Late 90's Blanca Peak fatal accident?

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Jon Frohlich
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Re: Late 90's Blanca Peak fatal accident?

Post by Jon Frohlich »

Woody610 wrote:In addition to the Mt Lindsey mission, there was a recovery in the early 2000's (not sure of the actual year) of a solo male climber who fell while climbing the Ormes route on the NE side of Mt Blanca. I believe the male party was from Texas. Multiple rescue Teams were involved in this search and recovery. This mission was performed from the Huerfano Valley Trailhead.
I think this might be the one I was thinking about. I didn't remember him being found though.
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Candace66
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Re: Late 90's Blanca Peak fatal accident?

Post by Candace66 »

jkirk wrote:Not looking like a full match, but, 1995, standard route:
https://www.denverpost.com/2005/10/01/f ... -memories/
Thanks for the reply.

In the case you linked, the body wasn't even located for 10 years. And when it was, recovery was straightforward. In the situation I'm thinking of, it seems like it didn't take long at all to find the climber's body. But the remains simply couldn't be safely recovered. I don't know if they eventually somehow were recovered. So I don't think it's the same accident.
"One criterion for climbing a peak is that you should gain a vertical height under your own power equal to your peak's rise from its highest connecting saddle with a neighbor peak...Beyond this minimum gain, you are free to gain as much altitude as your peak-bagging conscience requires." - Gerry Roach, "Colorado 14ers" :wink:
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Candace66
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Re: Late 90's Blanca Peak fatal accident?

Post by Candace66 »

mjsherman wrote:So I am pretty sure this was on Lindsey. Not sure of the year, but you could probably find in now. There were multiple SARs teams that tried to get to the climber's body. They all felt it was too risky as rock fall had caused the accident and it was still very unstable. If I remember right, he was climbing the ridge direct and not the standard route gully. I would assume the body is still there? Have not seen any reports that he was finally removed. Maybe though? I will try to find info.
Woody610 wrote:Not sure if this is the mission you are looking for. In October of 2000 David Syring fell while climbing Mt Lindsey. Multiple SAR teams from across the state attempted to do the body recovery in the following week. A Special Forces unit from Fort Carson was also enlisted to attempt the recovery the following week. Two feet of new snow in the area prohibited the recovery. Apx 1 month later a small group of rescuers were able to lower David the 1800ft to the valley floor. Three days later a private helicopter was used to recover the body.
OK, a lot of the details in this Mt. Lindsey accident are similar to what I remember. Also, Roach (probably the primary resource in those days) rates the standard route on Lindsey as 2+. And of course Lindsey is not far from Blanca Peak, maybe I just mixed them up in my memory.

(About that route and its rating.... When I finally climbed Lindsey some years later, I and others on the mountain felt the route was more difficult than we expected! I know I bypassed some of that loose junk high on the mountain, by getting onto the nearby class 3 terrain as described by Roach. It definitely seemed like it wouldn't be hard to have a nasty accident along that one stretch in particular.)

While googling David's name, I found the following link. I need to get hold of this book so I can read the full account of the story.

https://books.google.com/books?id=RCmTP ... ey&f=false

Perhaps the body was recovered, and not that long after the accident, but I missed that update.

Out of all the suggestions so far, this seems to most closely (but not perfectly) match my recollection of the situation.

If anyone else recalls something (an accident not yet mentioned, that seems to match my description), please share.
"One criterion for climbing a peak is that you should gain a vertical height under your own power equal to your peak's rise from its highest connecting saddle with a neighbor peak...Beyond this minimum gain, you are free to gain as much altitude as your peak-bagging conscience requires." - Gerry Roach, "Colorado 14ers" :wink:
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KenB
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Re: Late 90's Blanca Peak fatal accident?

Post by KenB »

Woody and I were part of the teams that made efforts to recover David. We both were on the eventual flight that returned David to his family at Centennial airport. (Hope all is well with you Woody).

The O.P. is not alone in being unclear on the outcome. I went back to Lindsey to climb it that following summer and ran into a DOW officer who thought a body remained near the summit. I assured him that had been resolved.

Ken
rrk
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Re: Late 90's Blanca Peak fatal accident?

Post by rrk »

Maybe you've already resolved this. Had to look in some old notes for this. Don't know if it's relevant. DarcyS referenced a county judge dying on Blanca. I remembered this well, because I was climbing Lindsey the next day when a helicopter was coming up the Huerfano basin, obviously looking for something. I believe he fell from the Lily Lake approach, somewhere between Blanca and Ellingwood, trying to descend in some bad weather. I sat out that very rainy afternoon and evening in a Walsenburg motel. I think he was from Mesa County (Grand Junction), and was wrapping up his last fourteener. The date I have for my first climb of Lindsey was 8/15/94. He fell on the day before. You might try looking at the 1994 ed. of Accidents in North American Mountaineering.
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Candace66
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Re: Late 90's Blanca Peak fatal accident?

Post by Candace66 »

rrk wrote:Maybe you've already resolved this. Had to look in some old notes for this. Don't know if it's relevant. DarcyS referenced a county judge dying on Blanca. I remembered this well, because I was climbing Lindsey the next day when a helicopter was coming up the Huerfano basin, obviously looking for something. I believe he fell from the Lily Lake approach, somewhere between Blanca and Ellingwood, trying to descend in some bad weather. I sat out that very rainy afternoon and evening in a Walsenburg motel. I think he was from Mesa County (Grand Junction), and was wrapping up his last fourteener. The date I have for my first climb of Lindsey was 8/15/94. He fell on the day before. You might try looking at the 1994 ed. of Accidents in North American Mountaineering.
Thanks for the info. But this seems unlikely to be the incident I recall. I didn't move to Colorado until 1997, and the incident occurred when I was already there. I recall it being something we discussed due to press coverage right after it happened. Also, I'm confident the incident occurred on a standard route regarded as below class 3...that does not describe Blanca and/or Ellingwood from Lily Lake TH!

So far, still looks like David Syring's accident on Lindsey is most likely what I (slightly inaccurately) remembered.
"One criterion for climbing a peak is that you should gain a vertical height under your own power equal to your peak's rise from its highest connecting saddle with a neighbor peak...Beyond this minimum gain, you are free to gain as much altitude as your peak-bagging conscience requires." - Gerry Roach, "Colorado 14ers" :wink:
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