Marty Hoey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Marty Hoey (1951 – May 15, 1982) was a mountaineer who took part in a 1982 expedition to Mount Everest. During an attempted ascent that would have made her the first American woman to summit Everest, she plunged over the edge of the Great Couloir to her death, as the result of a climbing harness that had come unsecured.[1]

According to Everest expedition leader Lou Whittaker, Hoey was probably the world's best female high-altitude mountaineer at the time of her death.[2] She had scaled Washington's Mount Rainier over 100 times and led expeditions on Alaska's Denali.[2]

Everest Fall and Aftermath[edit]

Expedition teammate Jim Wickwire said that he and Hoey were perched on a 45-degree rock slope at about 26,600 feet (8,100 m), carrying gear to establish Camp 6, with the expectation of heading for the summit in the next day or two.[2] Wickwire said that Hoey leaned back to let him go ahead, and a buckle on her harness opened, releasing her from the fixed rope and sending her plunging down 6,000 feet (1,800 m) into a crevasse.[2]

Hoey's body was never recovered. Whittaker said, "I can't think of a more beautiful resting place; she fell into the prettiest place that ever was."[2]

Whittaker cited Hoey's death as a contributing factor to the expedition's failure to summit Everest, saying: "If Marty had been with us, we would have made it."[2] The 16 remaining team members, all men, would make a third and final attempt, and ultimately be turned back, shy of the summit, by fierce weather.[2]


Hoey worked for Dick Bass, as safety patrol chief at the Snowbird ski resort.[2] She befriended him and accompanied him on his successful ascent of Mount McKinley, and he was a member of her climbing group when she perished on Mount Everest, in 1982. When Bass eventually summitted Everest in 1985, he dedicated his ascent to her.[3]

In context[edit]

Marty was one of ten fatalities on Everest in the 1982 climbing season, but the only American (USA).[4] Some other fatalities that season were noted British climbers Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wickwire, James (1983). "The Great Couloir on Everest" (PDF). American Alpine Journal. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Marty's Death Made Everest Too Difficult". Deseret News. 7 Jun 1982. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Ridgeway, Rick (1988). Seven Summits. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-446-38516-9. 
  4. ^ Everest - Fatilities
  5. ^ Everest - Fatilities