Skier Found Dead on Mount Humphreys, CA Identified as Well-Known Eastern Sierra Skier and Climber

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Ray Warburton,
Ray Warburton, 59. Credit: Lesley Allen

UPDATE – 6/30/20 5 am PT: The body found on Mount Humphreys, CA on June 9th, 2020 has been identified as Ray Warburton, 59, of Bishop, CA. Warburton died while descending the North Couloir on Mount Humphreys, a peak he’d summited many times, and appears to have been struck by rockfall.

“Ray was a well-known and respected Eastern Sierra community member, father, husband, friend to many, and mountain person.”

– Inyo SAR

According to an article on Rock and Ice, Ray led an adventurous life from trekking through Africa, to sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. He had climbed extensively in South America and was experienced with climbing and skiing in the Wind River Mountains, Wyoming. Ray lived in Jackson Hole for much of the 1980s and 1990s before moving to the Eastern Sierra in 2001 with his wife.

A GoFundMe page has been set-up to raise money for his family.


A climber was killed on the North Couloir of Mount Humphreys (above) near Bishop, California on Tuesday. His friends discovered his body on Wednesday morning after he didn’t return home Tuesday. Photo by Inyo County Sherriff’s department.

Tough news came out of Bishop, California today when it was announced that an experienced local climber and skier was found dead on Mount Humphreys by his friends. According to the Inyo County Sherriff’s Department, the deceased was a well-known and respected Eastern Sierra community member, father, husband, friend to many, and mountain person.

Mount Humphreys is the highest peak in the Bishop area and one of the most prominent in the Sierra Nevada range. 

The Sherriff’s department issued an official statement today about the tragedy which reads:

Mount Humphreys (above Bishop), CA. 06-11-2020 – On 06-09-2020, an experienced local Bishop climber and skier set out to ascend the North Couloir on Mount Humphreys, one of the prominent peaks in the Sierra Nevada and the highest peak in the Bishop area. He has summited the mountain several times by multiple routes. His route this time consisted of climbing the North Couloir, descend the East Arete, and return that evening.

When he did not return, friends set out to look for him. They located his vehicle at the remote trailhead but did not find him and spent the night. Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified and Search and Rescue began planning an operation.

The morning of June 10, multiple Inyo SAR members drove to the trailhead prepared to climb the peak and search the area. CHP – Inland Division Air Operations, helicopter H-80, assisted with aerial reconnaissance.

At about 9:30 AM, the missing subject’s friends located him deceased on the snowfield at the base of the North Couloir. Inyo SAR was notified and with the help of H-80 and his friends, brought the climber back home to Bishop. It appears he fell on June 9 while descending the steep snow chute.

Inyo SAR members wish to share this important and heartfelt message with the public: “The decedent was a well-known and respected Eastern Sierra community member, father, husband, friend to many, and mountain person. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this very difficult time.”

Mount Humphreys location.

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One thought on “Skier Found Dead on Mount Humphreys, CA Identified as Well-Known Eastern Sierra Skier and Climber

  1. Rest in peace R (I’ll use his initial in case it matters) to a great coworker and story teller. I wish I had got to know you better. I know you loved the mountains and exploring. You’d seen a lot of amazing places. God bless your family and friends in their sadness. You’ll always be remembered. – another R

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