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Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby highpilgrim » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:14 am

Barry Raven wrote:R.I.P.

I climbed that route and thought it was a beautiful and there were no people at all on that route the day we did it. It was loose, but it didn't seem that bad to me.


Yes, it was very beautiful over there and we had the climb to ourselves. I suggested earlier that the excessive rain last year may have made things much worse than in a normal year. There were quite a few rain induced rockfalls and climbing accidents last year. One way or the other, once that way is enough.

Anyone choosing to climb that way, be careful.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby Monster5 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:41 am

I'm not going to give more details other than what has already been established until the right people have been informed, but the accident occurred on the standard route right off the summit, not the S or the W slopes. Plain and simple, he stepped on the wrong block and a few tons of debris gave way beneath him in a thundering boom. Attribute it to freeze-thaw, mass wasting, saturation, and any combination of processes.

Sean was very prepared and experienced - the accident could have happened to anybody. He had all the tools to give an excellent SAR crew a chance at saving him. He was a good guy and able to smile and talk with us throughout it all. Everybody was shocked and saddened to hear the news when each group finally got down. Again, he was an enthusiastic climber and it couldn't have happened to a better, more prepared guy.

There were a number of 14ers members by his side throughout it all, as well as a very helpful group from Aspen. Of course, the SAR team performed excellently. It is good to know that if something happens, we are part of a community, beyond any number of website or national affiliations, willing to go to great lengths in order to help a fellow climber out. I hope that summit fever, personal fears, or agendas never change your willingness and ability to lend a hand when a life is at stake.
"The road to alpine climbing is pocked and poorly marked, ending at an unexpectedly closed gate 5 miles from the trailhead." - MP user Beckerich

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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby SurfNTurf » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:43 am

I told myself I'd stay out of this thread, at least for a while, but I have to clear a few things up. Sean was climbing the standard route, not any alternate. He started from Snowmass Lake at the same time we did: about 4:45 a.m. He was solo, but stayed right behind our group and another group of two the entire ascent. He had crampons, an ice axe, a helmet, a SPOT, a GPS -- everything. I can say with 100 percent confidence he did everything right. There's nothing to be learned from this one, which somehow makes it even tougher to accept. RIP Sean...

EDIT: Monster5 beat me to it. I can't agree more with everything he said.

Thanks for everything you did up there, man. Andrew, too. I wish we could have met under better circumstances.
Last edited by SurfNTurf on Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
Many Miles to Go (Blog)

“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby areed20 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:45 am

My partner (Monster5) and I talked to Sean at the summit about 2 mins before it happend and were the first ones to get to him. Big thanks to Ryan he did a really good job of controlling the situation. I could not agree more with Jeff's comments. I was pretty shocked to hear that he passed. If any family member wants to know more details feel free to contact me via PM and I will do my best. Just to clarify something though, he did the standard route up. It happened just below the summit close to the SE Ridge. That is all I will provide publically though out of respect of him and his family. Thanks again to the other two groups that helped out and a special thanks to the Aspen Mountain Rescue Team. They really are the best of the best.

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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby briancolopy » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:01 pm

Tragic news...yet so good to hear of those who where there to offer their best to Sean. My prayers go out to Sean's family and friends and to all of you who take the time to help others on the trails.

Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:05 pm

Sad news indeed. Prayers for Sean's family, friends and those of you that were there with him in his time of need.
"Wilderness settles peace on the soul because it needs no help. It is beyond human contrivance." -- E.O. Wilson

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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby tundraking » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:12 pm

Most tragic. My thoughts and prayers go out to Sean's family.

Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:39 pm

Real Sad, kudos to Ryan, Jeff and Areed for respecting Sean and his family.
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the CO

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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby mattpayne11 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:54 pm

Man Ryan, that's two rescues in two years. Tough. Sounds like you performed admirably. Really sad news. Sorry to hear about this.

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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby msmith7361 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:08 pm

Sean, RIP.

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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby csmcgranahan » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:13 pm

RIP Sean. I'll be thinking of you when I climb Snowmass someday.

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Re: Rescue underway on Snowmass Mountain

Postby sevenvii » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:18 pm

Sad news indeed. Hats off to you fine folks who assisted with this rescue.

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