A Climber We Lost: Scott Dewey, October 6

Each January we post a farewell tribute to those members of our community lost in the year just past. Some of the people you may have heard of, some not. All are part of our community and contributed to climbing.

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You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2021 here.

Scott Dewey

31, October 6

Scott Dewey was an avid outdoorsman from childhood, an active climber, fisherman, camper, kayaker, swimmer, and a “fitness nut,” says his sister Sara. He also loved playing the guitar.

Born in Claremore, Oklahoma, he graduated from Salina High School in 2008, before serving in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years. He studied Applied Geology at the Metropolitan State University of Denver beginning in January 2019.

Scott Dewey. (Photo: Sara Dewey)

“Scott was magnetic,” wrote his closest climbing partners, Lauren Moyer and Erin Ann, in a co-authored statement to Climbing. “He had the most beautiful and unique way of seeing the world, sometimes through literature, other times through music, but mostly with how he so deeply engaged with others.

“Scott was not someone who sat on the surface, and he profoundly impacted those who were fortunate enough to be part of his world,” they continued. “People gravitated toward his stoke at the crag and no matter the grade, he found beauty in the movement, the holds, and those around him.”

His friends were also glad to comment on his culinary skill. “He could always make something out of nothing,” Erin said. “Usually [it was] salmon, but he’d always find some creative side to pair with it.”

Scott’s favorite quote came from the American country singer Ray Wylie Hubbard: “The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectation, those are the really good days.” Scott lived humbly, sleeping on crash pads on the floor of his 200-square-foot studio in Golden, even at times when it became a source of friction for potential girlfriends, as Erin remembered.

His sister Sara also recalled, “He loved teaching people, and he was so patient … He loved his nieces and nephew. Kaine, my son, is quite the talker, but Scott never lost patience with him.” 

Scott died October 6, in Colorado’s Eldorado Canyon State Park, in an unroped fall while climbing alone. He was a regular in Eldo, and it was one of his favorite crags outside of Joshua Tree, said Erin, noting that Scott was “very aware of the risks of free soloing.” Peter Croft was an idol of his, she added, and he often joked that he prayed to Croft while free soloing.

“He’d arrive as early as he could,” Erin said of Scott’s climbing in Eldo. “He liked to be there when the sun came up. He’d get in 10 pitches before his classes started.”

Scott is survived by two sisters, Sara and Lauren; two brothers, Bobby and Shawn; and three nieces and a nephew: Kaylynn and Kaine Cummings and Sophie and Olivia Dewey. “This world will forever be a shade darker without him spreading his light,” Sara said.

—Owen Clarke

You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2021 here.