Remembering Mountaineer David Carrier

It's with deep sadness that we share the passing of David Carrier. David was a revered instructor and mentor with the Everett Mountaineers and Oregon-based Mazamas for several years. He fell while descending during a solo scramble in the North Cascades on Stettatle Ridge on or around August 24, 2022.
Nick Mayo Nick Mayo
Everett Branch Volunteer & Super Volunteer
September 12, 2022
Remembering Mountaineer David Carrier
David on the Ptarmigan Traverse by Ivan Breen

David Carrier was an admired and respected Everett Mountaineers and Mazama member, and a highly experienced and prolific mountaineer with an impressive climbing resume. In addition to being an active instructor at both the Basic and Intermediate level, he also befriended and accompanied many Everett members on a number of private and official Mountaineers climbs over the past several years. 

David's kind and patient demeanor has had a profound and lasting impact on countless climbers, scramblers, and hikers within The Mountaineers, Mazamas, and across the larger PNW mountaineering community. As a mentor and a friend to many, David will be sorely missed.

This blog is a collaborative remembrance of David with tributes from those who knew him best. Contributions have been collected from his personal friends and from the close relationships he forged within Mountaineers and Mazama communities. 

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David was a dear friend of 18 years. He tried hard to pique my interest in climbing, and the ropes and crampons and all the other gear, were just a bit overwhelming … so we stuck to hiking and backpacking. David had a deep care for the poor and vulnerable in our world, and spent much of his non-climbing life working for a more just society. His legacy will live on as a compassionate and adventurous soul, and I am so grateful for the time we were given to walk this journey of life together. Rest In Peace my dear friend!

-Brooke Anderson


David was a good friend, mentor, and inspiration in my life. He taught me that you can find enjoyment and excitement in even the simplest of activities by simply choosing to slow down and appreciate what's right in front of you. He had a beautifully positive spirit and rarely if ever complained or got upset, even when things didn't go as planned. His stamina and strength put people forty years his junior to shame. What he would do on a "rest day" would make most ordinary people need a rest week to recover from. He inspired me to dream about what is possible in life and showed me that your only past your prime if you choose to be.

David was at home in the Cascades. For years he had tried to get me out there to appreciate it. I am so grateful that the last time we spent together was an awesome week of adventures and him introducing me to this place that he loved. I was amazed but not surprised at how he had summited almost every peak. If he hadn't, he had a plan to do it soon. His passion for the mountains was infectious. He showed me how the mountains can test you, strengthen you, all while showing you the richness and beauty in life.

I am forever grateful for the time and experiences we shared my friend. I'm sorry to see you go. I will carry you in my heart to the top of Fly Boys and see you in the mountains brother.

-Ben LaCour

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In climbing, I appreciated David’s willingness to explore different routes and mountains, even if those climbs were not completely harmonious.

In addition to climbing, David was very into social justice and helping others. He was bigger on doing, than on talking about it. For example, until I visited his house in Maryland, I had no idea that he’d taken in a refugee family. He didn’t advertise it, nor brag about it, he just did it.

-Leora Gregory


I had just come home from climbing N Face Burgundy Spire in the Wine Spires when I got the devastating news that David had been found not far from Washington Pass. I am one of the many, many people whose life was touched by him. As cliché as it sounds, he really did seem invincible. Several years ago I climbed Mt. Garabaldi in BC with him. Not only was David the one that drove the minivan up the very steep, sketchy access road, he also led across the bergschrund and set up a perhaps not exactly Freedom of the Hills textbook anchor (short on gear and bad snow, but hey, it caught a fall). He also was the only one of the four of us that was strong enough to drive all of the night back to Portland so I could serve on a PhD defense committee despite the fact he didn’t need to be back in town himself.

As memorable (albeit in a very different way) was the discussion we had on that climb about totalitarian regimes and the Cultural Revolution while we were waiting out a temporary white-out. I wanted to share this to add to what so many of you already know: he may not always have had a conventional way of showing it, but he was a very generous, thoughtful soul that truly cared about his fellow humans as well as one of the strongest and most capable mountaineers I’ve ever had the privilege to climb with. My heart goes out to his family and many close friends.

-Linda Musil

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David joined the Mazamas in 2005. He was active in our Basic Climbing Education Program, Steep Snow and Ice, Ski Mountaineering, and climb leader development.

From his profile:
"I started climbing as a teenager at Seneca Rocks WV with a Goldline rope, webbing harness, and tennis shoes. I got hooked on alpine climbing in college and summitted several Colorado 14ers, then moved on to Cascade volcanoes after that. Since completing Mazamas Advanced Snow and Ice training in 2003, I'm happiest when leading multipitch rock, ice, and alpine routes. I love to climb for the adventure, the feel of solid rock and ice, great summit views, and most of all the company of good friends! I hope to start introducing others to the joy of climbing as a climb leader soon."

-Mathew Brock

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I first met David in the Everett Mountaineers Alpine Ice Course. He had been invited to join the field trip that year as a guest instructor. David showed up unknown to any of us and proceeded to blow us all away with his next level ice climbing skills. After that, I joined David on a number of memorable Cascade adventures, and I got to know him along the way.

Although he never advertised it, David was a man of faith, and he cared deeply about people. He was passionate about economics, sustainable development, and the environment, and he was always generous in helping those less fortunate. Through his actions more than his words, David was an inspiration, both in and out of the mountains. He will be missed.

-Ivan Breen

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David had a deep affection for climbing peaks in the North Cascades. As trips unfolded David would come alive as we would get closer to the summit. He would sometimes pull away from the group, moving quicker as his excitement grew when seeing the final stretch. He loved finding the scramble route up the rocks to reach the summit block. Then he’d effortlessly scramble/climb over the rocks to the highest point on the mountain. David had the biggest smile when he was sitting and standing on the summit of peaks in the north cascades. He really came alive during these moments. It was incredible to witness the joy he achieved from being in the mountains. I will always remember the beautiful summits that we have shared together.

I appreciate David’s volunteerism and desire to give back to others while helping in our climbing programs. David had many goals of peaks and places he wanted to explore and climb. His climbing to-do list was very long and included all of the classics. The last few years he was working on his basic equivalency and wanted to go on more climbs with other Mountaineers. He also was interested in leading hikes and backpacking trips. Ultimately David’s main objective was getting out with people who share the same love of being outdoors in the mountains.

My heart and prayers go out to all of David’s family and friends who are grieving his death. We will miss him a lot. I take comfort in knowing that his adventurous spirit will be with us on our future trips into the mountains and definitely in the North Cascades.

-Laurel Geisbush

Rest in peace David. The following are some additional pictures of David with friends who enjoyed adventuring in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with him.


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Celebration of Life

A Memorial and Celebration of Life for David will be held on October 15, 2022 in White Salmon, WA. If you are interested in attending, email Brooke Anderson at for further details.

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