Chad Kellogg Killed By Rockfall In Patagonia

Chad Kellogg: self-portrait on the summit of Jobo Rinjang in Nepal in 2012.

2/16/2014 - American climber Chad Kellogg has been killed while climbing in Patagonia. According to local authority and guidebook author Rolando Garibotti, Kellogg and Jens Holsten had climbed the Afanassieff Route on the northwest ridge of Fitz Roy. They reached the top in late afternoon on February 14 and began their descent via the Supercanaleta route.

After the third rappel, one of the ropes got stuck, and while pulling on the cord to try to loosen it, "the rope dislodged a block which hit Chad," Garibotti wrote at "He died instantly. It was 9 p.m. Jens continued the descent alone through the night, reaching the base early in the morning to then continue to El Chaltén, the nearest town. Because of the complexities of the location, a body recovery will not be attempted."

Kellogg, 42, was based in Seattle and ran a construction business that remodeled historic homes. He was best known for his  speed climbs and attempts—he set speed records on Mt. Rainier and Denali, won the race up 7,000-meter Khan Tengri in Kyrgyzstan, and made two attempts to break the Everest speed record. But pure alpinism was his true love, and in recent years he had accomplished many superb ascents, going solo or partnering with a select group of highly accomplished Pacific Northwest climbers.

In 2008 he and Dylan Johnson climbed a 72-pitch new route on Siguniang in China. Kellogg soloed a new route on the enormous south face of Aconcagua in Argentina (without going to the summit) in 2009.

Kellogg and Johnson did the first ascent of 18,346-foot Seerdengpu in China in 2010. In January 2013, he and Colin Haley did the second ascent of the Corkscrew Route on Cerro Torre, climbing the Patagonian spire without using any of the controversial protection bolts placed by Cesare Maestri on the southeast ridge.

In the fall of 2012, Kellogg and David Gottlieb were in Nepal to try the first ascent of Lunag Ri in a remote section of the Khumbu. When Gottlieb got sick, Kellogg soloed the second ascent of 22,238-foot Jobo Rinjang. The two men returned to Lunag Ri last fall and made two unsuccessful attempts on Lunag Ri. Kellogg recently won a 2014 Mugs Stump Award to return to this area with Gottlieb and Jens Holsten later this year.

In addition to his climbing and business challenges, Kellogg had endured numerous other difficulties. In 2007 his wife, Lara Karena Kellogg, was killed in a rappelling accident in Alaska, while Kellogg was climbing in western China. Kellogg also survived a bout with colon cancer, with which he was diagnosed shortly after his wife's death. In 2011, one of Kellogg's best friends and partners, Joe Puryear, was killed in a cornice collapse in Tibet.

Date of accident: February 14, 2014



Previous Comments

Still I think of the the greats the "Pros" like Chad he was a great Climber and great guy. I wish I had the chance to learn and climb with Chad You will be missed ! Charlie

Charlie - 05/13/2014 9:55:44

I'm shoked to hear this.. I met Chad Lukla, Nepal ,(april 2013) while waiting for a flight. he was on his way to climb Mt. Evrest with no oxygene. for 2 days I had the privilege to listen to his amazing life story. Thank you for the honor meeting you.

Guy Elnatan - 04/25/2014 1:12:43

So saddened by this news. The more I read about Chad's accomplishments, goals and challenges as an adult, the more amazing his short life seems. I was a grade school and high school classmate of Chad's, but lost touch after graduation. I did always enjoy hearing about his amazing feats and records and chuckled at the idea that the kid I knew growing up turned out to be so passionate about the mountains. I remember at high school graduation seeing a picture of him as a little kid in Africa on the top of what looked like a VERY big rock (to a little kid anyway). That love of climbing turned into a lifelong passion and so I am comforted to know that he was doing what he loved right to the end. My thoughts and prayers are with his mother and father after yet another tragic loss. So much for one family to carry. Chad, may you climb on and on.

