Pete Absolon killed in Wind River accident


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Terri Watson

Mountain climber
Lander, Wyoming
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 12, 2007 - 06:07pm PT
Amy Skinner called me today to let me know of the death of one of Lander, Wyoming's climbing community , NOLS community, and just darned good people community. Peter Absolon was climbing with a friend and was apparently killed in a rockfall accident yesterday 8/12/07 in the Wind River Mountains near Lander. I know little more detail than this, and that his wife, Molly Absolon, and their young daughter Avery age 7, are facing today what I know each of us prays our families never have to. I'm sure more details will be forthcoming, but in the interim, anyone on this forum who knows Pete and or Molly --- I know Molly will appreciate your support, love and understanding from a community that knows what it is like to lose some of the best. THanks for your support.
Terri Watson
Lander, Wyoming

Below is what Molly wrote last October when all of us in Lander were reeling over Todd Skinner's death. Molly is, herself, a climber, a mom of a young daughter, Avery, and now one of us who mourns the loss of a partner and could use the support of this community:

I'm supposed to be working, but I keep coming back to this forum again and again, amazed at the outpouring of love and support for Todd and his family. I don't know why I should be surprised, because like so many of the people who have written in, I too was encouraged by Todd as I struggled up easy climbs that were hard for me; I too watched him reach out to my young daughter and make her laugh; I too heard his funny stories and saw him light up an audience; I too was the recepient of his incredible hospitality and generosity; and I too saw him with his children. He was a motivator. He was kind and giving. He made people laugh.

I've also been over to Todd and Amy's house and seen the sadness his death has left behind. Todd was an incredible light in so many people's lives and for many of us, that is enough. But it is hard to think of Hannah, Sarah and Jake growing up without him around. It's hard to think of Amy raising those kids by herself.

A friend of my father's once said,"Life is short, and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk the way with us. So be swift to love and make haste to be kind, and peace will be always with you."

I send those words out to all of us. It's how Todd lived, and how we too should move forward. It's how we can help Amy.

Rest in peace, Todd.

Aug 12, 2007 - 06:29pm PT

I share in your unfathomable loss and send love and strength your way.

I have a 9 year old son named Avery.

Each time I think of him, I'll send the same strength and love your way.

Be well.


Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Aug 12, 2007 - 06:31pm PT
Ah man, this is a bummer. My prayers for Pete and his family. Rest in peace, brother.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 12, 2007 - 07:18pm PT
So so sad.
Rockfall has killed several of my friends and put me in a wheelchair (thankfully not for long).

It is the unfortunate adjunct to an activity that requires steep ground.

Be careful, be smart folks.

My condolences to the family and friends.

Trad climber
Aug 12, 2007 - 07:57pm PT
my thoughts and prayers go out to all that are hurting over this unfortunate loss.

Social climber
Aug 12, 2007 - 08:39pm PT
hey there all, i do not know them, obviously, but my prayers are for her and family... god bless... very sorry to hear this...
Terri Watson

Mountain climber
Lander, Wyoming
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2007 - 09:48pm PT
Pete became a NOLS instructor in '90 and has held a number of admin positions as well as extensive field work. He was, most recently, the Director of the NOLS Rocky Mountain Branch, the largest of the branch schools. I don't think he ever taught a BCS --- that would be Peter Chance.


Social climber
St. Looney
Aug 12, 2007 - 10:26pm PT
Such sadness. I send my thoughts your way knowing they can do nothing to ease this loss. I understand that words are inadequate, still know you are in my thoughts.

Trad climber
the blighted lands of hatu
Aug 12, 2007 - 10:36pm PT
Very Sad News. My thoughts are with the family and friends.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 12, 2007 - 10:45pm PT
Was Pete an active local at Seneca Rocks, West Virginia twenty or so years ago?

Crestline CA
Aug 12, 2007 - 11:41pm PT
Pete... no... no..not you .. we hung out some back in the day at the great Seneca Rocks ... this is terrible news... sad day....
a very sad day....
Tom Evans

Social climber
Aug 13, 2007 - 11:15am PT
Pete was an amazing person and brother. He lived life to the fullest and squeezed more out of 47 years than most could in ten life times. Molly and Avery -- we love you -- we will be there as soon as we can. Molly, the only thing Pete loved more than the rocks was you and Avery -- he was blessed to find his sole mate in you. We love you...

Pete is with his brother Fritz now probably looking for a good rock to climb in heaven doubt!

Martha (Absolon) Delehanty
Caroline Byrd

Missoula MT
Aug 13, 2007 - 12:22pm PT
Oh Molly - Our hearts are with you and Avery, all our love, Caroline, Garry and Cate

Trad climber
Charleston, WV
Aug 13, 2007 - 12:59pm PT
Pete was my brother in law and a wonderful friend. I spent many happy days, climbing, skiing, biking and living life with Pete. He has always held a dear place in my heart and I will miss him.
The LG

Sport climber
Lander, WY
Aug 13, 2007 - 01:04pm PT
Pete was always such fun to climb and hang out with, I will always treasure this past spring when we were working adjacent routes in Sinks Canyon. Every weekend, Pete would be there working, cursing, laughing, all of us having a great time. He was a wonderful keystone in our climbing community and he will be missed dearly. Molly and Avery, our prayers and thoughts are with you both. We will all miss Pete so much, what a great person! Adios Pete...

Leif and Lindsay

Anchorage, AK
Aug 13, 2007 - 01:10pm PT
Hi Molly,
I am so sorry. You and Pete always made me smile. He was truly special.

Andy Elsberg

handsome B

Gym climber
Aug 13, 2007 - 01:13pm PT
I wish you strength in this time of hardship. Pete, as a fellow climber, will be missed.

Aug 13, 2007 - 01:38pm PT
Wow - not sure how to digest it all. Never met a man like him. So full of life, so balanced and so kind to everyone. He had this remarkable ability to relate to everyone. I was blessed to have him as a supervisor for the past 2 1/2 years in which I am grateful that I told him were my BEST 2 1/2 years - all due to him!! His talents were beyond just being an amazing athelete - he was an amazing friend, boss, co-worker and just an amazing human. You will be so missed by everyone.

My thoughts are with Molly and Avery who were so blessed to have the most incredible husband and dad in the world.


Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Aug 13, 2007 - 01:52pm PT
Here is what we know.

Pete was doing a new route near Lander in Leg Lake Cirque. He had completed a lead and was anchored about 800 feet up the wall. His partner had just arrived at the belay. The rock was thrown or pushed off by a hiker from the summit plateau 300 feet above. The thrower looked over the edge, saw it hit Pete, then dialed 911. The rock hit the back of Peteís helmet covered head. He must have died instantly. I donít know much about the thrower: I think he is from Casper, a veteran of two tours in Iraq.

Peteís body was flown out Sunday night by a Jenny Lake rescue team led by Renny Jackson.

Peteís family requests that stories about Pete be added to this thread.

Services will be held in Lander Wyoming on Sunday, August 19: location to be determined.

I will post more as I learn more.

Phil Powers

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Aug 13, 2007 - 02:12pm PT

I'm so sorry for your loss.
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