In honor of Randall and with respect to his family we’ll take a day off from blogging tomorrow. Later, we’ll share about our own times with him. He was a friend of the Dawson family from days when he lived in Crested Butte, Colorado. So we have a few stories to share.
Statement From the Udall Family on the Passing of James “Randy” Udall
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Randy. Randy’s body was discovered today by the heroic search and rescue team that worked for days to locate him in a remote area of the Wind River Range of Wyoming. Our family is extremely grateful to Sublette County Sheriff Dave Lankford, his staff, Tip Top Search and Rescue, the United States Forest Service, Wyoming Air National Guard, and all others involved for their tireless efforts over the past several days. Although an autopsy is forthcoming, it appears he died of natural causes.
“Randy left this earth doing what he loved most: hiking in his most favorite mountain range in the world. He appeared to be on the obscure, off-trail route that he had proposed to his family. The entire Udall family is touched beyond words by the tremendous outpouring of support from people around the country. Randy’s passing is a reminder to all of us to live every day to its fullest, just as he did.”
Original blog post follows, published a few days ago.
We’re taking a pause in the blogging hecticism this morning to say a prayer for our friend Randall Udall. Well known outdoorsman/environmentalist, former Colorado Outward Bound staff, all-around mountain man, Udall’s list of accomplishments would run off the page but includes pioneer ski traverses of the Sierra and Baffin. I knew Randall well, having worked with him at Outward Bound, spent time doing a few ski tours and climbs during the days both of us lived in Crested Butte, Colorado, and seeing him now and then in social context up to the present. Randall failed to return from a backpacking trip out of Elkheart Park trailhead, Wyoming. He was probably planning on fishing the numerous lakes available from the trails in that area.
He was expected to be out of the mountains this past Wednesday, June 26. If anyone could survive some sort of problem in the backcountry it would be Randall, so we are optimistic. Nonetheless the clock is ticking. Many people have experience backcountry traveling in this area of the Wind River. If you do, apparently SAR could use your help in the ground search.
Wyoming officials are asking anyone who may have seen Udall backpacking last week to call 307-367-4378. Randall is tall and weighs about 200 pounds, grey-brown hair and blue eyes. He’s 61 years old and has a pleasant demeanor.
Anyone in the western Wyoming area who wishes to join in the search can call Tip Top Search and Rescue at 307-367-2849.