Chad Kellogg, a former Mount Rainier climbing ranger believed to be the first person to climb Rainier in fewer than five hours, died Friday in a mountaineering accident in Patagonia.
The Seattle resident was 42 when he died in the region of South America that spans both southern Argentina and Chile.
His wife, Lara, died in a climbing accident in Alaska in 2007.
According to multiple reports, Kellogg was climbing Mount Fitz Roy and was killed instantly by a falling rock. The rock was dislodged by a rope that had gotten stuck while rappelling, according to a Climbing.com report Sunday.
There are no plans to attempt to recover his body “because of the complexities of the location,” the website reported.
It’s a fate that wouldn’t have surprised Kellogg. “I want to be around for a long time,” Kellogg said in a 2004 interview with The 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.”
Since his time as a climbing ranger at Mount Rainier in 1997-98, Kellogg became well-known in the climbing community. He helped with rescues on Rainier even after leaving the park.
He won an international speed climbing competition in Kyrgyzstan in 2004 a day after rescuing a woman from a crevasse.
On Aug. 9, 2004, Kellogg ran from Paradise to Rainier’s summit crater and back in 4 hours, 59 minutes, 1 second. His record has since been broken.
Kellogg was also the first known person to make a round-trip climb on Alaska’s Mount McKinley in less than 24 hours. He came up short on several speed record attempts on Mount Everest.
Kellogg spent seven years training with the U.S. luge team but fell a few hundredths of a second shy of qualifying for the 1994 Olympics. He turned down an invitation to train for the ’98 Games to focus on his passion for mountaineering.
Kellogg, who earned an economics degrees and graduated with honors from the University of Washington in 2000, not only loved climbing, he loved pushing himself. He once climbed Rainier from Camp Schurman to the summit and back four times in one day just because he heard somebody once did it three times.
Kellogg had numerous first ascents, including a solo climb of Nepal’s Lunag Ri in 2012.
Kellogg, who ran a construction business in Seattle, also survived colon cancer and gave motivational speeches to other young cancer survivors.
Kellogg told The News Tribune in 2004 that he enjoyed the freedom of climbing.
“In climbing there are no rules, no governing body, no judges and no Swiss timing,” he said. “That’s what I like about it.”
Craig Hill: 253-597-8497