Marie Vestal Sharpe - 02/21/2014 4:32:27

As a former classmate of Chad's, I always knew that great things were in store for him. I have followed his career through the luge, climbing and have even espoused his virtues to anyone interested in being inspired and lifted up through his life. While saddened by his loss and that of his family, I am heartened by the fact that I knew him when, and how he died doing that which he loved. My prayers are with his parents.

Chris smith - 02/19/2014 8:51:30

Folks, life is about doing what "moves you." PERIOD. When you get to do that activity, you feel ALIVE. If that was Chad's nirvana, and if he died doing it, I say "GO MAN!!" Too many of us compromise and default to couch potato syndrome. I HOPE I die doing what I love. Rest in peace, Chad. You are an inspiration!

Jeff Foland - 02/19/2014 1:58:37

R.I.P. You are truly an AMAZING man!!! from another NW climber

joe - 02/18/2014 4:54:39

I feel so sad for Chad, his family and his climbing buddies. I use to be one of them back in the 90's. Chad was ranger on Rainier and we would climb and snowboard different routes. On our first descent of Success Coulior my memories of Chad are crystal clear. We were at our safe base camp around 10,500ft, and while gearing up with headlamps we heard above us a huge rumbling, tons of ice falling maybe a cpl K's feet above us. I paused and looked at Chad, then again another huge ice fall, you could feel the ground rumbling. I waited for Chad's reaction as I was racing with adrenaline. Chad just said "we better get after it" and we departed. After a successful summit and descent we had heaving packs after base camp and it was raining down below in the clouds. We snowboarded as far as we could and started to down climb through a cliff band. We got cliffed out and had to put crampons on to climb back out of the steep mud and roots. Chad was positive and smiling the entire time, he liked it when the trip didn't go exactly as planned. I know he's with Lara and they are climbing together again. Thx Chad for all you did for me!

Luke - 02/18/2014 12:01:01

Chad was truly inspirational. Inspirational for what?? How can he climb a rock and get killed by falling rocks like his wife. I rather get killed falling off a roof than climbing stupid rocks.

OB - 02/18/2014 10:14:21

A great loss in the climbing community. My heart goes out to all Chad's friends and family. My thoughts are with you Jens.

Criss Steiner - 02/18/2014 9:04:34

I met Chad while climbing Everest in 2010. Remarkable individual.

allain baldo - 02/17/2014 6:56:48

I was chad 'chumly's' bilology teacher in late 80's, and appreciated his zeal for the outdoors and God's creation even as a young man. He loved many of my climbing stories from younger years of adventure. Our prayer is for the LOrd to bring comfort through the Holy Spirit Rick and Peggy, who also lost Chads brother Shawn several years ago.

William D Boehm - 02/17/2014 6:45:06

Condoléances to Chad s family ,no he is climbing with the stars in the sky, bye bye great Chaud. Jeff baeza

jeff - 02/17/2014 1:45:51

A unique person, living a unique life. It's terrible and jarring that he died young, but even having met him only briefly, I am utterly convinced that he understood and accepted the risks and in doing so experienced life to the fullest. He will remain an inspiration for so many of us.

Patrick - 02/17/2014 11:28:02

Tremendously saddened to receive this news. Selfishly I can't help but feel I missed the opportunity of knowing this amazing person in adulthood. I know in no uncertain terms that everyone who did was blessed for it. I had the honor of knowing Chad way back when in grade school. Even then he was an exceptional person. Couldn’t sit still. Very, very smart and equally funny. I think we got along really well because he was as different from the other kids internally as I was externally. (I was the only black kid in school). Also, having grown up on missions in Africa, I probably was the most normal kid to him. But reading about his life as an adult, I realize that was just Chad. Unique. And very much his own man. Even as a child. My deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to his family and friends.

Jeremy Dorsey - 02/17/2014 10:50:15

RIP Chad. In the late 80's and early 90's, Chad was a national ranked athlete in the sport of luge. He was universally liked as a free spirit and a hard worker by fellow racers. He will be missed.

