spots in Gallatin County.

He wants to remind everyone that nature is unpredictable here in Montana and you have to be prepared by knowing where you’re going, letting someone know where you’re going and being ready for any weather conditions.

Emma Hamilton reporting for MTN News