Remembering Mountaineer Corey McCarty

We're sad to share that on Friday, December 14, one of our dedicated volunteers Corey McCarty was killed in a work-related accident in Seattle.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 19, 2018
Remembering Mountaineer Corey McCarty
Corey McCarty at The Mountaineers Program Center with MAC on north wall for aid class and instructing basic aid techniques, december '18. Pictured w Kaelen Moehs and Ada Kuhtz.

We're devastated to share the news of the passing of Corey McCarty, a beloved Mountaineer - a 19-year member, Super Volunteer, and valued member of our Seattle Climbing community. He was killed in a work-related accident on Friday, December 14, 2018. 

Corey was a member of The Mountaineers for nearly 20 years, and a leader in our Seattle Branch, receiving the 2018 distinction of Super Volunteer, an award given to those who have volunteered 15 or more times with us within the year. 

Corey graduated from our Basic Climbing course in 2005, and went on to be an Intermediate Climbing student and instructor for Introduction to Aid Climbing. In the last 12 years, Corey has led or co-led 31 trips, introducing hundreds of people to the outdoors. 

He was a co-leader for the Aid & Big Wall course over many years, teaching and sharing his passion for the big wall. "He could be counted on to be there for all the field trips at Index, Vantage, and Yosemite," said Takeo Kuraishi, a fellow Super Volunteer and Aid & Big Wall instructor. "He never missed the autumn Yosemite outings, often showing up on his motorcycle - rain or shine. He could be found sorting gear, carrying the biggest haul bag, and leading out onto the sheer rock faces. Many course participants were introduced to introductory big wall routes such as Lost Arrow Spire Tip and Washington Column with him. 'Dinner Ledge' on the Column was one of his favorite overnight spots, enjoying good stories and laughs with others. You just had to remember to bring ear plugs for the night when you were camping."


Corey carrying the heaviest haul bag. 



Corey ascending big-wall style in Squamish.

Corey on Lost Arrow Spire 7.jpg Corey on Lost Arrow Spire


This summer, Corey spent a lot of time with our Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC), teaching the next generation the skills to safely and confidently enjoy and protect the outdoors. He volunteered just last week, on December 8 - his birthday. An illustration of just how dedicated he was to The Mountaineers.

Corey at MPC with MAC, maintenance on north wall for aid class, december '18 (2).JPG

Corey McCarty instructs youth on December 8, his birthday. 


Although Corey’s time as a youth volunteer was brief, he will be remembered fondly by everyone that got to work with him. Corey took time aside from his demanding volunteer responsibilities as co-leader of the Aid & Big Wall climbing course to help out with several MAC events in 2018, and he quickly became a favorite among the students.

"He was funny, easy-going, positive, generous and just an excellent teacher and mentor,"  said Carl Marrs, Associate Program Manager - Clubs at The Mountaineers. "Always patient, never pushy or demanding, Corey facilitated a superb learning environment for every course he participated in."

"One of my favorite memories with him is when one of the MAC students was giving him a hard time for not being able to remember all of their names," said Carl. "He wasn’t the best with names, but we all loved him anyway. When this happened, Corey just decided he would start calling that student “Skippy”. Nelson was “Skippy” for the rest of the trip. This was a hit. We also gave him a hard time for being the “old guy” but he sent it right back! There was never a shortage of laughs and smiles while working with Corey. He made learning about climbing fun and safe. For all of us who got the privilege to climb with and learn from him, his memory will endure as an example of how to be a good teacher, mentor, and friend for many years."

Corey in Squamish with MAC, summer '18 (pictured with Nelson Lobo).jpg

Corey helps instruct at the annual MAC Squamish summer trip. 


Corey made an impression on many:

  • "Corey was a good friend and great mentor and climbing partner. I have learned so much from him. He had such a great personality. It was always easy to talk with him. He will be dearly missed." - Deling Ren, Climb Leader & Super Volunteer
  • "What a loss. Corey was quick to lend a hand and share gear so we all had a chance to lead. Awesome climbing partner and great person. So glad I had a chance to get to know him." - Eileen Kutscha, Climb Leader and Aid & Big Wall Instructor
  • "Corey was a great mentor and such a cool guy. Will never forget the memories of climbing lost arrow in Yosemite in 2015 together." - Roy Robertson, climbing partner

Our deepest sympathies go out to Corey’s family, the Seattle aid and big-wall climbing community, the MAC students and volunteers who worked with him, and Corey's Les Schwab Seattle South community. We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a beloved member of our community. We will be offering support to those impacted as our community comes together process the grief of this unexpected accident.

Public Memorial

A memorial service is planned for this Sunday, December 23 at the Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton. The ceremony will begin at 11am. The family has invited Corey's Mountaineers community, and we encourage you to attend and share your memories with others who love Corey. 

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