Home News Two rescued from Idaho’s highest peak, one a combat Marine vet

Two rescued from Idaho’s highest peak, one a combat Marine vet

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Mount Borah
Mount Borah, left. Marine Col. Kenneth Lissner, ret. (right)

Custer County Search and Rescue has rescued two climbers from Idaho’s tallest peak in two separate incidents within the past two weeks.

The first rescue occurred at 12:30 p.m. July 31 after Kent Blau, 57, of Declo, slid 300 feet down a gully of snow, ice and shale just beyond Chicken Out Ridge before self-arresting to stop sliding. He was trapped on the steep slope, unable to move beyond a set of boulders.

A helicopter was initially deployed to rescue Blau, but wind and smoke made it impossible to reach him, according to the Challis Messenger. A search and rescue team was able to reach Blau at around 8:30 p.m. and return him to the trail with the aid of climbing equipment.

Blau spent the night with rescuers in a shelter above treeline. He was reunited with his family in Mackay the next day. He didn’t show any signs of serious injury.

The second rescue occurred in the early morning hours Wednesday, when retired Marine Col. Kenneth Lissner, 56, of Tampa, Fla., sent a message to the International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Montgomery, Texas, using a satellite communications device.

Lissner informed the center that he was half-way down the south side of Borah, hypothermic and could not be reached by ground rescue personnel. He requested a helicopter rescue.

Lissner was rescued at 6:15 a.m. by a helicopter designed for mountain rescue which had been deployed from Kalispell, Mont. He was airlifted to Mackay to be treated for exposure.

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