Mountain Rescue Doctor: Wilderness Medicine in the Extremes of Nature

( 7 )

Overview

Christopher Van Tilburg, MD is an emergency room physician, ski patrol doctor, emergency wilderness physician, and member of the Hood River Crag Rats, the oldest mountain rescue team in the country. When Dr. Van Tilburg's beeper goes off, the call may take him racing up a mountain peak to rescue an injured hiker, into a blizzard to search for missing skiers, or to a mountain airplane crash scene for body recovery.

Dr. Van Tilburg's work requires a unique combination of emergency...

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Mountain Rescue Doctor: Wilderness Medicine in the Extremes of Nature

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Overview

Christopher Van Tilburg, MD is an emergency room physician, ski patrol doctor, emergency wilderness physician, and member of the Hood River Crag Rats, the oldest mountain rescue team in the country. When Dr. Van Tilburg's beeper goes off, the call may take him racing up a mountain peak to rescue an injured hiker, into a blizzard to search for missing skiers, or to a mountain airplane crash scene for body recovery.

Dr. Van Tilburg's work requires a unique combination of emergency medicine, survival skills, agility, and extreme sports. In Mountain Rescue Doctor, Van Tilburg shares personal stories of harrowing and suspenseful rescues and recoveries, including the recent Mount Hood disaster, which claimed the lives of three climbers. Mountain Rescue Doctor is an exhilarating tour through the perils of nature and medicine.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Chris Van Tilburg works by day as an ER doctor in Hood River, OR. In Mountain Rescue Doctor, he recounts adrenaline-packed tales from one of his ‘downtime’ pursuits: saving lives as a high-peak Craig Rat.”—Reader’s Digest Editor’s Choice

“[Van Tilburg’s] strength lies in what he teaches about mountain rescue and wilderness survival. Mountain Rescue Doctor is the story behind the headlines.—The Oregonian

“Van Tilburg’s dogged spadework in translating to the page the intricate essentials of his unique trade makes each breathtaking rescue literally come to life. Exhilarating take on the daily life of a unique brand of doctor.”—Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

A resident of Hood River, Ore., an emergency room physician and a member of Crag Rats ("the first official volunteer mountain rescue group in the nation"), Van Tilburg (Emergency Survival: A Pocket Guide) has divided his fast-paced account of Mt. Hood rescues by season. In the winter, he explains the dangers of tree wells, patches of loose snow that can snare skiers and snowboarders. One hot Fourth of July, he takes a trek through icy black water in a box canyon, engineering the tricky retrieval of a cliff jumper with a back fracture. Detailing each rescue operation from the first call mobilizing teams of volunteers to grateful notes from the families of those rescued, Van Tilburg also offers snippets of environmental history and outdoor law. For readers who are unfamiliar with the rugged and beautiful Hood River area, he balances its undeniable perils with the joys of its scenic wonders, noting that "the thrill of risk is an inseparable aspect of adventure sport." 8 pages of color photos not seen by PW. (Nov. 13)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

In this fast-paced book, Van Tilburg recounts his experiences as a member of the Crag Rats, a mountain search-and-rescue team operating out of the Mount Hood, OR, area. Started in 1926, the Crag Rats are made up of extremely skilled, highly organized volunteers who face blizzards, darkness, freezing water, and other extreme conditions to help rescue sports enthusiasts who have become lost or injured in the mountains. As a medical doctor, a previously published author (Backcountry Snowboarding; Introducing Your Kids to the Outdoors), and an adventure-sports devotee himself, Van Tilburg is uniquely qualified to describe the fears, excitement, frustration, and rewards of these searches. He examines the high costs of search-and-rescue operations and provides an interesting overview of the debate on whether victims should be held responsible for some of these costs. Young adults will likely enjoy this introduction to the field of wilderness medicine. Filled with adventure and good advice, it is recommended for high school and public libraries.
—Tina Neville

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312358884
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 772,875
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 5.38 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

CHRISTOPHER VAN TILBURG, M.D. is editor for Wilderness Medicine magazine and is a regular contributor to National Geographic Adventure, Backcountry, Columbia Gorge, among others. He is an emergency room and ski resort physician, and a member of the Hood River Crag Rats, the oldest mountain rescue team in the US. He has written seven books on the outdoors, and lives in Hood River, Oregon with his daughters.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Could not put it down until I was done.

    I enjoyed this book very much- it was a real page turner. The doctor that wrote the book did a great job telling the stories of individual call-outs and the results but did so in terms that a non medical professional could understand. I also learned a lot about Search and Rescue procedures. It was enjoyable and inspirational.

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  • Posted March 10, 2012

    Mountain Rescue Doctor by Christopher Van Tilburg is an intrigui

    Mountain Rescue Doctor by Christopher Van Tilburg is an intriguing collection of accounts of many search and rescue missions. As a part of a volunteer search and rescue group based on the North side of Mt. Hood named the Crag Rats, Christopher receives a call-out when volunteers are required for a search and rescue mission. As a part time emergency clinic doctor at a popular ski resort, Van Tilburg has extensive medical skills as well as the technical skills often required on mountain rescue missions.
    Van Tilburg’s passion for the outdoors comes through in his writing when he speaks of his own adventures. However, with two kids and a wife at home, safety is necessarily his primary concern and enjoying the outdoors safely is a prevalent theme throughout the book. On his rescue missions, Van Tilburg is constantly checking to make sure that all of the rescuers are safe and not in any danger. Another major theme is emergency medicine in the wilderness. Since Van Tilburg is often the only qualified doctor on the scene of an accident, he performs numerous procedures that save the patient’s life. His technical climbing skills come in handy when the rescue requires him to repel into canyons or crevasses and his medical and survival knowledge also come in handy.
    In my opinion, the medical accounts were the most interesting part of the book. Van Tilburg provides a look inside an emergency doctor’s head when he comes across a patient. Anyone interested in this field should definitely read this book and it is for this that I would give the book 4 out of 5 stars. I did not like how often he speaks about his daughters. I got the point the first time he said it and every time after that was simply annoying. Overall, I would strongly recommend this book. I would also recommend Rescue 471 by Peter Canning and Emergency Survival by Christopher Van Tilburg.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Proof reading anyone?

    Dr Van-T does a good job describing medical issues in layman's terms and the individual chapters are engaging, but doesn't anyone proofread for grammatical errors anymore? The errors distract from the book, that I might otherwise have rated a four.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

    Very interesting book with lots of insights into Search & Rescue

    I spent four years working as a volunteer with Mountain Rescue in Colorado back in the '60's. Then it was off to another career but I've savored those memories for nearly 50 years. Now I work as a professional firefigher/paramedic/tech rescue so I am aware of a lot of the areas the author delves into in this book. What I really found interesting was his love of the mountains and wilderness and his strong desire to nurture that in his daughters. Oh, by the way, the story of the search on Mount Hood was a great culmination to this book. Well worth the time to read, especially if you, like the author, love the mountains and wilderness.

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    Posted April 8, 2011

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    Posted March 7, 2012

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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    Posted January 21, 2010

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    Posted November 3, 2013

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 7 Customer Reviews

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