High winds and frigid temps couldn't take him down, nor could frostbite. And, per the story now trickling out of Colorado, even a 1,500-foot plummet off of Pyramid Peak couldn't keep Ryan Montoya from proving he's the ultimate survivor. The Aspen Times and Denver7 report the 23-year-old mountain climber who'd been missing since Sunday was found Tuesday afternoon by a jogger on a nearby road. That person managed to find and flag down rescue crews who'd been searching for Montoya; they first rushed him back to a local ranch, then to an area hospital. "He's alive!!!!!" his jubilant mother, LaShawn Bockus Montoya, posted on Facebook after getting word. "Your prayers and God's angels protected him!!!" Montoya had been climbing solo on the east face of the mountain Sunday, and per his mom, he was about 40 feet from the summit when a chunk of ice and snow broke and sent him tumbling.
How far was his fall? "Long enough ... to do a lot of talking, thinking and yelling all the way down," LaShawn noted. Once he landed in a snowfield, Montoya used his good arm to dig out a snow cave to spend the night in. His emergency bivouac sack had fuel, so he could melt snow to drink, and on Monday afternoon, he ventured out for help. He had to make another cave for Monday night, and on Tuesday he set out one more time and spotted the runner. LaShawn notes medical staff told her: "NO ONE falls down that face and survives, let alone walks out on his own power!" In addition to frostbite, the Davis Enterprise reports Montoya has a hurt hip and broken elbow. Nearly $13,500 has been raised so far for travel expenses for his parents and medical bills via a YouCaring account. "He is literally a walking miracle," his mom posted. (A "Christmas miracle" in a snowy Arizona forest.)