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Sheldon E. Moomay, Jr., 1944-1975



On July 29, 1978, Sheldon Moomaw was killed in a fall on 24,580- foot Noshaq in Afghanistan. With his passing, the climbing world has lost one of its most enthusiastic climbers. At 23,000 feet on Noshaq (after a long day of carrying 50-1b. loads), he still had enough energy left to start planning an expedition to Pakistan in 1980.

Sheldon was the type of person who brought dreams into realities. In his short mountaineering career, he had climbed in most major ranges in the United States, including over one hundred peaks in the Sierra Nevada. He ascended numerous peaks in the Canadian Rockies and is one of the few people to have climbed Mount Robson twice.

It was in South America that Sheldon acquired his love for high- altitude climbing, that led to his expedition to Noshaq.

On this expedition, Sheldon demonstrated particular promise in organizational skills. He energetically dealt with the red tape contingent upon traveling and climbing in a politically sensitive area.

At 34, with a wife, Toni, and two children, Kelly, 12 and Don, 11, his death is especially tragic. The saving grace is that he died where he wanted to, in the mountains, and not (as he often said) “at rush hour on the Santa Ana freeway.”

Sam Roberts