6th climber ID’d in Mount Rainier accident
Mountaineering company, families release additional names of those killed in a climbing accident on Mount Rainier.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Matthew Hegeman, 38, guide, of California
Eitan Green, 28, guide, from Boston area
Mark Mahaney, 26, climber, of St. Paul, Minn.
John Mullally, 40, climber, of Seattle
Uday Marty, 40, climber, of Singapore
Erik Britton Kolb, climber, of Brooklyn, N.Y.
The sixth person who died on Mount Rainier has been identified as Erik Britton Kolb, a finance manager at American Express. He lived in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife.
A spokesman for Kolb’s family identified him this morning.
“Erik was a smart, gentle and generous man whose warmth and kindness touched the lives of all who knew him, according to a statement from the family. “He was an avid outdoorsman with a passion for new and exciting experiences. His adventurous nature and thirst for seeing the world took him to such places as Jordan, Europe, Tanzania, and he was scheduled to take a trip to Peru.” the family statement read.
The identities of the five other people presumed dead in the climbing accident also have been confirmed. They include a former Microsoft program manager and the vice president of Intel’s Southeast Asia operations.
Alpine Ascents International, the mountaineering company that led the climb, identified its two missing guides as leader Matthew Hegeman, 38, and Eitan Green, 28. The other climbers were John Mullally of Seattle, Mark Mahaney of St. Paul, Minn., and Uday Marty of Singapore.
The six died while attempting to summit the 14,411-foot peak via Liberty Ridge, the most challenging of the guided ascents to the summit. Climbers approach from the north side of the mountain along a route where rock and ice falls pose a significant risk.
Typically, the route is climbed in the early part of the climbing season because the risks increase as the snow and ice melt, according to U.S. Park Service and guide officials.
The climbers left May 26 on a five-day trip that was to end Friday.
Park-service and guide officials said they heard from the group at 6 p.m. Wednesday, and all was well, though a storm was hitting the area.
Park-service officials believe the accident happened as the climbers were at 12,800 feet, still on their way up the mountain. Debris and camping gear were seen Saturday around 9,500 feet, indicating a fall of more than 3,000 feet.
Park Service officials have said they will not attempt to recover the remains at this point, considering the dangerous conditions. It may be the bodies will never be found.
In a statement posted on its website Monday, Alpine Ascents said that “Matt and Eitan are near and dear to all of us ... Their skill level and passion for the mountains were always at the forefront of their time in the field.
“Matt, intense, philosophical and driven by the right way to do things, left an indelible mark on all around him. His pursuit for excellence was matched by his sense of camaraderie and humor.
“Eitan, quick with a smile and exuberant, had that infectious nature of guides who love their work and time in the mountains,” the company said. “His talent as a strong leader and critical thinker in the wilderness was unsurpassed.”
Green earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Colby College in Maine and had been a guide at Alpine Ascents since 2009. He had climbed, trekked, and guided from India and Nepal to Alaska, Argentina and Europe, the mountaineering company said.
According to Green’s blog, he grew up in the Boston area until his junior year in high school, when he attended the Mountain School, a semester program run by Milton Academy in Vershire, Vt. While attending Colby College, Green spent a semester in northeast India and became fluent in Nepali.
Green began guiding while in college with Acadia Mountain Guides in Maine and on ice at the International Mountain Climbing School in New Hampshire.
A memorial service for Green is scheduled for Thursday in Brookline, Mass., The Associated Press reported.
Hegeman, of Truckee, Calif., had climbed Mount Rainier more than 50 times via four different routes, according to Alpine Ascents’ website.
Married to an ecologist, he had also climbed Mount Shasta more than 35 times and ascended all peaks of 14,000 feet or greater in California. He twice summitted 22,837-foot Aconcagua, in the Andes Mountains.
Intel, the microchip manufacturer based in Santa Clara, Calif., confirmed Monday afternoon that Vice President Uday Marty was among the missing climbers.
“Intel is greatly saddened to confirm that Intel Vice President Uday Marty is among the six mountain climbers missing and presumed dead following a fall on Mount Rainier,” the company said in a statement. “We are providing support in this difficult time to Uday’s wife and other members of his family.”
The statement added that Marty “was an accomplished engineer and manager and was widely respected throughout the company.’’ He joined the company in 1996.
According to an Intel biography, Marty, 40, was managing director and oversaw the company’s business in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia and Brunei. He previously managed Intel’s global notebook marketing at Intel’s Santa Clara headquarters.
Intel spokesman Bill Calder told The Associated Press that Marty had climbed Mount Rainier before.
“He was a guy with a great attitude, and he always had a big smile,” Calder said.
Mullally’s wife, Holly, confirmed Monday that her husband, John, was among the six dead climbers.
“John was an amazing husband, father, friend, mountaineer, and all around human being,” she said in a statement issued through a family friend. He was born in Woodinville, loved the Northwest, but “lived to climb mountains,” his wife said.
He first made the summit of Mount Rainier in his early 20s, she said.
“Although my heart is broken, I find peace in the knowledge that he died doing what he loved. John always supported his loved ones in following their dreams, and I absolutely supported him in following his,” she said.
Mullally worked at Microsoft for more than 20 years, and went from putting instruction manuals in boxes and driving a forklift while teaching himself computer science, eventually working as a developer and program manager in the Windows division.
“Our condolences go out to the families of the other climbers lost in this tragedy, and especially to Alpine Ascents International, which lost 2 of their most senior and long-term guides,” Holly Mullally wrote, saying she climbed with Hegeman on Mount Baker and Mount Rainier in 2012. “I respected his leadership and found him to be experienced, skilled, appropriately conservative, thoughtful, and someone who I could count on to keep my husband safe, barring tragedy beyond our control.”
The couple have two daughters, ages 5 and 9, she said.
Mahaney, 26, was a quality assurance analyst for an IT company who friends and family recalled for his love of climbing, The Seattle Times reported Monday.
Mike Carter: email@example.com or 206-464-3706
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.