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Originally published June 3, 2014 at 8:03 PM | Page modified June 3, 2014 at 8:43 PM

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New York man identified as 6th dead climber on Mount Rainier

Erik Britton Kolb, the sixth person presumed killed in Mount Rainier’s worst accident in decades, was a 34-year-old financial manager at American Express who lived in Brooklyn, N.Y.


Seattle Times staff reporter

The climbers

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 presumed killed in Mount Rainier’s worst accident in decades was identified Tuesday as Erik Britton Kolb, a financial manager at American Express.

Kolb, 34, grew up in St. Paul, Minn. and lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his wife, Lisa.

A spokesman for Kolb’s family described him as “a smart, gentle and generous man whose warmth and kindness touched the lives of all who knew him.”

“His great love of the outdoors was evident.” said Caroline Gould Lewittes, a friend of Kolb since college.

Kolb sought adventure in trips to Jordan, Europe and Tanzania and was planning a trip to Peru, according to a statement released by his family.

“Erik was a smart, gentle and generous man whose warmth and kindness touched the lives of all who knew him. He was an avid outdoorsman with a passion for new and exciting experiences,” the statement said.

Kolb was a computer-science major who graduated in 2002 from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and earned an MBA from Georgetown University last year.

Kolb was one of six climbers who died last week after attempting to summit Liberty Ridge, Mount Rainier’s most challenging guided ascent.

The climbers left May 26 on a five-day trip that was scheduled to end Friday.

National Park Service officials believe the accident happened as the climbers were at the 12,800-foot level, still on their way up the mountain. Debris and camping gear were seen Saturday at around 9,500 feet, indicating a fall of more than 3,000 feet.

Park Service officials have found no sign of the remains and are unable to search on land because of unsafe conditions. Routine search flights will continue, but the bodies may never be found.

The other climbers were identified earlier this week and included two guides from the mountaineering company, Alpine Ascents International.

The guides were identified as Eitan Green, 28, who grew up in the Boston area and worked as a guide since 2009; and Matthew Hegeman, 38, from Truckee, Calif., who had climbed Mount Rainier more than 50 times.

The other climbers were John Mullally, 40, of Seattle, a husband and father of two who worked for Microsoft for more than 20 years; Uday Marty, 40, of Singapore, a vice president for microchip manufacturer Intel; and Mark Mahaney, 26, of St. Paul, Minn., a quality-assurance analyst for a tech company.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

Erin Heffernan: eheffernan@seattletimes.com



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