Charlie Fowler: Keeping a Memory Alive

Charlie Fowler perished in an avalanche in China in 2006, along with his climbing partner Christine Boskoff. He was a world-class mountaineer and climber, and some of his most noteworthy ascents were with no rope. Rock and Ice lists his accomplishments in detail. Here’s a short sampling:

He soloed David Breashears’ technical Eldo Scarefest Perilous Journey (5.11d X), the Loose Flakes Route (5.10) on the 1,500-foot walls of the Black Canyon, and the 1,800-meter Direct North Face of the Eiger. Fowler’s more conventional climbing resume is mind-blowing — 8,000-meter peaks like Everest without oxygen (and without actually using an ice axe), 5.13 rock, hard bouldering, A4 big walls and myriad first ascents: free, aid, ice and alpine.

In addition to being well recognized in the climbing community, Fowler was a longtime Telluride, Colorado, local and a 10-year member of the Mountainfilm in Telluride board. After his death, we've commemorated him every year at the festival by presenting a $1,000 award in his name to a mountaineering or climbing film.

In October, Dr. John McCall (an old friend and adventure partner of Fowler’s) and Daliu (the guide who found Fowler during the search in 2006) secured a plaque on a large rock in the place where Fowler’s body was found. The plaque reads “In Memory of Charlie Fowler Christine Boskoff.”

We all strive to keep that memory alive.

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