2008 Climbers Memorial


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Jerry Dodrill

Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 13, 2008 - 01:15am PT


Anton Woperies, 54 (1/1/08)
Slipped and fell while guiding (Mountaineering) on Mt. Cook, NZ.

Dan Leichtfuss, 60 (12/29/07) [date corrected]
Lyme Disease

Lygon Stevens, 20 (1/10/08)
Disappeared in an Avalanche in Colorado.

Sir Edmund Hillary, 88. (1/11/07)
Cause: time

Chris Allport (1/25/08)
Died in an avalanche in the San Gabriel Mountains

Paul Dedi (1/?/2008)
Succumbed to injuries sustained while snow/ice climbing near Vancouver, BC.
See Tami's post on page 3 of this thread.

Susanna Helen Lantz, (2/18/08)
Susanna was skiing in Chickadee Valley (Kootenay Park, B.C.) and was killed by an avalanche.

Rick Corbin, 45. (3/?/08)
Heart attack

Ellen Wilts, age? (3/?/08)
Natural Causes

Craigen Bowen (3/?/2008)
See Alan Rubin's post, page 4 of this thread

Rick Shilts, 42, (3/6/08)
Construction accident

Steve Dieckhoff, (3/15/08)

Alan Nelson, Date unknown

Iñaki Ochoa de Olza, 40 (5/22/08)
Pulmonary edema on Annapurna

Kelly Bell, 37 (6/2/08)

Yuto Inoue, 24 and
Tatsuro Yamada, 27 (6/?/08)
Disappeared on the Cassin Ridge of Denali, Alaska Range after a historic link-up with the Kahiltna Peaks.

Eduard Burceag, 31 (6/10/2008)
Succumbed to hypothermia during a storm on Mt. Rainier, Washington.

Rodney Curtis Jones (6/16/08)
Slipped off a roof

Paul A. Duval, 71 (6/24/08)
Rappelled off the end of his rope in Custer, SD

Ric DeVan, 44 (7/4/08)
Apparently fell near Mt. Goode, Sierra Nevada

James Nasti, 41, (7/4/08)
Collapsed and died on the summit of Denali, Alaska

Pungkas Tri Baruno, (7/7/08)
Collapsed and died while descending the West Buttress of Denali, Alaska

Karl Unterkircher, 37 (7/15/08)
Italian, killed in a crevasse fall while attempting a new route on Nanga Parbat.

Preston Brennan, 48 (7/18/08)
Died as a result of injuries sustained in a climbing accident at Eldorado Canyon, CO.

George Gardner, 58 (7/19/08)
Fell while soloing the Lower Exum Ridge, Grand Teton

Tony Cousins, 70, (7/28/08)
Succumbed to a heart attack while scaling a route at Smoke Bluffs Park, BC

Dr. Gary Lee, 55, (7/29/08)
Rockfall on Mount Hood, Oregon
Larry's (Chiloe's) tribute to his dear friend:


Pakistan, K2 Tragedy.
Adapted from Alpinist Newswire. Read the full report with links to more info:

On August 1, 2008, a massive amount of ice broke free in a section known as the Bottleneck, sweeping some climbers from the mountain, and stranding others just below the 8611m summit. In total, eleven climbers perished on the peak.

Dren Mandic,
Serbian, died while ascending K2

Jehan Baig,
Pakistani porter, fell while recovering Mandic’s body

Meherban Karim
Pakistani porter, fell, after the avalanche

Kim Hyo-Gyeong
Park Kyeong-Hyo
Hwang Dong-Jin
Koreans, died in the aftermath of the Serac fall, after reportedly refusing assistance from Dutch, Nepalese and Italian climbers.

Rolf Bae
Norwegian, was reportedly swept away by the initial avalanche.

Jumic Bhote
Pasang Bhote
Nepalese, both perished; the former is believed to have been trapped in the Bottleneck when the rope was sliced by falling ice, the latter is thought to have perished after the avalanche, perhaps in the course of rescue efforts.

Gerard McDonnell
First Irishman to summit K2, perished in an avalanch while attempting to rescue the Koreans.

Jean Louis Hugues D'Aubarede
French, perished in the aftermath of the avalanche

Ben Cheek, 28 (Late July?)
Disappeared while solo climbing the North Face of Shimshal Whitehorn, Pakistan. Indications point to an avalanche incident.

Vince Bousselaire, 53 (8/7/08)
Carolyn Randall
Died on the Matterhorn, Switzerland

Andrea Basque, 45 (8/7/08)
Fell on Dragontail Peak, Washington

Chris Padzer, (8/9/08)
Fell to his death on the south side of Gilkey Tower (12,320'), Teton Range, Wyoming

Jeff “the Midge” Siegel, (8/12/08)

Ryan Triplett, (9/7/08)
Fell while soloing ‘Prime Rib’ up at Goat Wall, in Mazama, WA

Daryn "stymingersfink" Smith (9/13/08)
Died suddenly of an unknown heart condition.

Paul McDaniel 24 (8/13/08)
Brain aneurysm.

Joe Christy,
Age? Date? Cause?

Ouch!, aka: Allen G. Schrimsher, age 73. (10/16/08)
Natural Causes

James Martin Welton, 34 (10/17/08)
Fell while climbing Touchstone in Zion N.P.

