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MCash

Carl Skoog dies on the South Face of Mercedario

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I'm so sorry to hear this, it is terrible. I met him when he was taking photos of Gordy skiing the couloir on SEWS. He said he felt safer on steep snow with skis on than with an ice ax and crampons. My prayers.

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frown.gif What a tragedy. frown.gif

 

We all know it is a risk we take but it hit hards when somebody so close - be it a personal friend or a member of our community - passes. I find it almost surreal as I can imagine many do. I never had the chance to partner up with Carl, and from Jason's words it sounds like I missed out.

 

RIP Carl. bigdrink.gif

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I'm confused. Carl and Lowell are the same person? In any case it's a tragedy and my condolences to the family.

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Since I've moved here, meeting the Skoog family someday has been something I've been looking forward to. Their stories and images have made me dream.

 

My condolences to Carl's family and his friends.

 

drC

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I just met Carl a few months ago. We attended a press event together. Besides being a very talented photographer and skier, he was a hell of a nice guy.

 

He will be missed.

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On behalf of Carl's family, I'd like to thank the readers of this board for their words of support. Since news of the accident has spread based on reports from Argentina on the web, I thought I should post a short summary of what I know, based on my conversation with Carl's climbing partner, Rene Crawshaw.

 

0750-001-carl-skoog.jpg

 

 

On October 17, 2005, my brother Carl Skoog died in a mountaineering accident on Cerro Mercedario (6777 m, 22210 ft) in the high Andes of Argentina. Carl was climbing and skiing with his friend Rene Crawshaw of Chilliwack, B.C. Their trip plan was to revisit and document the country described in the 1975 book by Piers Paul Read, "Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors," about a 1972 plane crash involving a Uruguayan rugby team.

 

Carl and Rene had already climbed a peak called Cerro Negro. That climb and descent went well. After climbing Cerro Negro, they established a camp at 14,500 feet on Cerro Mercedario. After some weather delays, they climbed the south face of Mercedario and established a higher camp at about 20,000 feet. They spent three nights at the high camp and during this period they made a successful one-day climb to the summit and back. Rene said that he and Carl were both doing well at altitude.

 

Around mid-morning on October 17, they began their descent from high camp. According to Rene, they were working their way down a 42-degree snow slope when Carl's fall occurred. The snow texture was uneven and they were side-slipping on skis at the time. Carl may have struck a hidden rock or other obstacle, but there is no way to know for sure. He attempted to arrest his fall but was not successful. He struck some rocks, and Rene thought he may have lost consciousness at that point. Carl ultimately tumbled 4500 vertical feet. Rene descended over a period of several hours and located Carl's body, confirming that he had died.

 

Cerro Mercedario is in remote country, and it took Rene 1-1/2 days to hike out for assistance. The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires notified Carl's family on October 20 and on the same day a military party on foot and with mules left to recover Carl's body. The recovery is expected to take three days.

 

Lowell Skoog

Seattle, WA

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Thank you for taking the time to post that.

 

My condolences to you and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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Lowell; my condolances to you and your family. May memories of your brother always warm your heart and bring joy to your family.

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Carl has touched the community in such an amazing way. The world will be missing something without him. My best goes out to the Skoogs and all who Carl has affected.

 

Alan

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To Lowell and the rest of Carl's family,

 

My deepest regrets on your loss of one who lived life to the fullest. He passed on doing wile doing what he did the best and filled him with the most joy. Not many can say that.

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Lowell, I am sorry about your brother. Let the peace of the mountains rest on you. Alex

What he said. Condolences to the Skoog family.

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My condolances to the Skoog family and friends. They way he was able to get after it in the mountains with his brothers and friends was truly inspiring.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

 

Carl Skoog, skiing enthusiast

By Warren Cornwall

 

Seattle Times staff reporter

 

Carl Skoog, 46, was an important figure in Washington backcountry-skiing circles and in national ski photography. He died Oct. 17 in a fall while skiing down the side of a mountain in Argentina.

 

Carl Skoog would drive to a cabin in the North Cascades late at night, and beat everybody out the next morning for the first tracks in new-fallen snow.

 

He spent six days waiting out an Alaska snowstorm just to capture a breathtaking photo of a friend skiing down a mountainside, one of many professional shots that graced the covers of popular ski magazines.

 

And the Redmond man pioneered routes across some of Washington's most imposing mountain ranges, going places on skis that most people wouldn't dare go in boots.

 

Mr. Skoog's enthusiastic mountain exploits, which established him as an important figure both in Washington backcountry-skiing circles and in national ski photography, ended Oct. 17 when he died in a fall while skiing down the side of a mountain in Argentina. He was 46.

 

"Backcountry skiing and mountaineering was what he did," said Adam Howard, editor of Backcountry Magazine, a Vermont-based publication on snowboarding and backcountry skiing that has used Mr. Skoog's photos nine times on its cover. "His stuff was authentic, and he was just where the action was. He was just doing it. He would have pursued the mountains with or without the camera with just as much vigor."

 

Mr. Skoog was introduced to skiing in the Cascades at an early age. As the son of Richard Skoog, a ski jumper and early supporter of the Crystal Mountain ski program, he spent long days on the slopes.

 

"We would stick a sandwich in one pocket and an apple in the other," Carl Skoog told Couloir, a backcountry-skiing and snowboarding magazine. "I don't think I saw the lodge until after I was a teenager, when I went in there to see what was going on after all the skiing was done."

 

Later, he turned his attention to the backcountry, away from the crowds and the ski lifts. With his brother, Lowell Skoog, he established ski traverses of Washington's Picket, Chiwaukum and Bailey mountains.

 

What first drew Mr. Skoog to backcountry skiing was that "it combines the sense of discovering the country with the joy of gliding through the country on skis," said Lowell Skoog.

 

Mr. Skoog's photos of his excursions caught the eye of magazines and outdoor-gear companies, leading to his career as a professional ski photographer.

 

Dean Collins of Bellingham, a frequent subject of Mr. Skoog's photos, recalled his backcountry comrade as a hardworking devotee of the sport, but an unassuming person who was unlikely to brag about his exploits.

 

Collins went on three ski trips to Alaska with Mr. Skoog and spent countless days with him in the mountains. On one of the Alaska trips, they waited out the six-day snowstorm before making the ski run that produced the Backcountry cover photo.

 

"Pretty much every waking moment that we aren't working and can go skiing, we've been together and shooting together," Collins said.

 

Mr. Skoog died while skiing down 22,211-foot Cerro Mercedario, in the Andes Mountains of Argentina. He fell on a 42-degree slope of windblown, soft snow and couldn't stop himself, tumbling approximately 4,500 vertical feet and breaking his neck, said Rene Crawshaw, a Canadian who was with him at the time and spoke by telephone from Argentina.

 

He was preceded in death by his father and is survived by his mother, Ingrid Skoog of Bellevue; brothers Lawrence of Seattle, Philip of Washington, D.C., Gordon of Redmond, and Lowell of Seattle; and sister Anita Skoog Neil of Bellevue.

 

No memorial service has been scheduled.

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No memorial service has been scheduled.

 

The last line of the Times story was unfortunately worded. A celebration of Carl's life is definitely being planned. A notice should appear in the Seattle papers this Sunday, 10/30. I'll post the details after the notice appears.

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