Family remembers Aspen man killed in climbing accident
ASPEN, Colorado ” An Aspen, Colorado man who died in a climbing accident while helping lead an Outward Bound expedition in Argentina developed a love of the outdoors at a young age, and even spent a winter as a teen sleeping in a tent outside his home, family members said.
Travis Matthew Lizotte, 25, died and two American students were injured Sunday while scaling 11,411-foot Mount Tronador in Argentina’s Nahuel Huapi National Park. They fell more than 66 feet into a crevasse when an ice bridge they were crossing broke, a park spokeswoman said.
Lizotte was one of three highly trained staffers leading students in a 72-day course in Patagonia, said Whitney Montgomery, executive director of the North Carolina Outward Bound School.
Lizotte’s parents, Jeff and Dianne Lizotte, said he developed a commitment to the outdoors as a boy, building snow caves and ski jumps in the back yard of their Aspen home with his sister, Kendra, said his parents, Jeff and Dianne Lizotte. He skied and climbed throughout high school and at one point gave up his bedroom to sleep in a tent on the deck.
“He was a real cool kid,” Jeff Lizotte told The Aspen Times.
Lizotte graduated from Aspen High School in 2002 and the University of Puget Sound in 2006. He became an Outward Bound instructor after college, returning to Aspen for winters to reconnect with friends, his father said.
Sarah Johnson, a Roaring Fork Valley resident, met Lizotte while working at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, where Lizotte was a regular volunteer. She said he had the skills to do virtually anything he wanted in skiing, kayaking, cycling and climbing. But his patience and demeanor gave him a special knack for teaching.
“He was able to help people see the good in themselves,” Johnson said.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.