American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Edward O. Nester, 1938-1975

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979



On a survey of an elegant route on Mount Austerity in the Northern Selkirks of British Columbia, Ed Nester died when a large boulder used for a rappel came loose (a boulder used by many of us over the years, so prominent it would appear to have been part of the mountain). A consistent weekend climber, he was well acquainted with the Gunks, New Jersey cliffs and the Mount Washington area. He also climbed McKinley, Logan, various routes in the Tetons and the Selkirks. A proposed new route on Hunter failed because of adverse snow conditions.

He had been a member of the AAC since 1968 but was active also in the AMC serving for several years as mountaineering chairman.

Ed told terrible jokes well, making many a dismal camp merrier with his dry staid humor. He was a workmanlike mountaineer, never taking chances. He taught mountain safety and rescue. In 1968 he put his skills to use in a winter rescue on Mount Washington for which he received the Carnegie Hero Fund Award. When the problems of ice climbing attracted him, he put his engineering talents to work in the design of his puckishly named invention “The Nester Super Screw,” a device which could be hammered in and screwed out. (“See Coming of Age—Ice Climbing,” A.A.J., 1972.)

Ed worked as an engineer for RCA; he held a BS in Engineering and an MBA. Non-climbing friends knew him as an amateur radio operator, a beekeeper, and a Sunday School teacher.

Survived by Joan (also an AAC member) and their two young sons, Ed Nester left among us a legacy of love for his family through his devotion to his children. Joan and Ed have changed our concept of how one cares for a special child. Memorial gifts may be sent to the Downes Syndrome Congress, P.O. Box 1527, Brownwood, TX 76801 or the Somerset (New Jersey) County unit of the Association for Retarded Citizens, Box 382, Millville, NJ 08332; or the AAC.

Earlyn Church

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