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Death on El Diente

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: Death on El Diente

Postby Buckshot Jake » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:35 am

Does anybody know if he was wearing a helmet... Or if that would have even helped?

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby lordhelmut » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:04 am

A fridge sized rock, that came loose at no fault to anyone but the nature of the slope we were on, almost snapped my fibula in half on El Diente a couple years ago and then missed Wesley by a hair. That mountain is not one I plan to repeat without snow on it and this confirms it. Condolences to the family.

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Re: Death on El Diente

Postby tmathews » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:08 am

lordhelmut wrote:A fridge sized rock, that came loose at no fault to anyone but the nature of the slope we were on, almost snapped my fibula in half on El Diente a couple years ago and then missed Wesley by a hair. That mountain is not one I plan to repeat without snow on it and this confirms it. Condolences to the family.


Jeezus. I guess I should consider myself lucky. I've been up El Diente twice this year and had life-endangering mishaps both times. My buddy Brian (lakecityrat) wants to attempt the traverse next summer, but I don't know if I want to tempt fate a third time....

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby gonzalj » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:09 am

Rest in Peace John Merrill and condolences to your friends, family and pregnant wife. It's tough hearing all this news over the course of this entire summer and to everyone out there, safe travelings on any mountain your on.

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Re: Death on El Diente

Postby Mel McKinney » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:32 am

My condolences to John's family. I'm so sorry for your loss.
To see a 2nd thread this week of a death on a Colorado peak... Just sobering and tragic. My condolences to all the families & friends who have lost loved ones this summer.
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

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Re: Death on El Diente

Postby Johnson » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:01 am

mtndude3737 wrote:Does anyone know the death count for 14ers this year?

I am sorry, but when are people going to stop treating the mountains like glorified treadmills with a view? Learn mountaineering skills! Be prepared for the worst! Learn to avoid terrain that is steep, loose, and dangerous! The mountains don't care whether we live or die, it is up to us!



I can hear your intention in this but 1) You can't assume this man was "treating the mountains like a glorified treadmill" and 2) A rock could take out Steve House as it almost took Lordhelmet. I too am disturbed by the flip-flop crowd but we don't know this about this man. May he rest in peace and may his wife find strength.
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. - Psalm 95:4

"I would be doing myself a disservice and every member of this band if I didn't perform the hell out of this." - Gene

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Re: Death on El Diente

Postby MtHurd » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:42 am

R.I.P.

Helmets suggested on these San Juan 14ers.

Eolus
Sunlight
Wetterhorn
Sneffels
El Diente
Mt. Wilson
Wilson Peak

Helmets suggested on these other 14ers.

Elks - All of them

Sangres

Little Bear
Crestone Needle
Crestone
Kit Carson
Challenger Point

This does not guarantee anything though as a refrigerator sized rock will take out anyone in its path helmet or not.

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Re: Death on El Diente

Postby James Scott » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:00 pm

This just makes me feel so sad. I had gone up the north side of El Diente to 13400 earlier this year, and was weathered off. Two weeks later I came from the south, and it seemed so straightforward. If I'm not learning a new lesson, I'm relearning an old one. No route is "safe."
"Some climb... to get to Terrapin."

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Re: Death on El Diente

Postby timberlinecolorado56 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:04 pm

Several years ago my uncle, despite his careful efforts, dislodged a table sized rock down the mountain. Those rocks are rotten. Be careful out there everyone!

My prayers go out to his wife, unborn child, family, and friends!
All creation declares the beauty and majesty of the Lord God Almighty.

"In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him... come let us bow down in worship... for he is our God." Psalm 95:5-7

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Re: Death on El Diente

Postby jduncan » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:06 pm

May John rest in peace. My sincere condolences and sympathy to his wife and child. May his wife, family, and friends find comfort from those around them. May God lift all of you up during this difficult time.

Every one of these is heart wrenching, saddening and difficult for me to process.
Erik Weihenmayer - "There are summits everywhere. You just have to know where to look."
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Re: Death on El Diente

Postby highpilgrim » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:09 pm

James Scott wrote:This just makes me feel so sad. I had gone up the north side of El Diente to 13400 earlier this year, and was weathered off. Two weeks later I came from the south, and it seemed so straightforward. If I'm not learning a new lesson, I'm relearning an old one. No route is "safe."



I agree.

It's important to keep in mind Gerry Roach's maxim: Geological Time is NOW.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

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Re: Death on El Diente

Postby BAUMGARA » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:27 pm

lordhelmut wrote: That mountain is not one I plan to repeat without snow on it and this confirms it.

What he said, snow climb.

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