Adams State mourns fatality on Mount Rainier


Adams State University is saddened by the death this past weekend of alumnus Kyle Bufis, who passed away in a mountaineering incident on Washington's Mount Rainier, according to Ken Marquez, Adams State vice president for Student Affairs.

Bufis, age 25, earned a B.S. in earth sciences at Adams State in 2013 and was among the first cohort to complete a minor in Adventure Leadership and Programming. Originally from Maple Grove, Minn., Bufis lived in Springdale, Utah, where he led youth groups on trips for Expedition Therapy Associates.

"We at Adams State share the grief of Kyle's loss and send our deepest sympathy to his family and many friends," said Dr. Beverlee J. McClure, Adams State's recently appointed president.

Kyle Bufis, Class of 2013, had a passion for the mountains and the outdoors.

The Associated Press reported a body believed to be that of Bufis was recovered on Mount Rainier June 13. Two days earlier, Bufis and two climbing companions encountered extreme weather as they descended the challenging Liberty Ridge route on the mountain's north flank. Bufis became separated from his companions, who descended to a base camp safely late on June 12.

"Kyle was a kind and big-hearted young man with a contagious smile. He touched many lives, as he led and cared for participants on outdoor adventures," noted Curt Howell, Adams State's assoc. director of Campus Recreation and Wellness and coordinator of Adventure Leadership and Programming. He added that early in his time at Adams State, Bufis found a place to belong with Adventure Programs, falling in love with rock climbing, hiking, and being in the mountains.

"He loved being in the mountains. He was just drawn to them," recalled Bufis' mentor, Mick Daniel, former director of Student Life and Adventure Programs at the university.

By Julie Waechter