Legendary California mountain guide & skier Bela Vadasz, 62, died during a medical procedure in Oceanside, California this Tuesday.
It’s now being reported that Bela died due to heart disease. According to friend C. Dostie, Bela had been suffering from heart disease for the past 10 years, but never stopped exploring, climbing, charging, and skiing during that time.
“Bela had been in and out of hospitals with repercussions from a compromised heart condition over the last decade. The first time he was diagnosed with heart trouble he thought it was just a severe case of indigestion that lasted a day and a half. As a mountaineer he knew how to endure pain, and thought he was in excellent physical condition. Except for his heart, he was.” – C. Dostie, earnyourturns.com
Bela was teaching mountain skills to US Marines at Camp Pendleton in southern California this month when he began experiencing heart trouble and checked into a local hospital in Oceanside, California. While at that hospital he underwent a medial procedure and did not survive.
“Despite an ongoing heart condition he continued to lead ASI in offering a full range of mountaineering and snow safety courses, even personally taking over a program training the Marines at Camp Pendleton in southern California. While there he recognized familiar symptoms and checked into a hospital, then died during a medical procedure.” – C. Dostie, earnyourturns.com
Bela Vadasz was a legend in the skiing and mountaineering community in the USA. Bela holds a long list of accomplishments including:
- Fully certified IFMGA mountain guide
- Founded the very successful guiding service Alpine Skills International in Truckee, CA in 1979
- AMGA Lifetime Achievement Award
- Technical Director at the IFMGA
- Helped create a certification program within the AMGA that would be acceptable at an international level
- First to free-heel ski from the summit of 20,320-foot Denali, AK
- first American ascent of the Puterey Ridge on Mont Blanc
- Summits of 8,000-meter peaks in the Himalayas
- Countless summits, first descents, and ski descents of Earth’s most challenging mountains
Bela is survived by his wife Mimi and his sons Logan & Tobin. Our hearts go out to them and all the people who’s lives he touched. Thanks, Bela.
Learn more about Bela here: