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Belgian mountaineer dies on Denali

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Belgian mountaineer dies on Denali

Postby BrunoM » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:59 pm

Damn, I just got a message from a friend of mine, saying that Joris Van Reeth, a promising young Belgian climber and member of the Mount Coach team got killed on Denali.

He worked in a local climbing store, which is where I met him. I often asked him his opinion on certain gear, etc. He wasn't really a friend of mine but I knew him and I really respected him for what he did.

One of his colleagues is a friend of mine and I remember asking him last week how they were doing on Denali. The day before he left I even asked him about what crampons to hire...

I've read a lot of mountaineering stories filled with death and tragedy, and I hear about climbers who didn't make it back, and it's always a very abstract thing. There's always risk involved, and if you have bad luck, well then that's that. But when it strikes this close to home, it's completely different. When he left, I considered the fact that maybe he wouldn't be coming back, but when I heard the news I was (am) much more upset than I thought I would be.

I try to find some solace in the idea that he died doing what he liked most, but still.

Here's a translation of the article in Dutch on Mount Coach's website:


"This morning, at around 04.30 I received a phone call from Alaska bearing horrible news. After a fall in the Japanese Couloir on the Cassin Ridge on Denali, Joris Van Reeth suffered a severe head injury and died.

With the help of two Japanese climbers, his partner Sam was brought down safely to the base of the mountain. They also managed to retrieve Joris' body. At the moment, they are waiting for a clear weather window so the chopper can come and pick them up. Hopefully this won't take long anymore.

More details on the cause of the accident are rare and unnecessary at the moment. Our thoughts are with his girlfriend, parents, family and friend. For Sam this will be one of the longest and loneliest nights of his life.

There is a line of contact with Sam, the local rangers and the consulate."

http://mountcoach.com/


Rest in Peace Joris...




:cry:
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Postby Brad Marshall » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:22 am

Sad news. My condolences to all.
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Postby peladoboton » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:38 am

so sorry to hear this. it really hits home when it is someone you know doing what we all love.
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Postby Peak Freak » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:27 am

Really sad news. So sorry to hear. Condolences to friends and family. :cry:
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Postby BrunoM » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:15 am

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Postby WouterB » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:42 am

Another Belgian friend of me summited two weeks ago. He told me it was very cold and conditions were hard.

This guy was only 27, same age as me. RIP
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Postby Alpinisto » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:12 pm

Sorry to hear this, Bruno. Condolences to friends and family.
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Postby Alpinist » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:23 pm

Condolences to his friends and family.
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Postby WouterB » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:40 pm

stefschuermans wrote:Was he the 4th person in the peru-expedition last year Bruno? Can't find the details of that accident anymore ...


No. Fourth person in Peru was Yannick De Bièvre.
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Postby Luciano136 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:06 pm

I actually heard this while I was streaming Belgian radio yesterday :( .

I didn't know him but over the years, there have been quite a few people I had contact with that died in the mountains. It's always very surreal. No close friends yet luckily.

Condolences to family and friends. RIP.
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Postby Augie Medina » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:19 pm

Very sad. 27. Just starting out in life. Glad to hear other climbers helped his partner down.
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Postby WouterB » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:08 pm

Update:
The second Belgian climber, Sam Van Brempt (24) was evacuated of Denali today. He'd been stuck there since monday after his partner took a deadly 30m fall while climbing the Cassin Ridge. Sam was initially helped down by two Japanese climbers, but refused to leave the body of his climbing partner behind. Since monday, several attempts to recover Sam and the body of Joris failed. The first couple of days the weather was too bad and after the weather cleared out, the right helicopter wasn't available. Finally, today Sam was rescued from the mountain., where he had spent the last four days alone in his tent guarding the body of his dead friend. As for now, the body of Joris is still up there.

Both climbers had already summited Denali via the normal route last week, but the aim of the expedition was to be the first Belgian team to ever summit via the Cassin ridge.
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Postby Haliku » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:13 pm

So sorry to hear. RIP.
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Postby Luciano136 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:16 pm

Wow, that must've been a looooong 4 days! Good to hear he made it out alive.
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