Ralph Greene, a 57-year member of Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, passed away in 2010. His contributions live on in the culture of the organization.
Ralph "Skip" Greene (1934 - 2010)
Skip's son, Vincent Greene's "Ten treasured things I learned from my Dad by example:"
- Slow down -- a lot of important observations are missed if we are going to fast
- Appreciate simplicity
- Be a student for life: Listen, Observe, Think, Learn
- Practice organization
- Do it yourself - participation is good - be inventive
- Hard work is fun
- Dare to be different, shun peer pressure
- Appreciate quality
- Be open to all types of people
- Have your life speak your convictions
On Sunday, January 10, 2010, a great friend and long time member of RMRG passed.
Skip learned of his terminal illness (Leukemia) in early December, 2009. Like every problem he encountered in life, he explored his options and then adapted himself to meet the problem using the resources at his disposal. Skip kept to his values of simplicity and practicality. He spent less than a week in the hospital and died at the home of one of his sons under the care of friends and family.
Skip was an active rock climber in his youth, sharing his experience with his labrador retriever on a trip up the 3rd Flatiron, and participating in the first ascent of the North Face of the Matron. Skip pulled off the first solo winter ascent of the East Face of Longs Peak in 1953. In the '60s, Skip became the manager of CU's Mountain Research Station north of Nederland and helped teach Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research [INSTAAR] research students about operating on Niwot ridge in all seasons. Skip helped implement the various research platforms that dot Niwot Ridge including Timberline-Van and Kiwi-Van.
Skip's name first appeared on the RMRG call list in 1953. He recently recalled those times as mostly riding around with Dex Brinker in his jeep. The Group was less structured in those days, however, Skip became an official member of the Group in the late '60s. At the Mountain Research Station, Skip developed a wide array of techniques for transporting people and equipment over-snow in the back-country. For RMRG, this led to his development of what Skip called "Snowmobile Mountaineering" skills, the "Skip-Sled" litter carrier, and the special modification of small lightweight snowmobiles for remote back-country operations.
Skip's last mission with the Group was August 12th, 2009, an elderly male with a leg injury at the west end of Long Lake who was eventually evacuated to a medical helicopter. Skip put himself "in-service" for the winter season with his array of snowmobiles and the "Skip-Sled" litter in September.
Skip built his own house at the base of Niwot Ridge. He lived "off-grid", raising his own sons and helping to raise the sons of his second wife.
In later years, Skip was a bus driver for the Boulder Valley School District operating large school buses on the District's most difficult mountain roads. He woke up a 4:00 am to spend at least 45 minutes "pre-flighting" his bus every morning, rain or snow, crawling underneath the bus, examining every component from the front to the back. Skip was to retire at the end of this school year. His devotion to the kids he drove is reflected in the cards and artwork that decorate his house.
Skip was always the promoter of an ultra-conservative approach to safety. Skip stressed to always know your limits, then perform well within them so that you would always have something held in reserve. In case something should go wrong, you could dig into those reserves to finish the job.
RMRG will deeply miss Skip.