Arches Accident


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Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 12, 2017 - 10:53pm PT
I am trying to get some information about an accident March 5 in Arches. My friend, John Peterson, died in a climbing accident. I know that he was with his wife and some students from the college where he taught computer science. John was key to securing Mother's Buttress.

I hate to intrude on the family at this time. But if anyone has information, there are a collection of old friends that would really like to know.

The Good Places
Mar 12, 2017 - 10:59pm PT
I owed that fellow at least a round or two of cold snacks. so sorry to head of this.
Credit: thebravecowboy

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Mar 13, 2017 - 01:51am PT
No details on the accident but a nice summary of his life.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Mar 13, 2017 - 06:11am PT
Oh, no. This man seemed liked an incredible individual. Condolences to friends and family. He fell somehow on Royal Arches?


Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 13, 2017 - 06:15am PT
Arches N.P.?

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
Mar 13, 2017 - 06:37am PT
Sorry to hear about your friend...try the e-mail address here:

John Peterson Memorial:
The memorial service for John Peterson will be held this Saturday, March 11th at 2pm in the Western State Colorado University Center Ballroom.
There will be a tribute site, email for information about how to share your JP stories and photos.
JP wasn't big on flowers, religion, or lots of sentimental stuff. In lieu of flowers, please consider one of these organizations to donate to:
JP was very active with the Access Fund. Memorial to the Access Fund would be deeply appreciated:
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 13, 2017 - 06:55am PT
Condolences to family and friends,
RIP John.


Balcarce, Argentina
Mar 13, 2017 - 07:08am PT
I don't know any specifics about the accident, but a friend who worked with him shared the following link with the comment "This is an amazing collection of Tributes to John. If you would like to contribute email Greg Haynes ( )".
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 13, 2017 - 07:32am PT
Rumor has an accident at Looking Glass, south of Moab.

I didn't know John, but, a gob of friends did. One of the "wreck climbing" crew.

Condolences to friends and family.

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2017 - 09:07am PT

Looking glass? Now I'm interested in what happened. How does an experienced climber die on an easy route like that? Maybe the rappel? Anyway, this sucks but the man cut a broad path of happyness and goodness in his life.


Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 13, 2017 - 09:19am PT
Still no word on what he was doing at the time of the accident. Big heart. Infectiously enthusiastic.
John taking the last pitch of the Pioneer Route at Smith
John taking the last pitch of the Pioneer Route at Smith
Credit: Seamstress
Credit: Seamstress
Credit: Seamstress

Social climber
Mar 13, 2017 - 01:44pm PT
hey there say, seamstree... :( very sad to hear this, as to the loss
of your dear friend...

oh my... hoping that all this help
here, will get more info for you, that you...

prayers for the family and loved ones that must
now go on, without him, :(

thank you to folks for the links,
so we could learn about all he did for others...
and for climbers...

edit: i just got to read the link--

it was nice to learn this about him--as his life
over-reached to so many folks-- folks he'd never
know, that would benefit, due to his actions:
He was a big supporter of the Access Fund, which helps to keep access open to areas for hiking, skiing, boating, and rock climbing,

Trad climber
Upland, CA
Mar 13, 2017 - 02:20pm PT
I am sorry for your loss, Seamstress, and off my condolences to his friends and family.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 13, 2017 - 02:40pm PT
Wow, bummer.
I remember interacting with John on Connecticut climbing;
probably in the rec.climbing days.
I knew he was at Yale, but didn't know at the time that
the word haskell in his domain name was the language Haskell.
Must be very tough for his wife and kids.
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Mar 13, 2017 - 04:20pm PT
Looking Glass? Arches?
I've been out in Moab since the first of the month and haven't heard about any accidents.
Doesn't mean it didn't happen here but I haven't come across anything.
If I hear anything I'll post up.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Mar 13, 2017 - 08:59pm PT
I'm sad that I did not have the opportunity to meet such a fine person.

Condolences to all.

Trad climber
Mar 21, 2017 - 05:01pm PT
According to my mother he got entangled in the rope while rappelling and was strangled. No gear failures, just made the poor decision to rap on a tangled rope, screwed up while trying to fix it, and got it around his neck.

He had six students with him, but they weren't in position to try and lift him up or cut him down in time, and had to be rescued themselves by the Moab mountain rescue team.

Can't really give more detail since I wasn't there myself, just what I've heard.

Mar 21, 2017 - 05:04pm PT
Holy Cow !!!!!

Social climber
Mar 21, 2017 - 05:30pm PT
hey there say, ...



Ice climber
Mar 21, 2017 - 05:40pm PT
So sorry to hear this. I met John through rec.climbing and spent a little time with him talking about dreams, routes and dream routes. Rest in peace. Condolences to his friends and family.
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