Deaths of Dean Potter, Graham Hunt Leave Climbing Community Reeling

TIME

The death of rock climbing visionary Dean Potter, considered to be one of the most influential outdoor athletes of his generation, during a wingsuit BASE jump Saturday has sent shockwaves through the extreme sports world.

The 43-year-old and his fellow climber Graham Hunt, 29, died from impact after failing to clear granite cliffs off Taft Point in California’s Yosemite National Park, which can be seen across the valley from the infamous “El Capitan” rock formation. Rescuers said neither jumper’s parachutes deployed, according the to Associated Press.

“We as climbers are really good at justifying what we do. And those of us who push the safety aspect convince themselves that they are invincible,” said climbing contemporary Tommy Caldwell, who in January made the first ever free ascent of the Dawn Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan. “I definitely felt Dean was invincible and when something like this happens I get shattered and…

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