In Memoriam

These pages celebrate the lives of amazing climbers who have passed on. Some are famous superstars of the sport; others were known only to their family and friends. But all had an impact. Read their stories here, and remember lives filled with passion.
  • Herb Conn

    Herb Conn Dies at 91

    Climbing pioneer Herb Conn passed away in his home near Custer, South Dakota, on February 1, at the age of 91.

  • Prominent Norwegian Alpinists Die in Accident

    Prominent Norwegian climbers Bjorn-Eivind Artun, 45, and Stein-Ivar Gravdal, 37, died while attempting a new ice route on the big wall of Kjerag, Lyesbotn, in southwest Norway.

  • Pioneer, Legend Harvey T. Carter Dies

    Harvey Carter--climbing icon and legend--passed away Tuesday, March 13, at the age of 83. With a climbing career lasting more than 60 years, Carter pioneered and discovered many of the well-known climbing areas in the four-corners area, including the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, and is rumored to have made over 5,000 first ascents.

  • Alaskan Alpine Club Founder Dies

    Doug Buchanan was filled with hospitality, humor, wit, intelligence, incredible drive, insight, and honor. His last adventure was a fight with cancer.

  • Everest Pioneer Nawang Gombu Dies at 79

    Everest Pioneer Nawang Gombu Dies at 79

    4/25/11 - Nawang Gombu Sherpa, who accompanied Jim Whittaker to the summit during the first American ascent of Mt. Everest, in 1963, died at home in India on April 24.

  • Kurt Albert Dead at 56

    9/29/10 - Kurt Albert died on September 28 as the result of injuries from a fall on a via ferrata route in Germany three days earlier.

  • Chloe Graftiaux Dies in the Alps

    Chloe Graftiaux Dies in the Alps

    8/23/10 - On Saturday, August 21, Belgian climber Chloe Graftiaux died after falling from the South Face of Aiguille Noire de Peuterey in the Mont Blanc.

  • Guy Lacelle Killed in Avalanche

    Guy Lacelle Killed in Avalanche

    Canadian ice climber Guy Lacelle died in an avalanche in Hyalite Canyon, Montana, while climbing a snow gully between climbs.

  • Charlie Houston Dies at 96

    Charlie Houston Dies at 96

    Charles Houston, a pioneering American climber and altitude researcher, died at his home in Vermont on September 27. He was 96.

  • Craig Luebben Killed in North Cascades

    Craig Luebben Killed in North Cascades

    Craig Luebben, the well-known Colorado climber, guide, teacher, and author, was killed early Sunday morning when glacial ice collapsed on Mt. Torment in North Cascades National Park.

  • John Bachar 1957-2009

    7/06/09 - On July 5, the climbing world lost one of its greatest icons: John Bachar. While climbing alone at the Dike Wall near Mammoth Lakes, California, Bachar fell to the ground, though the circumstances of the fall remain unclear.

  • John Pilla 1946-2009

    John Pilla was the owner and operator of Mountains Unlimited in Waterbury, Connecticut. He passed away unexpectedly on April 9th, 2008 while rock climbing when he suffered a heart attack after completing a tough 5.9+ near Plymouth, Connecticut.

  • Climbers Lost Near End of Huge Alaskan Traverse

    Climbers Lost Near End of Huge Alaskan Traverse

    5/30/08 - The National Park Service has called off the active search for Japanese climbers Yuto Inoue, 24, and Tatsuro Yamada, 27, who disappeared high on the Cassin Ridge of Denali this month. The two climbers had been attempting a massive link-up that finishes up the Cassin Ridge.

  • Chris Allport

    Climber Christopher Allport died in an avalanche in the San Gabriel Mountains near Wrightwood, California on January 25th . A multi-sport athlete, as well as a talented actor and musician, Chris had a life-long love of the mountains, rivers, and coasts of California.

  • Bob Bates Passes

    Bob Bates Passes

    9/19/07 - Robert Hicks Bates, a pioneer of American climbing in the Yukon and the Himalaya, died on September 13 at age 96.

