Climber River Barry Awarded Carnegie Medal for Heroism

River Barry (30) of Millcreek, Utah received a Carnegie Medal for Heroism for saving a BASE jumper who became stuck and was dangling from a cliff face. When a BASE jump went awry in November 2022 in Moab, Utah, the Australian jumper slammed into the cliff face and became stuck about 70 feet up.

The man’s friend was on the ground, asking around for anyone with climbing gear. Barry, a recreational climber who was in Moab to do some mountain biking that day, had her climbing gear with her. She also had the skill and the bravery to jump into action.

Barry, a self-described “crack climber”, climbed a crack up the cliff face to get to the injured BASE jumper, who had fractured his leg in the collision with the cliff face. She climbed up to him, clipped her harness to his, cut away his parachute, and brought him down to the ground, where rescuers were waiting.

The route Barry took to reach the BASE jumper isn’t an established one. In fact, it’s possible she was the first to climb it, thanks to its reputation among locals for being extra slippery. Thankfully, Barry did not slip; she saved the day.

For her bravery, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission has awarded Barry a Carnegie Medal for Heroism. Sixteen other heroes received the award this year, which also includes a financial grant.

In an interview with local news, Barry is clearly humbled by the award. She says she has kept in touch with the BASE jumper since the incident that bonded them together, and she plans to spend her monetary award on a new dirt bike.

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