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Climber Killed up by The Fang in Vail
Submitted By: Malcolm Daly on Jan 7, 2002

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Be careful out there.....

From: "Malcolm Daly"
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 10:18:38 -0700

Here is something to post on the site about Rod Willard.


For those of you whom I have not met, I am Kerry Evens, Rod's wife of 4 months. I wanted to e-mail everyone on his list to let you know of some tragic news. Rod was killed in an unbelievable ice climbing accident on Jan. 5, 2002. Briefly: he was the belayer when an approximately 400# block of ice broke free and struck him on the top of his helmeted (of course) head. Death was almost instantaneous, he was attended to immediately by friends who were EMT and ER nurse. Everything that could have been done was done. It is comforting to me to know he died in the mountains, the environment he loved over all others, and that he was with dear friends. For an avid climber like Rod, there is no better way he would have chosen to die. His memorial service will be held Wednesday Jan. 9, 2002 at the American Baptist Church in Fort Collins Colorado at 10AM. The address of the church is 600 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins. The service will be preceded by a processional of fire trucks, ambulances, police vehicles, Search and Rescue vehicles and AirLife of Greeley helicopter. The processional is planned to begin at Poudre Valley Hospital at about 9:20AM and go to the church from there. We are encouraging people to line the streets from the church to honor Rod as the processional goes by. There are several memorial funds being set up should anyone want to contribute in Rod's name. Poudre Valley Ambulance Service is setting up at scholarship fund for funding others in Paramedic school. Also, Rod supported Friends of Tibet, whose address can be found on the internet. I am so sorry to have to share this devastating news with you all. I know that everyone who knew Rod was a better person for knowing him and he was well loved and will be sorely missed.
Yours in Sorrow,

PS: This accident happened while Rod was belaying a climber on "The Little Thang", aka, "The Seventh Tenacle", "The Frigid Inseminator". This has been the site of at least two other serious accidents, one of them resulting in a death. The Little Thang is the mixed climb directly behind the Fang in Vail, and offers some of the best "sport" ice climbing around. For those who think that sport ice climbing is safe (whatever that means) this accident should serve as a wake up call. Be careful out there...please.

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