Location: Lander, Wyoming, United States

I'm just a western boy living the good life and enjoying every minute of it.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Tragic Accident

Yesterday, after work, I drove up to the canyon about 7 miles south of Lander to go for a nice little after-work hike. On my way back towards town, near the mouth of the canyon, I was slowed by the presence of about 6-7 emergency vehicles in a pullout by a rock face. It was apparent that something bad had happened, but I didn't see any wrecked vehicles, and there were a bunch of people milling around, so it was difficult to tell.

This morning when I got to work, I found out what happened. My boss/coworker (I'll call him "T") was in the canyon last night rock climbing with a good friend of his (I'll call him "A"). Lander, and specifically Sinks Canyon, has some of the best rock climbing in the U.S., or so I've been told by the many rock climbers I've met in the area. As "T" and "A" were climbing last night, a guy they were climbing with decided to check on his friend (I'll call the friend "J"). Apparently, "J" is a very experienced climber who worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) here in Lander. "J" was off by himself, either climbing or repairing one of the climb routes farther down in the canyon from the rest of the climbers. When "J's" friend went to check on him, he found "J" lying at the bottom of the cliff in a crumpled mess. "A" is an EMT with NOLS, so he and "T" were the first ones on the scene to try to revive him. "T" told me this morning that he knew right when they saw him that it was a futile effort. He had fallen to his death. To make it worse, "A", the EMT who tried to revive him, was a very close friend of "J", and got the task of telling "J's" family about the accident later last night.

"T", who is a very good climber himself, is understandably shaken up this morning and said he was haunted all night by the images from the accident. This is definitely a tragic accident that will likely hit the climbing community of Lander hard.


Blogger Anna said...

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

May 6, 2005 at 1:19 PM  

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