The 37-year-old mountaineer was attempting to make the second ascent of Lubuche Kang in Tibet with his long-time climbing partner David Gottlieb when he broke through cornice and fell to his death. The two had been climbing in the area since early September.
Although it’s a tragic ending to a short life, Puryear died following his passion. The trip had received several prestigious grants, including the Mugs Stump Climbing Award and the Shipton-Tilman Grant, to fund their climb in the range which had until now been largely undocumented due to the treacherous nature of the climb.
In his life, Joe Puryear became of America’s elite alpinists having climbed in the Andes, Patagonia, Himalayas, Alps, and Alaska. A former Mount Rainier National Park Ranger, Puryear had made his home in WAshington state. He is survived by his wife Michelle.
Our condolences go out to his wife and family on their tragic loss.
Photo: Joe Puryear