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A Climber We Lost: Matthias Rimml

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.


You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2022 here.

Matthias Rimml, 35, April 30

Matthias Rimml was a 35-year-old climber and mountain guide from Tirol, Austria, whose life was fully dedicated to the mountains. He guided rock and ice climbing, alpine skiing and touring, mountaineering, trekking, canyoneering, and more, all around the globe through his guide service, Acqua Rocce. 

In addition to sharing his passion for the mountains with his clients, Rimml also pursued grand personal objectives. At the time of his passing, he was attempting to climb the Seven Summits—the highest peak on each continent—in a single season. After summiting Kilimanjaro early in the year, he ventured to Alaska to climb Denali. He was the first registered climber on Denali this season, departing from basecamp on April 27. He was climbing solo and in alpine style, planning to summit and descend in five days (most guided parties take upwards of two weeks). While on the mountain, Rimml was periodically checking in with his friend Andy Huetten. Their last contact was April 30; Rimml said he was tired but not in distress.

After a few days of radio silence, Huetten contacted the park service, which eventually located Rimml’s body in the fall zone below Denali Pass. He likely fell traversing to the pass, an infamously treacherous stretch of the mountain that has claimed numerous lives. 

“Mathias was a dedicated, professional Climber and Mountain Guide,” Huetten told Climbing. “Very strong in mixed terrain and a skier by heart. His goal was, do climb the 7 summits and was well prepared to acomplish that dream.”

Passion for the mountains ran through Rimml’s veins; he was the fourth generation in his family to become a mountain guide. Even during the domestic parts of his life when he was not abroad in some mountain bivouac, he lived in Tirol, surrounded by the dramatic landscapes of the Austrian Alps.

“He was a lovely person, wonderful partner, and (an) excellent mountaineer,” Huetten told Alaskan News Source. “Nature showed us how small we are, that’s all. You always have to be aware of that, that we’re just a little piece of the puzzle.”

“Our parents were mountaineers, we grew up that way, and we love to do it,” Huetten added. “We just love to be in the mountains. Our heart goes out in the mountains.”

—Bennett Slavsky

You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2022 here.