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Skier who died on Rainier was from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Alta, Utah, and had a passion for backcountry skiing

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on May 11, 2011 at 10:45 am with 2 Comments »
May 11, 2011 5:42 pm
Tucker Taffe

Tucker Taffe, the skier who died Tuesday after falling into a crevasse on Mount Rainier, was a strong and experienced back country skier and the heart of Utah’s Alta Lodge, his former boss said this morning.

“He was the best of us,” said Cliff Curry, general manager of the lodge at Alta Ski Area. “He was a warm, kind, gentle spirit.”

Curry described Tucker as having a skinny but athletic 6-foot-4 build and an unfettered passion for backcountry skiing.

“We’re all here for the skiing,” Curry said. “But he was out there more than all of us. He was out there in the back country every day.”

Tucker was originally from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but had made a new home in the Wasatch Mountains as a manager at the Alta Lodge, which is independent of the local ski area.

“It is shocking and devastating,” Curry said. “We are still in a state of disbelief. We had a lot of hope yesterday that he would survive.

“We knew that if anybody could survive something like that it would be Tucker.”

Details on how Taffe fell into the crevasse remain unclear. The rangers and mountain guides who assisted in the recovery remain on the mountain today.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. reconsider says:

    Holykailas, I find your dismissiveness is insulting. The fact that Tucker was from New York necessarily means he had very little if any glacier experience? That’s quite a leap you’re making. Apparently you’re not acquainted with the concept of people moving away from or visiting places other than their hometowns and gaining experience elsewhere. And “these easterners”? Really? There’s nothing like generalizing about the millions of varied people who happen to have been born east of the Mississippi. For your information, Tucker had also lived in Washington. This wasn’t his first time on a glacier.

  2. Holykailas,

    Your comment is ignorant and highly offensive. Tucker lived and worked in Utah for YEARS and skiied in the backcountry more days out of the year than probably any other man in the Wasatch. Not only that, but he was out there pushing his limits and putting up some incredible lines on very intimidating descents. If Tucker wasn’t an expert-skiier, than no one is.

    As his co-worker, I was incredibly impressed by his dedication to and inexhaustible energy for back country skiing. We all looked up to him for his experience and knowledge of back country winter travel. I would seek out his advice as much as possible before heading out for a tour. This tragic accident merely shows us that NO ONE can ever be safe in the backcountry because there are too many variables at work and we will never be in control. Every time we travel in the mountains, we take on these risks. Tucker knew this and so does every other traveler of the mountains.

    I’m impressed that you took the time to google-search for some worthless statistics. Too bad you know nothing about this incredible man and too bad you took the time to insult his memory and experience-level.

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