In memoriam: NOLS director killed by falling rock

Peter Absolon, 47, the Rocky Mountain director of the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyo., was killed Aug. 11 by a falling rock as he climbed a cliff in the Wind River Mountains.

Peter Absolon, 47, the Rocky Mountain director of the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyo., was killed Aug. 11 by a falling rock as he climbed a cliff in the Wind River Mountains.

Fremont County officials are investigating whether the stone that killed him was thrown by someone. Absolon was killed as he and a climbing partner were developing a new route up the cliff face of Leg Lake Cirque south of Lander.

According to a Star-Tribune article, Absolon's friend, Phil Powers, president of the American Alpine Club, alleges that a rock was thrown or kicked off the top of the cirque which struck and killed Absolon as he and Steve Hirlihy, a fellow NOLS instructor, were resting 800 feet up the rock face.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan confirmed to the Star-Tribune that Absolon had been fully equipped with all necessary climbing and safety gear, including a helmet, harness and rope. “A rock from above hit him in the head, and death was immediate,” McAuslan said in the article.

McAuslan added that both his office and the sheriff's office were investigating Absolon's death and emphasized that it was an active investigation, so there would be no further releases of information. He declined to comment on whether the rock that killed Absolon had been put into motion by a person, but did say the 911 caller who reported the accident was not the focus of the investigation.

Absolon is survived by his wife, Molly, and daughter, Avery.


In Memoriam

Saying good-bye to someone is never easy, and industry veterans were getting more than a little misty this week with the untimely passing of two men. Kurt E. Lankford, a 43-year-old Boulder, Colo., resident, died of a heart attack while running on the Anemone Trail west of more


In memoriam: Saying goodbye to Cliff Cornhall

Cliff Cornhall, 72, the camping buyer for Big 5 Sporting Goods for 38 years until his retirement in 2006, died of an apparent heart attack on April 15, shortly after returning from an early morning walk on the beach near his Huntington Beach, Calif., home. Larry Harrison, a more

In Memoriam: Michael Corvino, president of JansSport, killed in car accident

Michael Corvino, president of JanSport, died July 14 as a result of injuries sustained when his vintage 1970 Dodge Charger veered off the road and crashed into a tree. He was 46 years old. According to CHP reports, Corvino was accelerating while making a left turn just east of more


In memoriam: Alpinist Riccardo Cassin dies at 100

Riccardo Cassin, a pioneer in Alpine climbing and founder of the Cassin climbing equipment company, died Aug. 6 at the age of 100. “You could absolutely make the argument that he was one of the greatest Alpine climbers of all time,” Tommy Knoll, managing director of C.A.M.P. more

In Memoriam: Brooks Sports customer service rep killed

Elizabeth "Liz" Duncan, a Brooks Sports customer service rep, was struck by a car in Seattle on April 21 and died at the scene. Duncan was out for a daily training run and stood at an intersection waiting for the rest of her running group to arrive when the accident occurred. more


In memoriam: John Bachar dies while solo climbing near Mammoth Lakes

John Bachar, a pioneer in free solo climbing and design director of the rock shoe company Acopa, died July 5 after a fall from the Dike Wall Cliff near Mammoth Lakes, Calif. He was 51. “Everyone is in a state of disbelief,” Duane Raleigh, editor in chief of Rock and Ice more


Wolf Creek ski patrol director killed by in-bounds avalanche

Wolf Creek’s ski patrol director was caught and killed by an in-bounds avalanche on Nov. 22 at 7:45 a.m. “while working to protect others,” according to a press release from the Pagosa Springs, Colo, ski area. Wolf Creek Ski Area did not publish the victim’s name, but the ski more

Car crash kills Acopa president, John Bachar injured

Steve Karafa, 40, president of Acopa rock shoes, was killed in a car accident that occurred the night of Aug. 13, following the close of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Famed climber John Bachar, 49, was also seriously injured and Bachar’s girlfriend, Anastasia Frangos, 33, more

In Memoriam: 'Godfather of Exercise' left his mark before he left us

A man whose name few knew outside of academic and research circles, but whose research literally made possible today's fitness industry, died July 9 following a battle with congestive heart disease. He was 84. Ralph Seal Paffenbarger Jr. was an internationally known and honored more