American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Henry Augustus Buchtel, III, 1906-1988

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989


Dr. Henry Augustus Buchtel, a long-time member of the American Alpine Club and the Colorado Mountain Club, passed away on April 18 at his home in Green Valley, Arizona after a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Kathrina (Bobby), four children and a brother, John Buchtel.

He joined the American Alpine Club in 1930. A past president of the Colorado Mountain Club, he was active in leading trips and outings in the 1920s and on up to 1950 when he was chairman of the outing at Middle Fork Lake in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. In 1926 he, William F. Ervin and I spent several weeks climbing in the Swiss Alps. The apex of his climbing career was the first ascent of the West Buttress of Mount McKinley in 1951 with Bradford Washburn, Dr. John Ambler, Barry Bishop, Jerry More, Jim Gale, Bill Hackett and Mel Griffiths. He was an avid and excellent skier as well as a climber.

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1928 and the Harvard Medical School in 1931 and did his internship and residency at the Mayo Clinic. After a successful career in Denver as a urologist, he moved to Steamboat Springs in 1969 and continued to practice there until he retired in 1969 and moved to Green Valley.

His grandfather, of the same name, was elected Governor of Colorado in 1907. Governor Buchtel had been a pastor of Trinity Methodist Church in Denver and had served as Chancellor of the University of Denver. Henry’s father, Dr. Frost Buchtel, was also a physician. Henry will be sorely missed by his many old-time friends in the Colorado Mountain Club and the American Alpine Club.

Carl A. Blaurock

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