Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Climber dies on Humbolt Peak

An active contributer to www.14ersc.om best known as Talus Monkey, who had climbed all 54 fourteeners died from a fall on Humboldt Peak this weekend. Here's a story, according to a friend of his with the online moniker Delalibound:

On Sunday a beloved member of the Colorado climbing community slipped and slid down a snow slope approximately 200 feet, while attempting to descend 14,064 foot Humboldt Peak. The fall resulted in what was presumed to be a dislocated shoulder and hip. His climbing partner left him with 2 sleeping bags and descended to get help. She was unable to find the skis and snowshoed they stashed lower down the mountain, continuing to descend she was able to get help and alert search and rescue. Search and rescue groups decided not to proceed at night and started at first light Monday morning, leaving the victim alone in the snow overnight at over 12,000 feet. Reaching the victim alive and in in stable condition Monday afternoon, they began to transport him down the slope to a helicopter for transport to Pueblo. Meanwhile the Colorado climbing community was glued to 14ers.com, a local climbing website receiving updates from close friends and several people in contact with search and rescue. An unprecedented number of posts on the forum and a record number of users online during this incident further illustrate the climbing community's support for a beloved climber, fighting for his life, in need or desperate help. David Worthington, known to the climbing community and on 14ers.com as TalusMonkey, summited all 54 of Colorado's 14ers in only 53 weeks. He has a total of 66 14er summits, with many more summits of lower elevation to add to the total. As a charismatic, hard to forget individual, he touched the lives of many people, most of which he had never met in person. Late last night it was reported by a close friend that David had passed away. No official announcement has been made and details have not been disclosed, but we the climbing community are shocked, saddened, and in a state of mourning about the loss of such an irreplaceable member of our extended family. This is a story of tragedy, community, family, loss and support. People from all over the country have fallen upon an online forum and announced their loss of a family member today. The least we could do is let the Colorado public know who he was and how great of a loss this will be.

4 comments:

Teleken said...

Sad news. This morning the radio news was still reporting he was brought down safely.

zen said...

Not that this even remotely matters at this time, but does anyone know if he had an ice axe with him?

Jim Davies said...

From the online discussion, I got the impression he didn't have an ice axe. It may not have helped much.

This is very tragic, and David will be sorely missed by the Colorado mountaineering community. He started only about two years ago, caught the passion quickly and thoroughly, and pursued it to the utmost. He made a bad decision and paid the ultimate price; hopefully the armchair critics, that always come of of the woodwork after tragedies like this, will show some discretion and respect for this fine person.

Dena Rosenberry said...

Sad, indeed. You see that photo and read snippets from those who knew David... Makes you wish you knew him, too.