'Reel Rock 8' helps fund outdoor leadership scholarship
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 19:09
More than 16 years after a trio of Cache Valley mountaineers were killed in an avalanche up Logan’s Dry Canyon, an outdoor leadership scholarship in memory of their legacy is still benefitting students at USU.
Max Lyon, Keith Mass and Carl Mueggler were avid outdoorsmen in life. Beyond their exceptional skills in skiing, kayaking and climbing, the three are remembered for their passion for sharing their knowledge of the outdoors with anyone they could, said Brian Shirley, the Outdoor Recreation Program director at USU.
“The three were pretty passionate outdoor enthusiasts and passionate about helping others learn in the outdoors and educating them,” Shirley said. “So, in honor of them, this scholarship was set up to keep a memory of them and to honor something they valued.”
The ORP, in conjunction with the local outdoor equipment retailer Campsaver, hosted a showing of “Reel Rock 8,” an award-winning rock climbing film tour with annual showings around the world, at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Taggart Student Center Ballroom. Most of the showing’s proceeds went toward funding the Lyon, Mass, Mueggler Outdoor Leadership Scholarship.
In January 1997, Lyon, Mass and Mueggler were in Logan to visit family for the holidays. While in the area, they met to go on an overnight ski trip in the the local Bear River Range.
On the night of Jan. 12, a snow storm blew through the area, dumping a heavy load of snow on a slope directly above their tent, pitched in the trees below. Shirley said the slope was not a typical avalanche hazard and would not have been an apparent threat.
Eventually the load of snow grew too great to be supported by the hillside and it broke free, sweeping the three men into the forest while they were still asleep in their sleeping bags.
The idea for an outdoor leadership scholarship was quickly spawned by then-ORP director Kevin Kobe, who had known the three men. In addition to initial funding put into the scholarship, it was determined the ORP would begin hosting the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour — a compilation of mountain sports films — as a way of making money to keep the program sustainable from year to year, Shirley said.
“We, as a rec center, had been bringing Banff to campus for a couple years,” Shirley said. “At that point, when they set the scholarship, they decided the money would begin going to funding of the scholarship.”