When the author began his career as a volunteer mountain rescuer with the Alpine Rescue Team in Colorado seventeen years ago, he was a clueless Youngstowner fresh off the interstate from Ohio who didn’t know Gore-Tex from Tex-Mex. He had a lifetime of ridiculously dangerous pursuits and backcountry sins to atone for, so he became a Rocky Mountain rescuer with the intention of repaying the massive karmic debt he had accumulated. This is the story of how a career in volunteer service to others transformed a self-absorbed Rustbelt redneck adrenaline junkie into one of the nation’s leading voices in technical rope rescue.
Niles, Ohio native Tom Wood is an author, photographer and Rustbelt Refugee who now works as a Rocky Mountain Rescuer in Colorado. In addition to his recently published memoir Trading Steel for Stone, his heartfelt and humorous writing can be found in Belt Publishing’s Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology and he is a contributing editor to several technical rope rescue textbooks. A Kent State graduate and former Combat Photographer with the U.S.M.C.R., Tom is also the U.S. Terrestrial Delegate to the International Commission for Alpine Rescue. An avid rock and ice climber, caver and trail runner, Tom now lives in Conifer, Colorado with his amazingly supportive wife Maren, their three teenaged children, two cats and a turtle named Batwing.