I’m stunned and grieved to hear this, we’re so sad, Doug Coombs is a hero to everyone in our family and to every backcountry skier I know. Sadly ironic that we’d just posted about that old poster of him a few blogs ago. I thought about removing it, but it’s cool so we’ll leave it up in his honor (but I’ll re-word the light hearted ribbing). Incomplete preliminary reports indicate Coombs was skiing steep terrain with several others. One of his companions started down first and fell down the mountain after hitting an ice patch (and later died as well). Coombs fell during (or while preparing for) his descent to help.
|From Andrew McLean: “…this is one of my favorite Doug photos. It was taken in 1996 when we tried to ski the Otterbody Couloir on the Grand Teton. We didn’t make it that day, but he and Mark Newcomb returned a few weeks later and completed the descent.”|
Here is a preliminary report from the Valdez Heli Guides website:
Doug Coombs was killed in the mountains today.
This afternoon we learned of the tragic accident in La Grave, France.
We are still gathering details and will inform you as we learn more.
Words can’t describe the loss his friends feel now. His impact on Alaska Heli Skiing, Alpine Guiding, and just plain fun-hogging is immeasurable.
Send you thoughts and prayers to Emily and David Douglas Coombs. They will need you support and love for a long time.
Don Sharaf, Doug Workman, Scott Raynor, Kirsten Kremer, Paul Turecki, Jeff Zell, Eric Henderson, and the many others who had the privilege to work, ski, and smile with Doug over the years.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.