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Rappel Accident Kills Climber/Doctor Praised for Activist World

Garon Coriz was an avid climber who spent time on desert towers and in the alpine

Dr. Garon Coriz died in a climbing accident in the Sandia Mountains last weekend after falling nearly 50 metres. The accident occurred while Coriz was rappelling. He was an avid climber, doctor and activist.

The sheriff’s office said many people were climbing Saturday morning when the 33-year-old fell. “It’s the worst experience of my life,” Coriz’s father, Scott Borg, said. “Garon meant the world to me, he was my only child.”

Coriz grew up in Albuquerque and attended medical school at UNM. He moved to Utah, then recently made his way to the Pueblo to work at a clinic. His father said Coriz was an experienced climber. “I’ve been trying to get him to stop climbing but he couldn’t be deterred. He’s been climbing since he was three years old. He loved it. He was doing the thing he loved when he died,” Borg said.

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The world lost a great activist/adventurer this week when Garon Coriz @yaythamo passed away in a climbing accident. My heart is broken for all the conversations we never finished, text threads and Facebook messenger chats about climbing trips we were dreaming of, or places we thought we might meet up to share a rope and a pitch of rock or ice. I loved how Garon invited me to learn more about his perspective on Bears Ears and public lands. His energy was magnetic. His presence, warmth and smile created an ambiance of inclusivity, a little bubble of belonging and acceptance. Garon was deeply committed to protecting the Bears Ears National Monument from development. He was a family doctor serving Native American communities. He was a leader and a friend, and will be deeply missed. I hope we will all be inspired by his legacy, to serve our communities and protect the environment. Most of all, to remember to listen to and elevate Native American voices, as they have been stewards of the land since time immemorial. RIP Garon. #StandWithBearsEars #HonorTribes

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A story about Coriz in the Albuquerque Journal here, noted that: “Borg said his son spent one summer in Ecuador and another in Peru where he provided medical care to indigenous people in the Andes.

“He protested attempts to cut the size of Bears Ears National Monument and pushed to protect the land’s sacred uses to Native Americans, maintain public access, and restrict mining and fracking.”

Coriz was a regular on summitpost.com, where he documented his climbs and updated route information for a number of classic climbs in New Mexico and Utah. He had nearly 300 peaks in his summit log, including Grand Teton, South Six-Shooter, Bears Ears and Mount Rainier. Check out some of Coriz’s photos and trip reports here.

While he spent much of his time climbing steep towers and classic walls in the desert, Coriz visited Alaska in 2017 and climbed Ham & Eggs on Mosses Tooth. He said after, “Ham & Eggs with my pal Kerr Adams. 16 hours round-trip though we took our time on the descent. Loved camping on the glacier.” Our condolences to Coriz’s family and friends.

Garon Coriz