Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

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.
Forum rules
Please be respectful when posting - family and friends of fallen climbers might be reading this forum.
User avatar
Posts: 434
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:36 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby BAUMGARA » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:15 am

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

What he said, snow climb.


Forgive me for my lack of winter climbing knowledge, but how is it that a snow climb would make it safer?

-Thanks

As was mentioned, in late spring/early summer the snow is going to cover up loose rocks that might otherwise slide either because of natural events or human events. Now, there is still the risk of rock falling from above, which generally fall because of freeze/thaw cycles. Typically there's a greater risk of rocks falling from above in couloirs.

User avatar
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 7:41 pm
Location: Longmont, CO

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby turbocat » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:46 am

+1
Geological Time is NOW.


RIP John.
Less cowbell...more CAIRN!

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:01 am

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby henrysunset » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:10 am

I am a close friend of John and wanted to briefly thank everyone on this board for responding to his accident thoughtfully and with due reverence. It has been painful to hear of his passing, but comforting to see so many people giving so much to my friend, and to those who survive him. I appreciate those who look at this tragedy as a learning experience; to educate others about the risks involved in routes like this and encourage fellow climbers to approach this mountain differently. One member of the forum suggested that this route is safer when covered in firm spring snow or by encouraging folks and you can encourage people to consider safer alternatives to this particular mountain.

I particularly want to thank those who participated in the Search & Rescue operation, putting themselves at great risk to recover his body. To whomever adopted his dog, I thank you as the biggest gift you can give John in his passing is to love his dog and take him with you back into the mountains.

There was a memorial this past weekend for John which was well attended and very thoughtful. I have shared my words and some additional pictures of my friend John on my blog:
http://tomalphin.com/2010/10/remembering-john-merrill.html

Sincerely,
--Tom Alphin

User avatar
Posts: 3091
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:04 pm
Location: Tabernash, CO

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby MtHurd » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:44 am

henrysunset wrote:I am a close friend of John and wanted to briefly thank everyone on this board for responding to his accident thoughtfully and with due reverence. It has been painful to hear of his passing, but comforting to see so many people giving so much to my friend, and to those who survive him. I appreciate those who look at this tragedy as a learning experience; to educate others about the risks involved in routes like this and encourage fellow climbers to approach this mountain differently. One member of the forum suggested that this route is safer when covered in firm spring snow or by encouraging folks and you can encourage people to consider safer alternatives to this particular mountain.

I particularly want to thank those who participated in the Search & Rescue operation, putting themselves at great risk to recover his body. To whomever adopted his dog, I thank you as the biggest gift you can give John in his passing is to love his dog and take him with you back into the mountains.

There was a memorial this past weekend for John which was well attended and very thoughtful. I have shared my words and some additional pictures of my friend John on my blog:
http://tomalphin.com/2010/10/remembering-john-merrill.html

Sincerely,
--Tom Alphin


Thanks for that.

User avatar
Posts: 1702
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:11 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby susanjoypaul » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:37 am

henrysunset wrote:There was a memorial this past weekend for John which was well attended and very thoughtful. I have shared my words and some additional pictures of my friend John on my blog: http://tomalphin.com/2010/10/remembering-john-merrill.html

Thanks for sharing your memories of your friend, Tom. I didn't know Johnny, but after reading your blog I know that he would have fit right in with me and my "highpointer" friends. In addition to the 14ers, 13ers, and other high places, we all seem to share an obsession with discovering the highpoints of the most mundane places. This, in particular, made me laugh out loud:

    Lastly, it would be incomplete to describe John without explaining his obsession with high places. I could speak of our trip to the top of several volcanoes in Guatemala, but I would rather share in the story of a more modest high place. Over Christmas break in 2004, John really wanted to visit a high point that he had researched, the highest point in Anne Arundel County. If you are familiar with this area, I doubt you are imagining a majestic peak, but you might be thinking of a prominent hill with a nice oak tree. Well, no; The high point of the county is the highest spot in a nearly flat area which is 100 yards from a minor road, about 200 yards from a cellphone tower and all of 300 feet above sea level. It was right on the side of someone’s front yard. We weren’t exactly sure we were on the exact highest point, but I was absolutely certain that we were trespassing.
Anyone who's done the Colorado county highpoints - particularly those located on the eastern plains - can relate to this. Great stuff, Tom. Johnny really was a true highpointer, and judging from your comments, an even truer friend.

Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:56 pm
Location: New Hampshire & Colorado

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby robby40 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:29 am


User avatar
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:00 pm
Location: Morrison, CO

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby cbauer10 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:21 am

That is such great news. Thank you for keeping us updated.

User avatar
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:44 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby ketel1 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:46 am

Great news, for his new owner too. What a sad tale for both, and a very fitting happy ending.
Beth
"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." ~Christopher Reeve

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:37 pm

My brother Johnny

Postby DBMerrill » Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:02 pm

I became a member of the "14ers" to say thank you to every climber out there for taking your time to express your thoughts about my brother. Your thoughts of love, compassion, confusion, anger, peace, patience have been very comforting to myself and my family. I was never a climber, I left that to my brother. But seeing his pictures and how close he was to God gave me an understanding of why he climbed and why he loved to be part of nature. My family and I thank every one of you for your thoughts and your prayers, as the past 4 weeks haven't been easy. My mother and I said that one day we will go out to the bottom of El Diente to find peace and to reminisce of John's life. We would love for any of you to join us. We are grateful that his dog is in good hands and that he will be able to continue to climb, live, and protect others. This was Johnny's 15th 14er, he planned to climb one every Sunday. It was his passion, his love, and he lived for the thrill. He died doing what he loved to do. Although he left me and my family too soon, his final pictures of him on El Diente, him smiling and loving life brings my heart peace, and brings my soul comfort. I know he is with the Lord now, with the angels, and climbing the mountains made of clouds, smiling upon us, loving within us, and starting his mountain check list all over again.
My our Lord be with all of you, as you climb, as you enjoy natures peace, and as you live in the power of our Lord's mountains. Whenever I see a mountain I will think of my brother, whenever I see a climber- I know my brother will be with you.

Peace to you, and your families... enjoy life

David Merrill
Last edited by DBMerrill on Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 1515
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Monument, CO

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby globreal » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:13 pm

David,

I want to say thank you for your post and your kind words here. I am really sorry for your loss and I pray that God will bring you and your family the true peace and comfort that only HE can give. It looks like He already is.

If schedules permit, I would be honored to join you and your family on your hike to the base of the mountain when the time comes to do that.

ONWARDS!
Britt
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die."
~John 11:25

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:37 pm

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby DBMerrill » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:02 pm

Britt,

Thank you so much for your kind words, and taking the time to write. My family and I are from Maryland. I believe we are planning to come back out to Colorado and to the base of El Diente sometime in December or the beginning of next summer. When I know for sure I will surely post it here. It means a lot that you would consider joining us. Thank you.

May God go with you on all your future travels.

David,

User avatar
Posts: 1105
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:38 pm
Location: McKenzie County ND and Desert Hills AZ

Re: Death on El Diente

Postby Mark A Steiner » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:07 pm

David: Thank you for your post and words of assurance. Your reunion with John awaits I Thess. 4:14.

Saddened by your loss, but thankful for John's homegoing,
Mark
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content - Paul the Apostle.
Good day.

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests