Phil Powers summited K2 without oxygen and has a first ascent on Denali, but it was a simple climb on his lunch break that left him with the biggest challenge of his life. After a miscommunication and a 70-foot fall, the outgoing CEO of the American Alpine Club was left fighting for his life.
Vogel was an accomplished climber and a stalwart member of the community. He coached a local youth team, helped with trail and crag maintenance, and participated in rebolting efforts.
Kelly Tufo and Dave Kellogg were making the final moves up a four-pitch route at Tahquitz, California, when things suddenly went awry. Seconds later, both lay dying at the base of the cliff, still roped together, one with an equalized belay sling at his waist. What could have gone so wrong?
The former Nose speed-record holder, who has climbed El Cap a record 178 times, fell high-up on the route last Thursday, shattering bones in both his legs.
Squinting across and up the gully I saw a backlit brown disk, spinning, the size of a couch pillow, heading straight toward me.