We’ve got some sad news to report today: celebrated speed climber and Active Times favorite Chad Kellogg died Friday while climbing in Patagonia. A falling rock struck him in the head while he was descending Fitz Roy.
News outlets confirmed the 42-year-old’s death with his father, who was informed by his climbing partner, Jens Holsten.
A one-time guide on Mt. Rainier, the Seattle area-based Kellogg became the first person to make a round-trip ascent of the mountain in under 5 hours. (His record has since been broken.) He also won a prestigious speed-climbing competition in Kazakhstan in 2003, set a speed record on Mt. McKinley the same year, and made a solo ascent of Nepal’s Lunag Ri, in 2012.
Kellogg was no stranger to rockslides or the dangers of the mountains. During one of his three oxygen-free speed attempts on Everest, in 2012, he was nearly hit by a suitcase-sized boulder as it tumbled down the mountain. In 2007 his wife, Lara-Karena Kellogg, died in a rappelling accident while climbing in Alaska.
He also lost close friends to mountaineering accidents, including his climbing partner Joe Puryear in 2010, according to a 2012 profile in Outside Magazine.
Kellogg had no illusions about his chosen sport. “I want to be around for a long time,” he said in a 2004 interview with the Tacoma News Tribune. “But there’s so much you can’t control. I imagine I’ll probably go when a boulder falls on me or I fall in a crevasse.”