Wanderlust: Randy Udall, 61, dies on solo backpacking trip

Randy Udall was many things to many people — an environmental activist, champion of renewable energy, member of a western political dynasty and mountaineer. He was found dead this week in Wyoming’s Wind River Range.

The brother of Sen. Mark Udall and son of the late U.S. Rep Morris “Mo” Udall of Arizona, Udall lived in Carbondale with his wife, Leslie Emerson, whose father was a member of the expedition in which the first American summited Mount Everest.

He knew mountains. A former Outward Bound instructor who pioneered climbing and ski traverses, he had about 30 years experience exploring Wind Rivers. That’s where he died at age 61, apparently of natural causes, poles in hand and doing what he loved — backpacking solo.

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