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Jim Detterline


Goodbye Jim Detterline

I read in the last few days that Jim Detterline was recently found deceased. I haven’t heard the details yet, but it is possible he was in a fatal solo climbing accident. He was apparently doing the something he loved and at which he was an unquestioned expert.

One thing not mentioned in news articles I’ve read so far, such as this one, is that not only was he a ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park who had climbed Longs Peak over 400 times, he participated in numerous rescues on this notoriously difficult and treacherous mountain, as well as other rescues in the park. He won the Department of Interior Medal of Valor for one of these rescues.

He was an invaluable resource to me in most of my writing about mountain rescue, contributing to Colorado 14er Disasters, Playing for Real, and an article I wrote for Alpinist magazine, number 5. He wasn’t always happy with what I wrote, mainly because I was too direct for his tastes, but he consistently helped my research despite that disagreement.

He recently retired from the National Park Service and had an all too short retirement. Happy climbing in the afterlife, Jim.

Posted in Colorado 14er Disasters, Mountain Rescue, Mountaineering by with comments disabled.