Gordy Sheer - 02/17/2014 9:18:25

I had the opportunity to live and slide with Chad back in his luge days in the early 90s. He was always so much fun to be around and his humor and positive attitude were infectious. You knew that he would be successful in whatever path he chose, with his drive and athleticism. We'll miss you, Chumley.

Jeff Scheuer - 02/17/2014 8:22:51

Chad "Chumly" Kellogg was also a luge athlete in his younger days. He touched so many of us as a kind, funny and amazing young man. Our whole community is saddened by the loss of him and the only tiny measure of consolation is that he died doing what he was so passionate about. He died living. We would like to reach out to his family and friends to be a part of a memorial or gathering of some type to honor his life. Any help with this would be appreciated.

Cynthea Wight Hausman - 02/17/2014 12:55:26

What a tragic loss! May God's comfort be with Chad's parents, and friends.

Mary Beth Genet - 02/16/2014 11:48:29

I first met Chad while he was working on my girlfriends house. At the time I was in school and hating it, and hating Seattle weather while feeling I was on the wrong path, I used to be climber. Chad came in with his father in law and fixed the leaking roof, the sketchy guard rail on the second floor porch and the general disregard of the house. Chad was stoic but when cued he spoke of his plans to climb to climb Everest via a way I can't remember, to run the trail around MT Rainer, etc. These quests were inspiring but I was most inspired by his advice to "spin it" which came after learning of the tragedy of losing his wife and being diagnosed with cancer in the same year. I was bitching about doing school work inside on a beautiful day and that my lucky life was not perfect-I was not a trust fund kid and had it tough. Chads advise was simple but his experience with these words were poignant and compelling. I "spun it" and was able to see how my school work and position in life were helping many sick people. I knew him briefly yet he seemed to know me well.

Chris Williamson - 02/16/2014 8:40:36

Condolences to Chad's family and friends, truly a big loss. He gave an inspirational presentation at Appalachian State University depicting his desire for challenge and he got to experience some of the world's most beautiful places because of that desire. Chad's speed climbing of alpine faces was extraordinary! A climber's climber...RIP

Lynn Willis - 02/16/2014 8:36:02

Chad was truly inspirational. He had a great attitude about life and stayed focused on his journey. Whenever I take on anything challenging I try to follow his example, stay focused on the journey. When things don't go your way, "spin it" and make it work for you. That is what I will remember.

Jen Jones - 02/16/2014 8:09:53

rest in peace! You are a great mountaineer who died while practising what you loved most.

Africa Alpines Expeditions - 02/16/2014 8:02:05

WU WEI, blessings, my condolences to family and friends. What a warrior!!!

ephay - 02/16/2014 6:40:42

really sad news

Singapore Dave - 02/16/2014 6:25:46

so sad. an extraordinary climber and even better friend. namaste, amigo.

peter J. vogt - 02/16/2014 5:53:51

Tragic end to an inspirational and talented alpinist. RIP

d lenrow - 02/16/2014 5:30:10

RIP Chad, you'll be missed.

Morgan - 02/16/2014 4:49:47

Sad but he now joins his wife in a better place. Hope they are loving each other and resting peacefully in between heavenly climbs! Thank you for all you've done for the climbing community.

Joe Assad - 02/16/2014 3:38:13

RIP, Chad. You were one of the best. Inspiring so many of us.

PC - 02/16/2014 2:54:40

Chad was a beautiful man. His exploits fill record books. He was loved by hundreds, and admired by thousands more.

Lee Akers Sr. - 02/16/2014 2:46:25

Chad was a beautiful man. His exploits fill lrexcord books, and he was loved by hundreds, and admired by thousands more.

Lee Akers Sr. - 02/16/2014 2:45:16

really sorry

Pedr - 02/16/2014 1:33:19

Cambiate sport!

Roberto - 02/16/2014 1:13:52