Frank (canine companion of Errett Allen) (10/24/08)

Amy Ruth Stine, 49 (10/11/08)
Died in a lead climbing fall at Seneca Rocks

Gerry Bloch, 90, (10/24/08)
Died of natural causes

Benjamin E. Strohmeier 18 (11/4/08)
Laura Fletcher 18 (11/4/08)
Fell when fixed anchor webbing failed at Red River Gorge

Chihiro "Cherry" Enoki 33, (11/28/08)
Died in a fall while climbing Mt Shasta

Justin Pettersen 36, (12/16/08)
See post by mojede on page 4 of this thread

rev. 12/30/08

In chronological order, a comprehensive list will be maintained in this original post. Please post news of peoples passing and include their age, cause, and date of death, and a link to the story. Obits and photos welcome.

2007, 2006

"And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance."

-Kahlil Gibran
Jerry Dodrill

Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 10, 2008 - 08:52pm PT
Bump for Rick and Ellen

Social climber
So on my way outta St. Looney!!!
Mar 10, 2008 - 08:52pm PT
Thanks for doing this Jerry.
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Mar 10, 2008 - 08:58pm PT
Anton's last name is Woperies.

Thanks for posting this up.

Jerry Dodrill

Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 10, 2008 - 09:08pm PT
It's the least I can do. Thanks for the info.

right here, right now
Mar 10, 2008 - 09:42pm PT
You are a true gentleman Mr. Dodrill.
This is a fine thing you're doing here.

Social climber
Newport, OR
Mar 11, 2008 - 02:48am PT
Yes, awfully kind of you Jerry!

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Mar 11, 2008 - 10:39am PT
Let's hope it will be a shorter list this year.
The Alpine

Big Wall climber
Tampa, FL
Mar 11, 2008 - 11:54am PT
Great memorial idea. Its good to keep folks in our minds.

Anybody have pictures to go with the names?

What year did Erica (of Realm of the Flying Monkeys w/ Pierre fame) pass?
Jerry Dodrill

Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 11, 2008 - 06:18pm PT
Is that Erica Kutcher? She's on the 2006 memorial, but died in late 2005.

These people were our family. We laughed, cried, played and worked with them. They made our lives rich.

This thing has sorta taken on a life of its own. I'm not looking for names, just taking note when they come up. In late '06 it just struck me as really sad how many had gone that year and I started writing them down, which turned into quite a list, which I knew was incomplete, so posted it, and it has turned into these memorial threads. I hope it doesn't seem too dark. People's obits were getting lost in the shuffle, so if nothing else, this is an index. It feels like a duty of sorts now and makes me sad, but also makes me appreciate being alive. That quote says it pretty well.

So post up your photos, news, and edits as appropriate.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 11, 2008 - 08:36pm PT
Lygon Stevens.

la la land
Mar 11, 2008 - 08:48pm PT

Trad climber
bay area
Mar 11, 2008 - 09:50pm PT

Does anyone know of a online list compiling rock climbing related deaths/accidents?

Like the BASE Fatality List, ( http://www.splatula.com/bfl/ ) we all could learn from the mistakes of others.

A website should be made. If it has been already, I'd like to hear about it.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 11, 2008 - 09:59pm PT

There is a partial list of accidents/rescues in Yosemite at:


Worldwide, it would be hard to compile, I think - a lot more participants than the base jumpers.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 27, 2008 - 02:41am PT
Iñaki Ochoa de Olza (40) of pulmonary edema on Annapurna, May 22nd 2008.

He had climbed twelve of the world's fourteen 8,000 m peaks.

Beatrix Kiddo

Mountain climber
May 27, 2008 - 10:46am PT
Jerry Dodrill

Sebastopol, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 27, 2008 - 11:30am PT
Steve was an amazing person. Wish I had known him.

From his site:
"The beauty in climbing stems from the idea that it might be possible to ascend, through discipline and creativity, a line on the rock or on the mountain which is drawn in the imagination. Our eyes seek the most graceful, tenuous, and audacious connections and we ask ourselves if we can follow that line.

...To sit in contemplation of a person or a tree or a mountain or a rock... and to lose your own sense of yourself in the act of drawing... is to find peace. It is, as T S Elliot wrote, "the still point of the turning world."

In both art and climbing I hope to return to that still point. I return to those conditions that hold the most promise for that lucid peace."


Great qoute from Inaki too:

Ochoa had climbed 12 of the 14 8000+ meter peaks, including a new route on Shishapangma, solo, in 2005 and is remembered for being something of a purist, saying, "If you use oxygen, you are not an alpinist, you are more of an astronaut or a scuba diver."
Delhi Dog

Trad climber
Good Question...
May 27, 2008 - 11:50am PT
Not dark Jerry...
They were the light to many and will be remembered as such.
A fine idea and a fine thing to be doing.
From the heart-thanks,


Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jun 2, 2008 - 02:12pm PT
Kelly Bell, long time Arizona climber has passed away.
My sincere condolences to her family and especially her daughter, Taylor.

Jerry Dodrill

Sebastopol, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 2, 2008 - 02:51pm PT
Sorry to hear the news. Do you have a link to details? Age, date of passing and cause?

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