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Silverton's asst snow safety director recently diagnosed with cancer

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok, on a serious note, a long-time Colorado patroller and river guide was diagnosed with acute leukemia week before last. (AML-M4, for those of you who know about such things). He is currently undergoing chemo at the hospital in Durango, and will need a bone marrow transplant as soon as they can find a match. Although the family has health insurance, obviously there are many supplemental costs involved with something like this. 


If you are able, please consider kicking in a few bucks to help someone who has devoted his life to helping the rest of us enjoy our passions, on the mountain and the river both. A fund has been set up at http://www.giveforward.com/kickcancerclauson ; you can find some more biographical info and photos there, as well. 



post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 

(thanks for moving the post to the right place)

Edited by segbrown - 4/18/12 at 4:06pm
post #3 of 12

Thoughts and prayers, donation made.

post #4 of 12

Just saw this.  Thanks for posting. 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 




Words: The Jaded Local

When I was visiting Silverton last season to ski with guys at the heart of the ski area’s snow safety program, I told John Clauson that I was working on a piece for Powder that would make him famous. “No thanks,” he said, “I’d rather be the unknown soldier.” The last thing he wanted to be some cool guy posing for the camera. He was probably thinking about getting home to his wife and son.


A couple of hours later, while skiing with Snow Safety Director Doug Krause and photographer Scott Smith, I blew my knee way out on the Billboard face, a long belly-crawl from the road. I groveled down a couple of hundred yards of avalanche debris and it became obvious that with daylight fading, a storm moving in, and snow windloading above us, that this was turning into A Bad Scenario.

Krause radioed Clauson who was still up at the top shack. He grabbed a patrol toboggan and proceeded to traverse it across the entire face, which would be a scary pain in the ass for two strong skiers. Smith took the photo above right when John showed up—how many people would be grinning at the prospect of a high-angle rescue in a storm at sundown?

Clauson, Krause, and Smith busted me out of there like it was a drill, but the extrication was serious—hip belaying a huge awkward load over cliffs with creepy exposure and no time to set up a real anchor. Had the unknown soldier not shown up things would have been much, much worse.

Soon after that, Clauson was diagnosed with leukemia. He has health insurance, but he and his family have had to travel to Denver for aggressive chemotherapy, and he still faces more treatment and a bone marrow transplant. With no paycheck coming in and everyday bills coming in, a few bucks will do a lot of good. Like I said, it’s a chance for the rest of us to help out someone who does nothing but help others.

You can follow John’s progress or donate directly. Silverton Mountain and other generous donors are launching anebay auction this week with heli skiing and some sweet gear; all proceeds are going to help the Clauson family.

Here’s the link to the auction

Edited by segbrown - 6/6/12 at 11:21am
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 12

John has taken a turn for the worse. frown.gif  He could use any prayers you've got right now.  

post #8 of 12

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. 

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I guess I should update this ... unfortunately, John lost his battle last week. A memorial will be held Sunday a few miles north of Buena Vista; I'm guessing most people who know already know, but pm me for details if you are interested in attending. 

post #10 of 12

So sad, not news we like to hear but...  thanks for letting us know. frown.gif

post #11 of 12

my most sincere condolenses to the family and to you as well.

post #12 of 12

I attended the service on Sunday and have never been more moved by a memorial service.  While I was never fortunate enough to meet John after attending his service, set by the gorgeous Arkansas River at the Number 4 rapid, I have so much respect and admiration for him and the impact he had on so many lives (there were hundreds at this service).  

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