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Preston & Steve®

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Listen to the story as told by Nick on the air this morning:

From Nick McIlwain: “This weekend was SUPPOSED to be the fulfillment of a bucket list item for my brother, Adam, who is turning 40 this year and wanted to climb one of the “14ers” (any of the 53 mountains with elevations of over 14,000 feet) in Colorado. My youngest brother, Josh, lives in Colorado and my dad spends half the year there, so Colorado was the obvious choice for a long weekend for everybody. When it came to picking a mountain, Josh chose Mt. Bierstadt because of its relative ease.

On Saturday morning, we hit the road at about 4:30am and worked our way from the Denver suburbs up into the Rockies before dawn. It was cold, but beautiful, as we drove higher and higher above Georgetown, CO, on our way to the trailhead in the Mt. Evans Wilderness of Pike National Forest. We parked the car and began the hike toward the summit but only a mile from the trailhead, we had to cross a stream. It was cold, icy and slippery. It still SHOULD have been a relatively easy crossing and then the real ascent to the summit was set to begin. But one step from the other side – ONE FREAKING STEP – I slipped on a rock and my right foot ended up wedged in between two rocks in the stream bed.

I hadn’t regained my balance and continued to fall to the left, but my right leg was still wedged between the rocks. My body and my weight went one way while my right leg remained wedged. You don’t need to be a physicist to understand this is not good. My right distal fibula also understood this and consequently, that bone broke. I knew right away that something bad had happened because I felt the pop AND I heard it. And if you don’t want to read any more past this point, I understand.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my brothers and my dad for all their care. Thanks also to Alpine Mountain Rescue and the EMTs and Paramedics of Georgetown, CO and the wilderness surrounding Mt. Bierstadt. I wouldn’t have made it out off the mountain without their assistance!”


Welcome back, Nick. Most importantly we’re glad that you returned home safe and relativity okay. At least you finally topped the ‘dancing at a wedding story’! Please be careful and heal up soon.