When planning how to summit 22,841-foot Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, Greeley resident Eric Nourse , as usual, chose the riskiest route.
On Dec. 29, the decision had terrible consequences. He and long-time friend friend David Reinhart of Lake Oswego, Ore. died, likely of complications of high-altitude sickness. Only Eric's twin brother Greg Nourse of Portland, Ore. survived.
"He never wanted to die. He's just a large risk taker," said Greg, referring to his brother. Greg spoke Tuesday via Reinhart's satellite phone from Mendoza, Argentina, where Eric's body was taken for an autopsy.
Reinhart met the Nourse brothers at a fraternity at Oregon State University in the late 1980s. They shared a taste for extreme adventure and for the next 23 years they often traveled together to the Alps, Mount Danali or the Andes in South America.
Eric Nourse, 41, had a Greeley flooring business. Whenever he could he was in the wilderness: kayaking, rafting, scuba diving, skiing, snowboarding, flyfishing, mountain biking, hiking, hunting elk.
The twins and Reinhart would plan big trips for months. In 2004, the Nourse brothers rode motorcycles through Mexico, Guatamala and Belize for two months. They climbed Danali twice.
Eric Nourse was full of life, his wife, Candee Nourse said.
"He could climb a tree like a monkey. There was something that was not quite human about him," she said.
Candee Nourse said she never worried previously about her husband going into danger because he was never worried, but this time was different. It wasn't that the South American peak was a technically difficult climb.
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