Remembering Mountaineer Stephen Kornbluth

With great sadness we share the news of the passing of Stephen Kornbluth, an active member of The Mountaineers community with our Olympia Branch.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
August 15, 2018
Remembering Mountaineer Stephen Kornbluth
Photo by Luke Helgeson.

With great sadness we share the news of the passing of Stephen Kornbluth, an active member of The Mountaineers community with our Olympia Branch. He was climbing Dewey Peak in Mt. Rainier National Park with two other Mountaineers on a private climb on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. While descending, Stephen fell. He did not survive the injuries sustained in the fall.

The other members in the climbing party activated an emergency beacon alerting search and rescue, and performed CPR. The other climbers were not injured in the incident, and hiked safely out to the trailhead. 

We are working with Mt. Rainier National Park (MRNP) to provide support. In the coming weeks, we will coordinate with MRNP on their accident investigation, which we expect will take a number of months. While this was not a Mountaineers trip, we will also move forward with our internal incident response process.

Stephen has only been a member with us for one year, but in that time he deeply engrained himself in our community, especially with our Olympia climbing group. He was a Basic Climbing Course student, and graduate from Wilderness Navigation and Wilderness First Aid. Since joining, he climbed several peaks, participated in stewardship projects, and was an avid hiker.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Stephen’s family and friends, his climbing companions, and the Olympia climbing community. We are all stunned by this loss. Stephen was a close friend and colleague to many of us, and we will be offering support to those impacted as our community processes the grief of this traumatic event.

Stephen's community has set up a GoFundMe page to "help fly his brother, his mother, and his uncle up to Seattle to meet his other families and see the places he loved so much. In addition to helping fund their travel and expenses up here, our goal is to have additional funds to allow Joy [Stephen's partner] to honor Stephen's amazing life and legacy, either through a physical memorial or a donation in his honor to the causes most important to him." If you're interested, you can make a contribution here

Public Memorial

A public memorial will be held for Stephen on September 1, 2018, at the Seattle Program Center, from 3-6pm. Details are still being finalized.

Learn More 

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Debbie Fried
Debbie Fried says:
Aug 16, 2018 04:53 PM

I am Stephen's aunt who lives in Seattle, Wa. I am sadden to hear of my nephew's death. Stephen was such a brilliant loving nephew who loved the outdoors. Before I moved to Seattle from Miami, Florida, I brought Stephen out here from Miami to Seattle to see the wonderful mountains and to touch snow for the first time in his life. Stephen was 11 years old back then. I remember Stephen telling me on our flight back to Miami "aunt Debbie, someday I will be back to climb those mountains." Stephen enjoyed the outdoor adventures, including mountain climbing.

Luisa Lopez
Luisa Lopez says:
Aug 16, 2018 05:51 PM

So sorry to hear this. I met Stephen this past year. Rest In Peace sweet soul!

Luke Griffith
Luke Griffith says:
Aug 16, 2018 07:11 PM

I met Stephen in Basic Climbing earlier this year. After doing many activities with him, it became clear that he had a humble and kind personality that was contagious. He always put others before himself. He will be missed.