American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Douglas Byron Hall, 1969-1997

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

DOUGLAS BYRON HALL

1969-1997

On January 25, the earth lost a most remarkable individual and a great creative spirit. Doug Hall was killed in a dramatic avalanche while climbing the notorious Fang route in Provo Canyon, Utah. He left behind a legacy of climbs and adventures by which his friends and family will remember him.

I had the good fortune of meeting Doug in 1992 and sharing many climbs and wonderful moments with him during our formative years as aspiring alpinists. He was attracted to the alpine regions of the world like snowfall to the mountains. Rarely in our short lives do we meet an energy as strong and constant as his. Always positive and seldom without his infectious smile, he touched many lives and added a sparkle of hope to the darkest situations.

Doug grew up in Pennsylvania, the son of Gerry and Nancy Hall. He was a talented young athlete who excelled in baseball and football, as well as being an excellent student and guitarist. He went on to graduate from Bucknell University with art and engineering degrees. He moved to Colorado in 1991 and soon became part of a close-knit group of Boulder adventure climbers. In just a few years, Doug had climbed extensively in such traditional areas as Yosemite, Zion, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Rocky Mountain National Park. I shared many of these climbs with Doug, and they remain some of my fondest memories.

Doug was an avid skier, spending several winters in the Colorado Rockies and Alta, Utah. He loved to tour in the backcountry with his friends and ski off the lovely summits of the Wasatch Range. Doug also was an avid photographer and was in the process of developing a productive professional career. His stunning images remain as a testament to his artistic genius. He was, no doubt, in position for a great shot when the white wave of energy surprised him from above.

When not climbing or skiing, Doug was the life of the party. His friends, many of whom were not climbers, will remember him as a warm, loving individual who gave his heart and soul to every friendship. He was a prolifically generous person, giving clothes and climbing gear he had accumulated during his tenure with Black Diamond to those in greater need than himself.

Doug was particularly intrigued with the allure of first ascents, and opened new climbs in the Wind River Range, Canyonlands, the Kichatna Spires of Alaska, the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru. After Doug’s death, his ashes were spread about a virgin summit in Tibet and the top of a fantastic rock spire in Kyrghyzstan so that his spirit may reside in the high and wild places that he loved so dearly. His dreams and aspirations will manifest themselves in those that he loved and those who loved him.…

Adios, brother. Until we meet again.

a whisper, a cry

the wind takes his hand

and leads him to the heavens

where he waits for his friends in peace

Douglas J. Byerly

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.