On April 28th, four friends set out on a sunny Colorado morning on backcountry skis into the mountains to enjoy the San Juan’s spring snowpack. With a full ski season behind them in this terrain, they analyzed the current conditions and set off to ski a mountain called King Soloman.
After a tour up to the windy peak, they carefully planned their routes and got set up to ski when events quickly took a turn for the worst. Connor Ryan, who skied first, was caught and carried in an initial slide. Ryan McClure followed carefully in an attempt to get to Connor Ryan to assist in finding his lost ski but was caught in a second, larger, avalanche. Ryan McClure was swept down the mountain about 1600 feet, traveling about 50 mph, hit a rock and broke his distal femur in three places, and completely tore his quadricep tendon. Laying at the bottom of the avalanche path, Ryan dug himself out of the avalanche debris and called his backcountry ski partners to radio that he was alive, but instructed them to immediately call for help.
Due to the heroic efforts of his backcountry ski partners and Silverton Medical Rescue, Ryan’s life and limb were saved. After more than four hours with an exposed femur in the field, Ryan was flown to Durango for an initial surgery and then sent to Denver’s St. Anthony’s for two more procedures. First to clean and set the injury and second, to fix his injuries internally.
In the spirit of community and resiliency in the face of what feels like an insurmountable challenge, we are asking for support for Ryan's long road to recovery. Your gift will help Ryan and his partner get back on their feet after this accident. We know Ryan is strong and determined to make a full recovery physically, but worry we will never be able to recover financially without support.
We need support with medical bills from three invasive surgeries, two Flight for Life transports, living in Denver while Ryan initially recovers, living expenses (like rent) while Ryan is unable to work in recovery, driving an hour from Silverton to the nearest doctor in Durango for ongoing care and more.
Ryan would not have made it out of there without the heroic efforts of Silverton Medical Rescue. The friends and community who pushed their physical limits to get Ryan out alive deserve an unmeasurable amount of praise. This fundraiser will give 10% of the total funds to Silverton Medical Rescue.
Ryan is a second-generation Coloradan, lifelong skier, and lover of the outdoors. He grew up on the front range in Layfette, Colorado, before falling in love with the Southwest where he attended college at Fort Lewis University in Durango, Colorado. He has since lived all over Southwest Colorado in between stints in Alta, Utah, for winters, eventually building a home with his partner, Lindsey, in the small community of Silverton. To call Ryan an avid skier is an understatement. He seeks out every opportunity to be in the mountains, where he finds joy, purpose, and belonging. He cares deeply for his community and friends around him, always there to offer a lending hand whether it’s when you take your skis to him for a tune at the Cripple Creek Backcountry shop in Silverton or if you need a handy set of hands for a project. He is the guy to show up with a case of beer and a good attitude to any social event. Reliable, smart, and funny, Ryan is the guy you want around for any adventure.
Hi, I am managing this page for Ryan and myself. We have lived together in Silverton for over a year. Finding our love and life together in the San Juans. We have a wild and very cute pup named Cas who likes to be right by our sides. I am a backcountry snowboarder and love of everything San Jaun’s. We typically spend our summers biking and running around mountains, always on the lookout for wild strawberries. I have worked for Protect Our Winters for about five years all for the love of protecting our outdoor places. I am on the long road to recovery with Ryan, from taking time off work to the hour-long drive to physical therapy appointments. The next challenge lies ahead.
- Kristen Hencke
- Dominique Edgerly
- Mason Stansfield
- Tamara McClure
- Kimberly Huebner