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Rock Climbing : News : Obituaries : Joe Puryear Passes Away

Joe Puryear Passes Away

Submitted by admin on 2010-10-28

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On the heels of Kurt Albert, another talent falls. Just less than a month ago legendary climber Kurt Albert passed away during a climbing incident in Bavaria, Germany. Today we have received word that another skilled climber, Joe Puryear has passed away. And it is with a heavy heart that I write yet another article on a climber leaving us.

Joe Puryear, aged 37 died on Wednesday doing what he loved. Joe was on an expedition in Tibet with his climbing partner David Gottlieb when the incident occurred. And while his departure was by all means premature, in his life time he racked up an extensive list of accomplishments, including writing the 'Alaska Climbing' guidebook and receiving climbing grants in order to ascend unclimbed areas in both Tibet and Nepal.

The details of the incident are still pretty thin but it is reported Joe fell through a cornice on Labuche Kang, falling a distance of 1 500 feet, he was found deceased by David. The area in which they were climbing is said to without rescue services and David will need to descend back down the mountain alone to reach the base camp.

Joe Puryear was an amazing alpine climber, mountaineer and climbing ranger whom still had much to give to the climbing world, he will be greatly missed by many.

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Update with details when the come in please.
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More info on Joe's blog:

Also there are threads on supertopo and cascade climbers.

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On Wednesday October 27, David and Joe started their route on LaBouche Kang. It was finally a clear and beautiful day. Joe was very excited about the climb as he and David set out. Early on in the climb they were ascending a knife edge ridge and Joe went ahead to scout the route. David said Joe was smiling and kept looking back giving the thumbs up. Joe went around a rock outcropping and disappeared from sight. David following came around the corner and what appeared to be a continuation of the ridge, had given way and revealed a cornice. Joe had apparently stepped out onto the snow, which gave way and he fell 700 feet to his death. David was able to repel down to Joe’s body. David reported that Joe died on impact and did not suffer. He was able to retrieve the SAT phone and call. David is devastated, but strong and in good health. He has returned to base camp and is awaiting help from Global Rescue.
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what to say
i send comfort to the ones left behind
sorry for your loss

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