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Overdue Climbers

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
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Please be respectful when posting - family and friends of fallen climbers might be reading this forum.
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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby Alpinista » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:38 pm

Weather's been nasty down there. I had some friends in the area this weekend who ran into a party that had to bivy on the Ellingwood Arete/Ledges route on Friday(?) night due to weather.

Condolences to friends and family.

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby SpringsHiker » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:08 pm

What a tough year. My condolences to family and friends of the deceased. I won't go into detail here but I was in a very dicey situation due a storm on one of the 14er peaks this weekend. So little separates the line between success and tragedy. I am so sorry that many have perished this year and, based on my crossing the safety line a bit more than I should have, everyone please be extra safe out there.
"I am not a fizzy yellow beer drinking ninny!"

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby Bullwinkle » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:43 pm

Thanks for your commitment to the community. This is a tough job for folks of extraordinary high character.
As a mountain more fully reveals itself to a man, so the true nature of the man will be more fully revealed

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby cftbq » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:25 pm

Very sad: yet another fatality in a year that already seems loaded with them.
FWIW, I actually feel less sad that they died together; can't imagine losing my spouse to such a thing but surviving myself...
Condolences to friends and family; they died doing what they loved.
Feet-deep mud?? Give us a break, weather gods!
I have been to the mountaintop, and I have seen the force
and the power that animates the universe. That may not
match up with your anthropomorphic or teleological idea of
what "god" is, but it's good enough for me.

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby Dave Pneuman » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:32 pm

We saw the climbers on the Arete early Friday morning on our way up to the NW Couloir on the peak. We summited then attempted the traverse. We bailed just above the Black Gendarme due to wet conditions / no rope and went down to Cottonwood Lake. About 200' before the S. side of Broken Hand pass the rain cut loose. It probably rained 6" or so in an hour mixed with hail and extreme lightning all around us hitting the Needle and Broken Hand Peak. There were torrential debris flows coming down everything in the cirque with boulders the size of cars coming down most every gully. As we waited it out, we hoped no one was still up on any peak in that area. We were glad we weren't in the S. side descent route. We probably would not have survived. Once it stopped and we made it over the pass, the whole N. side of the pass was wiped out. I thought it ironic when I saw several " Restoration Area, Keep out " signs half buried by rocks and mud.

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby tmathews » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:44 pm

Dave Pneuman wrote:We saw the climbers on the Arete early Friday morning on our way up to the NW Couloir on the peak. We summited then attempted the traverse. We bailed just above the Black Gendarme due to wet conditions / no rope and went down to Cottonwood Lake. About 200' before the S. side of Broken Hand pass the rain cut loose. It probably rained 6" or so in an hour mixed with hail and extreme lightning all around us hitting the Needle and Broken Hand Peak. There were torrential debris flows coming down everything in the cirque with boulders the size of cars coming down most every gully. As we waited it out, we hoped no one was still up on any peak in that area. We were glad we weren't in the S. side descent route. We probably would not have survived. Once it stopped and we made it over the pass, the whole N. side of the pass was wiped out. I thought it ironic when I saw several " Restoration Area, Keep out " signs half buried by rocks and mud.


Damn. Truly frightening! :shock:

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby Dave Pneuman » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:46 pm

Also, We heard rockfall several times coming from the Arete as we we're climbing up towards the Bear's playground around 6 AM. We assumed they were cleaning the belay / route and didn't think too much about it.

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby Phill the Thrill » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:13 pm

My heart goes out to the family and friends of these two climbers. God be with you all.

It sounds like weather was likely a major factor in this accident. What an awful tragedy. Dave, I'm so glad you and your party are OK - that sounds like a terrifying experience.
"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it." - Andy Rooney

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby kenike » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:34 pm

We spent the weekend out near Taylor Park and Mirror Lakes and heard this sad news on the way home this afternoon. I immediately hopped onto the forum to see what was said via my phone, but wasn't able to post condolences. Now that I'm able to sit down and read, I'm amazed by what I'm reading! We were wet pretty much all weekend, and I know we saw waterfalls and rivers in places we've never seen or expected to see them before, but what you are all describing in THAT area is truly frightening!

My heart breaks, prayers are extended, and thoughts remain with this couple's son and remaining family. What sad news, and it's only made better by the fact they went alone. I pray it was quick for them.

Thank you, Bob, and the rest of CCSAR (and ALL the SAR teams out there!) for all the work you do. It's thankless, and sometimes horribly tragic, but we appreciate you more than you could possibly know....

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby Corndiggs » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:18 pm

Hey Dave P.,

I believe I met you and your partner on top of the peak Friday; I was the solo climber descending the red gully below you. I wondered how you guys were doing on the traverse and am glad to hear you guys bailed at the right time. I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten back to camp, packed up and nearly down to the trailhead as the weather rolled in.

I never saw or heard the couple on the Arete, nor did my wife who stayed around the lakes that morning; may they rest in peace.

Corwin
Can't Get No Higher!

"Home grown, Colorado's own. Colorado bred, Colorado to the bone. Colorado dread, I got Colorado soul and I'm gonna rep Colorado everyone that I go!" - Quintessential

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Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby tenpins » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:22 pm

another friendly reminder that Search and Rescue/Mountain Rescue services provided by our extremely dedicated volunteers is always free of charge. The crestones are definitely some of, if not in the upper, upper crust, the gnarliest and most unforgiving terrain we have. CCSAR provides excellent protection to our community.

folks the rain this year is upping the ante in our playgrounds, please be safe.

Re: Overdue Climbers

Postby BobbyFinn » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:37 pm

We were in the area this weekend and watched the FFL helo land twice and, we found out later, take out the bodies. We also chatted briefly with one of the SAR members. A very sad day. Here are two pics of the recent rain damage near Broken Hand Pass. The damage is pretty dramatic and washed away the trail. You can see that the lake (the lower lake) below is discolored from all the mud that flowed down. Also, I noticed several large rocks below BHP (S. Colony side) that look to be ready to fall if there's another heavy rain. We also saw evidence of recent rockslides near the "red gully" for Crestone Peak. Be careful if you're in the area!

Thanks to all the SAR teams out there!
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