  • Remembering Michael Reardon

    Remembering Michael Reardon

    On July 13, the climbing world lost a great one: Michael Reardon, 42, the accomplished free soloist from Oak Park, California. Reardon met with a freak accident at the headland of Dohilla, on the island of Valentia off the southwest coast of Ireland.

  • Lara Kellogg Killed in Alaska

    4/30/07 - Seattle climber Lara-Karena Kellogg, 38, was killed in a rappelling accident while descending Mt. Wake in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge last Monday.

  • Berhault Killed in the Alps

    4/29/04 - Patrick Berhault, one of the most visionary and accomplished climbers of recent decades, died in a fall from the Dom, the highest peak in Switzerland, three-quarters of the way through his unprecedented bid to climb all of the 4,000-meter peaks of the Alps non-stop by foot and ski.

  • Hans Gmoser Dies After Bike Accident

    Hans Gmoser Dies After Bike Accident

    7/7/06 - Legendary Canadian mountaineer Hans Gmoser, 73, died this week after a cycling accident. Gmoser founded Canadian Mountain Holidays, a leading guide service and helicopter skiing operation, in 1957, and he inspired generations of Rockies climbers and skiers.

  • Brad Washburn Dead at 96

    Brad Washburn Dead at 96

    1/11/07 - Bradford Washburn, one of the key figures of American mountaineering in the 20th century, died last night at a retirement home near Boston. He was 96.

  • 2006 - Loss of a Legend

    2006 - Loss of a Legend

    On October 23, the climbing world lost a legend — Todd Skinner, originally of Pinedale, Wyoming, 47 at the time of his death and a leading big-wall free climber. Skinner died in an unrestrained 500-foot fall from the Leaning Tower in Yosemite National Park.

  • Eric Brand Dies

    12/05/06 - Eric Brand left us on September 30. He went into the home he shared with his wife, Carol, in Silver City, New Mexico, lay down on the couch, and never woke up.

  • Chris Hunnicutt Dies

    Chris Hunnicutt Dies

    2/01/07 - Chris Hunnicutt, a 32-year-old Salt Lake City climber, lost his life on Tuesday, January 30th while climbing Stairway to Heaven (WI5) in Provo Canyon.

  • Berger Dies in Ice Climbing Accident

    Berger Dies in Ice Climbing Accident

    Austrian climber Hari Berger was killed while ice climbing in an ice cave near Hintersee Flachachau, Austria, on Wednesday, December 20, after approximately 150 tons of ice collapsed, burying the Austrian World Champion during training.

  • Elie Chevieux Alive!

    5/14/04 - According to several news sources, Swiss on-sight phenom Elie Chevieux is NOT one of the two Europeans that were stoned to death in Kabul, Afghanistan.

  • Elie Chevieux murdered in Afghanistan

    5/11/04 - The Swiss climber Elie Chevieux was found murdered in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 9. Chevieux, 31, winner and finalist in many international climbing competitions from 1991 to 1997, was brutally murdered with stones in a public park, along with an unidentified friend.

  • Deadly Avalanche on Khan Tengri

    8/06/04 - At least six climbers are dead on 22,998-foot Khan Tengri in Kyrgyzstan after an ice avalanche smashed into a large group around 6 a.m. on Aug. 5.

  • Helicopter Crashes on Everest

    6/2/03 - Tragedy struck just a day before the 50th anniversary celebration of Mount Everest’s May 29, 1953 first ascent, when a helicopter transporting climbers crashed near Everest basecamp on Wednesday.

  • Doug Coombs Killed

    4/04/06 - Legendary ski mountaineer and Teton rock climbing guide Doug Coombs was killed yesterday near La Grave, France, along with American climber Chad VanderHam.

  • Kurt Albert (1/24/1954 - 9/28/2010)

    In 1975, Kurt Albert, now 56, painted a red circle on the limestone at the base of Adolf Rott Ged.-Weg, on Streitberger Schild in Germany’s Frankenjura cragging region—his idea of a way to denote that the climb’s moves had been freed. When Albert did the route bottom to top, no falls, he filled in the circle and a new term was born: the rotpunkt, or redpoint.