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 Horrible News

EverestNews.com has received several reports from climbers that Galen and Barbara Rowell had died in plane crash. Galen and Barbara business has issued the following:

In Memoriam

Galen Rowell
August 23rd, 1940 - August 11th, 2002

Barbara Cushman Rowell
January 29th, 1948 - August 11th, 2002

Information from the the Sheriff office is below:

On August 11, 2002 at approximately 1:24Am a cellular phone caller reported an aircraft apparently in trouble on his observations of the flight pattern and then his hearing an apparent crash. The Area was descried as south of the Bishop airport. Sheriff's fire units along with Bishop Fire, Symons Ambulance and California Division of Forestry units responded supported by Bishop Police.

The wreckage of an aircraft described as an Aero Commander was located. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB is the agency charged with investigation of aircraft accidents) was immediately notified and will be responding today to investigate further.

There were apparently no survivors. Units on the scene have located the remains of four (4) persons at the site and the coroner will be taking charge of those remains, contacting the relatives and then releasing information on the deceased. Sheriff's units remain on the scene at this time assisting the coroner and awaiting the arrival of the NTSB.

Information developing during the investigation so far indicates the flight had originated in Oakland, CA with a flight plan filed direct to Bishop, CA. Jack Goodrich Undersheriff

Update: Monday, August 12, 2002

World-renowned wilderness photographer and writer Galen Rowell, and his wife and business partner Barbara Cushman Rowell, a photographer and writer in her own right, died early Sunday morning in an airplane crash outside of Bishop, Calif.

The Rowells, who were returning to their Bishop home from a circumnavigation of the Bering Sea, were passengers in a small privately owned plane that went down south of the Bishop Airport. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by NTSB and FAA officials.

The plane carried four people and there were no survivors. Tom Reid of Bishop piloted the plane. The fourth passenger was Carol McAfee, also of Bishop.

Galen is survived by two children from a previous marriage, Nicole Ryan and "Tony" Edward Anthony Rowell, and two grandsons, Forrest Avery Ryan and Colby Dustin Ryan.

Barbara is survived by her mother Lucile Cushman, brother Robert Cushman, and nieces Mariah and Grace Cushman.

Born Aug. 23, 1940 in Berkeley, Calif., to a college professor and a concert cellist, Galen was introduced to wilderness before he could walk. He began climbing mountains at the age of 10 and by age 60 he had completed more than 40 expeditions on all seven continents and to both poles. He has produced 18 books of photos and text that exemplify his special brand of participatory wilderness photography in which the photographer transcends being an observer with a camera to become an active participant in the image being photographed.

In 1984 he received the Ansel Adams Award for his contributions to the art of wilderness photography. Since 1986, he has written a popular monthly column for Outdoor Photographer Magazine and in 1992 he received a National Science Foundation Artists and Writers Grant to photograph Antarctica.

Barbara Rowell was the president of Mountain Light Photography, a photo agency, gallery and small press co-owned with Galen. Barbara piloted a Cessna T206 and had recently completed her first book Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey, scheduled to be released in October of 2002. Her photographs have been published in National Geographic, Outside, Plane & Pilot, and in many books, calendars, and travel publications.

Barbara was born Jan. 29, 1948 in Hawaii to Lucile and Irving Cushman while her father was stationed in the Navy at Pearl Harbor. At the age of five, her family was transferred to Texas for a brief stay in Kingsville before settling in California. After moving to Aspen to design ski wear, she returned to California to complete her studies in Textiles and Business, and graduated in 1978 from the University of California at Davis with Highest Honors.

Barbara and Galen were married in 1981 and together built Mountain Light Photography into a successful gallery and stock photography business that recently relocated from the Bay Area to their new home of Bishop in the Eastern Sierra.

Barbara and Galen traveled to many exotic locations, including to a National Geographic assignment in Pakistan to cover the highest war in history where they were flown throughout the Himalaya as guests of President Zia. They have also been the guests of the Dalai Lama, and served as guides to Robert Redford on a trek through Nepal.

They touched many lives around the world, and they will be sorely missed.

Services for the couple are pending.

Some of the Many Reactions:

Galen and Barbara Rowell touched many people's lives:

From Gary Guller : I was deeply saddened to hear the news about the death of Galen Rowell and his wife Barbara. It was Galen's images of nature and the mountains that truly inspired me when I was younger to travel the world, especially the Nepal Himalaya. This I will never forget. I send my condolences to all of their friends and family. Gary Guller

The contributions of the Rowell's in photography, was only eclipsed by their contributions as human beings. Galen was an artist, capturing the depth and breadth of the mountain environs and his interpretations of those scenes often provided our sense of humanity and conscience about our lives in high places. The mountain gods must surely be weeping in their throne rooms; rooms imagined, envisioned and created for our enjoyment by Galen and Barbara.

The Anatoli Boukreev Memorial Fund

A Memorial Fund has been established for Galen Rowell and Barbara Cushman Rowell through the Tides Foundation. This fund will be used to support the philanthropic interests of the Rowells.

Donations can be sent to:
Tides Foundation
P. O. Box 29903
San Francisco, CA 94219-0903

Checks to the memorial fund should be payable to: "Tides Foundation," with the following memo: "In memory of Galen Rowell and Barbara Cushman Rowell."

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