Investigation continues in Breck climber death |

Investigation continues in Breck climber death

BRECKENRIDGE – Yosemite National Park rangers are still investigating the death of Christopher Hampson of Breckenridge, who fell while climbing in the park.

Friends say the 25-year-old was an experienced and responsible rock climber who frequented Yosemite Park in California. He was climbing the Overhang Bypass Route of Lower Cathedral Peak late Saturday morning when he fell about 150 feet from his perch 950 feet on the rock. He was badly injured when his safety rope stopped his fall.

Rescuers spent two hours trying to reach Hampson, who was conscious after the fall. He died, however, before rescuers could reach him. Hampson’s death is Yosemite’s first of the climbing season and the third in 2003.

Hampson’s family is working on plans for a memorial service.

Hampson had worked as a bellman and driver at Beaver Run Resort since December 2000, human resources director John Mullen said. Before that, he worked as a bellman at the Regal Harvest House in Boulder. But he lived for climbing.

“He loved to climb; he loved to be outdoors,” Mullen said. “He was genuinely a kind soul, a nice guy. His focus was all about being outside and enjoying the outdoors.”

Hampson spent his spare time climbing in Canada and Yosemite National Park, among a variety of other places.

“It’s certainly a risk-reward type of thing – the more risk, the greater the reward,” Mullen said of climbing. “Unfortunately, with risk goes things like this. He’s the last one we would have thought this would have happened to. He’s not a crazy climber; he climbs within his limits.”

Others who died in the park this year were Macario Muniz Jr., 22, of Riverside, Calif., who died May 22 after falling into the Merced River near Vernal Fall; and Paul Sharp, 17, of Castro Valley, Calif., died April 23 after falling from Castle Cliffs east of Yosemite Falls.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User