When not working on her master’s in geography, Ashley Lewis of Blacksburg, Va., spends much of her time as a search and rescue (SAR) volunteer, which includes training, teaching, and responding to calls. Lewis, who is a member of several professionally trained SAR teams, helped rescue two men in Patrick County who were lost overnight last fall in extremely steep terrain and poor weather conditions.

Fortunately one of the men required only minimal assistance to ascend the slope. The team had to fashion a chest harness to assist the other man, using trees as anchor points to belay him up to the safety of a waiting ambulance. The rescuers and victims made most of the 2-hour climb on their hands and knees! Several area SAR teams participated in the challenging search and rescue operation, which was reported in the Martinsville Bulletin.