May 26, 2010, 3:26 PM
Post #1 of 1
Registered: Sep 23, 2004
I didn't know them personally, but two Ice climbers died in an accident in Yellowstone National Park recently. Here is the article...
"Two experienced ice climbers from Bozeman are dead after an ice column they were ascending in Yellowstone National Park apparently collapsed.
Friends and family of climbers identified them as Michael Kellch, 29, and Mark Ehrich, 28.
Yellowstone officials said the men were climbing the Silver Cord Cascade, a series of waterfalls that originates from the south rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It drops several hundred feet to the canyon floor into the Yellowstone River.
Search efforts began Monday afternoon when friends contacted the park, reporting the pair had not returned from a weekend trip to Yellowstone.
On Monday, rescuers stationed on a north rim viewpoint spotted what appeared to be an "immobile individual and climber gear," Yellowstone officials said.
A rescue team member was able to rappel into the canyon Monday evening, and saw that the men were dead on a rock ledge about 300 feet below the canyon rim. It appeared the men fell when the ice column they were climbing collapsed.
As of Tuesday evening, one body had been retrieved, said park spokesman Al Nash. However, melting ice made the area dangerous for emergency workers, and the park decided to postpone recovery efforts until Wednesday.
Friends and family remembered the pair as avid and experienced outdoorsmen.
"You could write a novel on memories of those guys," said Colter Anderson, who had traveled to New Zealand and most recently Alaska to mountaineer and climb with Kellch and Ehrich. "Lots of laughs, lots of fun times. There was nobody I'd rather been there with."
Kellch's mother, Peggy Kellch of Riverton, Wyo., said her son graduated from high school in Casper, Wyo., then moved to Bozeman to attend Montana State University.
"He really loved Bozeman. I lost him to Bozeman," she said.
Kellch had hiked to Everest base camp, Mount McKinley and Mount Rainer.
"He really enjoyed the outdoors and climbing," Peggy Kellch said.
Bill Langlas, part owner of Langlas and Associates General Contractors, said Kellch was an employee with the firm; Ehrich had worked for the company in the early 2000s.
"They were both great guys," he said. "They really loved the outdoors. They've done the ridge run, city soccer league, fished, rock climbed, ice climbed - everything outdoors."
Kellch was a project engineer who most recently had supervised construction of the new South 11th Town and Country building, Langlas said.
Ehrich, who also graduated high school in Casper, Wyo., was a carpenter in Bozeman."
And a link to the article, with a picture of the two.
My heart goes out to their friends and family.