Swedish adventurer Göran Kropp was killed yesterday when he fell while rock climbing at Frenchman Coulee, a popular climbing area near Vantage, Washington, 135 miles southeast of Seattle.
According to Grant County Sheriff Michael Shay, Kropp, 35, was climbing on Sunshine Wall when he fell 60 feet and hit a rock ledge before continuing to the ground. The accident was reported just after 3 p.m. when Kropp's three climbing companions reached the old Vantage Highway and were able to use a cell phone to call for help. Kropp was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Kropp's belayer, he was within feet from the top of the Air Guitar route when he fell.
"I lost my hero yesterday, it was a sad day for humanity..."
"The rope went slack, then started to rip the gear. The entire chain of pro
pulled... Göran impacted the shelf on which I was belaying, and fell
another 25 feet onto the talus. He was dead on first impact, and did not
suffer. I lost my hero yesterday, it was a sad day for humanity," the belayer said.
The Sheriff's Office identified the belayer as Erden Sukru Eruc, 41, of Seattle. Eruc was flown to Valley Memorial in Yakima by MAST (Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic).
Kropp's fiancèe, Renata Chlumska, was notified by satellite phone while trekking in Nepal. In 1999, Chlumska, climbing with Kropp as part of the Everest Cleaning Expedition, became the first Swedish woman to summit Mount Everest.
Kropp, who in 1996 rode his bike from Sweden to Mount Everest, then climbed
the mountain and rode home again, recounted his adventure in his book Ultimate High.
Kropp and Chlumska moved from Sweden to Issaquah, Washington, last year. The pair have a website detailing their achievements at