FALL ON ROCK, CLIMBING ALONE AND UNROPED
Wyoming, Wind River Range, Mount Bonneville
On September 6, Ken Koski (56) fell to his death while either ascending or descending the Southeast Ridge of Mount Bonneville. He was in 4th and 5th class terrain.
An extensive and expensive search eventually discovered his body 4-500 feet below the ridge. His journal was a huge asset in this search. It described him slipping twice in 3rd class terrain in two days, which helped searchers focus their efforts on the area beneath the exposed ridge.
Ken was climbing alone and unroped. None of the local guides knew of an unroped route up Mount Bonneville. But Ken’s journal mentioned a chimney he saw in a guide book that none of us are familiar with. This chimney is supposed to be key to sneaking up Mount Bonneville, and Ken’s journal indicated that he had found the chimney during his aborted attempt on September 4. Based on routine journal entries that ended on September 5, we believe he died on the 6th, on his 56th birthday. (Source: John Gookin, SAR Commander, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office)
(Editor’s Note: There were no reports of accidents from any other Wyoming climbing sites.)