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Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:44 am
by Dan_Suitor
I’m so sorry to hear this. My condolences to his friends and family.

Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:28 am
by geojed
Very sad to hear. Seems like he was a pretty awesome guy.
From the description of where he was found it seems like he must've been scrambling through the towers by PT13665 on his way to Cooper Creek Pk when the accident happened. Those are the only cliffs or towers SE of Cooper Creek Peak at least.

Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:44 am
by denvermikey
geojed wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:28 am
Very sad to hear. Seems like he was a pretty awesome guy.
From the description of where he was found it seems like he must've been scrambling through the towers by PT13665 on his way to Cooper Creek Pk when the accident happened. Those are the only cliffs or towers SE of Cooper Creek Peak at least.
High likelihood. He was headed back toward the Redcloud saddle from UN13832 when my wife and I came across him. That is really the only logical path to Cooper Creek Pk from there.

Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:55 am
by nunns
Always sad to hear about a death in the mountains.

Sean Nunn

Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:10 am
by supranihilest
geojed wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:28 am
Very sad to hear. Seems like he was a pretty awesome guy.
From the description of where he was found it seems like he must've been scrambling through the towers by PT13665 on his way to Cooper Creek Pk when the accident happened. Those are the only cliffs or towers SE of Cooper Creek Peak at least.
Follow-up with a couple additional photos, since the towers aren't super clear in geojed's photos. These were taken in the basin for Redcloud's standard route, near where it climbs steeply, looking north. That section of towers is short but they're exceptionally rugged and the rock in that area is garbage. Until we know more it's just speculation, but given the article denvermikey posted it seems like that area would be the only logical one.
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My condolences to Ben's loved ones. He was a talented climber and I enjoyed regularly seeing his name on LoJ.

Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:26 am
by Tornadoman
Condolences to Ben's family and friends. It's always tough to see a young life lost in the mountains.

Agree with other posters, that is a stretch of rugged terrain up there. I remember looking at that area while descending Cooper Creek Peak last fall and being surprised at how difficult some of it looked.

-Andrew

Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:45 am
by dwemp6
Condolences to family and friends. Sounded like a great guy.

Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:46 am
by SurfNTurf
What stood out to me the most about Ben, in addition to his hiking prowess, was his devotion to helping others achieve their high-altitude dreams. He was chasing multiple lists, as most of us are. But he also had the rare quality of often setting aside his personal ambitions in order to share his passion for the mountains with others.

I had the privilege of spending about 10 hours on a ridgeline with Ben on September 12, as a participant on his first-ever Colorado Mountain Club outing as trip leader. We talked about his accomplishments, of which there were many, and his goals, of which there were more. More than both combined, however, he talked about how excited he was to become a trip leader. He was absolutely stoked to share his knowledge, skills and experience with other mountaineers. He was good at it, too. He went out of his way to spend personal time with every hiker on that outing and made them feel comfortable and included. It's a lofty comparison, but his outlook toward the mountains was reminiscent of the legendary Steve Gladbach.

That was our first and regrettably only hike together, but we'd exchanged months worth of emails and he was always one of my favorite people to catch up with at CMC events. He had that kind of presence, as natural leaders often do, that made everyone he interacted with feel like they had his enthused and undivided attention. He always left a mark. The world needs more people like Ben.

By pure coincidence, if his accident hadn't occurred, we would have stumbled upon each other on Half Peak this past Sunday. My heart aches for what should have been. Sending my love to his family, friends, and others who knew him.

Here are a few favorites from that hike a few weeks ago:

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Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:49 am
by kingshimmers
This is terrible - my condolences to everyone who knew or happened to cross paths with Ben

Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:58 am
by bluegrassclimber
Sharing this in response to some of the other photos, seems to be the only TR tagged to Cooper with a close look at that SE Ridge that connects to saddle with Redcloud. Def looks like some challenging terrain in that short section if you don’t drop below the ridge. In line pics copied from the TR.

https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/triprepo ... trip=19483
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Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:09 am
by geojed
bluegrassclimber wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:58 am
Sharing this in response to some of the other photos, seems to be the only TR tagged to Cooper with a close look at that SE Ridge that connects to saddle with Redcloud. Def looks like some challenging terrain in that short section if you don’t drop below the ridge. In line pics copied from the TR.
Good Catch on finding those photos. Here's one more picture from that TR taken from the summit of PT13665 that really shows the towers on the ridge well. Looks pretty gnarly and you wouldn't suspect it from looking at topo maps or even as you climb up the gentle slopes to the top of PT13665.

Re: Missing Hiker - Ben Brownlee

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:29 am
by mtn_hound
geojed wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:09 am
bluegrassclimber wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:58 am
Sharing this in response to some of the other photos, seems to be the only TR tagged to Cooper with a close look at that SE Ridge that connects to saddle with Redcloud. Def looks like some challenging terrain in that short section if you don’t drop below the ridge. In line pics copied from the TR.
Good Catch on finding those photos. Here's one more picture from that TR taken from the summit of PT13665 that really shows the towers on the ridge well. Looks pretty gnarly and you wouldn't suspect it from looking at topo maps or even as you climb up the gentle slopes to the top of PT13665.
TR clearly states they did not attempt the ridge to Cooper, the photos in the TR are terrain around the summit of 13,665 and don't show the area of the 13,665-Cooper Creek ridge that is in question. The photo posted by geojed does give a nice view of the difficult part of the ridge.