December 29, 2012

Climber Forrest dies snowshoeing

The Associated Press

DENVER - Climbing legend Bill Forrest, who also made notable innovations in mountaineering equipment, died while snowshoeing near Colorado's Monarch Pass.

The Denver Post reported the 73-year-old Salida resident was with his wife, Rosa, when he collapsed Dec. 21. Other hikers performed CPR, but Forrest died at the scene.

Forrest was known for the first ascent of the Painted Wall in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River in 1972 -- a 2,500-foot climb on sheer granite that took nine days.

Kris Walker, his climbing partner during the ascent, said Forrest never quit, adding "that word was not part of his vocabulary."

Forrest pioneered the "Friends" active cam-nut protection system, a climbing aid, and was behind the Mjolnir, the first rock-and-ice hammer with interchangeable picks.

A memorial service is scheduled in Salida on Jan. 13.


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