Friday, April 27, 2007

Lara-Karena Kellogg (Bitenieks)

Lara-Karena Kellogg (formerly Lara-Karena Bitenieks) died Monday evening while climbing Mt. Wake in the Alaska Range. Some of you may have known Lara from her years as a climbing ranger and member of our Mt. Rainier search and rescue team. But when it came to friends and social networks, Lara was indeed a power-broker in Seattle. Her loss is greatly affecting many people. Her friends are coming together to sort through the sadness and remember her life.

The NPS released Lara's name after her husband, Chad Kellogg, was notified in China where he was climbing (he is now returning to Seattle). There is a lot more to say about Lara. She was a very close friend and influential force in the way the Mount Rainier climbing program runs today. Lara possessed an amazing amount of style, confidence, independence, and strength.

The Fairbanks Daily Newsminer spoke with her climbing partner Jed Brown for details of the accident, Jed has a detailed narrative about the climb and accident on his website. They were climbing the N.E. Ridge of Mt. Wake. The green dot indicates the high point and the red dot is where the accident occurred. This route has some history. In 1994, two Alaskan climbers fell at nearly the same location during a rappelling accident. We will post a lot more on Lara in the days to come.

Jed Brown provided this picture of Lara from their climb. The Mt. Wake photo was taken by Eamonn Walsh and provided to us by Mark Westman.