My breath catches and my heart skips a beat when I see or hear a report of a missing person. My mind goes to the dark place of wondering that I visited when my children were old enough to be out on there own but young enough to cause concern when they were off of my radar. I want to believe that it is all innocent and harmless.

When I hear the reports I wonder who else waiting? A mother? A father? Children? Sisters? Brothers? Grandparents? I feel their anguish of not knowing.

Ryan SilsbyToday I share that uncertainty with hundreds of other people who know and love this young man, Ryan Silsby, and/or his family.

Like many outdoorsmen, Ryan is independent and considers himself to be self-reliant. His family sees him that way, too. He is smart, trustworthy and experienced in the wilderness.

“He usually doesn’t climb by himself. He didn’t take his climbing gear with him when he left his car, so I’m not really sure he was intending to climb. He didn’t take a lot of gear with him when he left,” said his father, Clay Silsby.

Two weeks ago, however, Ryan parked his car and left most of his things behind although he reportedly intended to go camping. Wherever he went in Blodgett Canyon, near Missoula, Montana, he had his backpack and cell phone with him.

This post is one more attempt to spread the word to anyone who might be able to give information on his whereabouts. Click here to know more about the search.

Like his family and friends, I am praying that he is safe and unaware that he is creating a furor by his absence. That would be the best result, wouldn’t it?


Postscript: Ryan’s body was found on the afternoon of September 7, 2014. See comment.




  1. From Ryan’s Family:

    With very heavy hearts, we must tell you that we have found Ryan, and his remains have been recovered. Ryan was found at 3:28 pm today. Ryan fell from a climb doing what he loves to do, and what brought him so much joy. He was found in an area that was not visible to the many searchers who combed the area. Climbers from above found his pack, and called 911.

    We are so grateful to those who have supported this search on site, as well as those who have prayed and supported us in spirit. We can never thank you enough for your outpouring of generosity during this time of crisis. With much love and gratitude,
    Ryan’s Family


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