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Richey Volunteers, Collects Aid in Aftermath of Haiti Quake

Mark Richey on Saser Kangri II East, Indian Karakoram, in 2009. The climber is gathering supplies, specifically tents and sleeping bags, for victims of last week’s devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. [Photo] Mark Richey collection

In recent days the international community has descended on Haiti to support rescue and relief efforts following the catastrophic earthquake that took tens of thousands of lives last week. While an outpouring of donations and good will has come in across the country from everyday Americans to assist authorities and relief organizations on the ground, a member of the climbing community has taken a major step forward to help the people of Haiti.

Mark Richey is a veteran climber with notable first ascents in India and Peru and a former president of the American Alpine Club. He also owns a successful woodworking company with incredible shipping capabilities. In the past, Richey has gathered and sent supplies to other disaster zones. Now, he’s doing the same for the people of Haiti.

In a letter to Rock and Ice, Richey asked for the climbing community’s help in gathering supplies, specifically tents and sleeping bags for the victims of the quake.

“Along with clean water, food and medical supplies, temporary shelter is desperately needed,” he said. “Used tents, as long as they are functional, and lightweight sleeping bags are fine and of course new tents and sleeping bags from any of our outdoor industry friends would be ideal.”

Richey, who flies to Haiti today to volunteer, has established his company’s facility, Mark Richey Woodworking, as the collection center for the donated equipment. The address is 40 Parker Street, Newburyport, MA 01950.

“Tents and sleeping bags are pouring in to our Newburyport facility where we are organizing the collection for Haiti,” Richey said in an email to Alpinist today. “I leave this afternoon to help with the relief effort, install emergency infrastructure and whatever I can do to help the doctors on the ground save lives and provide gear.”

Sources: Mark Richey,