The Laurienti Family Fund has been set up through the Bank of Estes Park.
Donations can also be made at tinyurl.com/d77j2nx.
A search team found the body of an Estes Park man on the north slope of Ypsilon Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park on Tuesday, after officials say he died from injuries sustained in an avalanche.
The body of David Laurienti, 43, was discovered by a six-person search team at about 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Upper Fay Lakes drainage on the north side of the mountain he had been climbing Sunday, according to park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson.
"I can tell you our entire town is grief-stricken tonight," friend and area resident Lisa Marshall said in an email Tuesday night. "Dave was one of the warmest, most optimistic (people) and an amazing dedicated dad. Truly one of a kind."
Laurienti's family members issued a statement Tuesday in which they asked for privacy while they grieve. They described him as an "avid outdoorsman, family man and consummate friend" who had an infectious laugh, a generous spirit and most enjoyed spending time in the outdoors with his wife, daughter, 13 and son, 7.
Rescue teams had suspected Laurienti was dead since finding his climbing partner, Lisa Foster, 45, in the upper Fay Lakes basin area Monday afternoon, park officials said. Foster was injured in the avalanche and was evacuated from the basin, about six miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead, by toboggan, according to Patterson.
Foster and her rescuers arrived at the trailhead at 1 a.m. Tuesday, and she was transported to the Estes Park Medical Center with undisclosed injuries.
Searchers began looking for Foster and Laurienti on Monday morning after they were reported overdue from a climb.
At 2:45 p.m. Monday, rescuers found Foster, who said she and Laurienti were caught in an avalanche at about 6 p.m. Sunday while descending from the north side of Blitzen Ridge on the 13,514-foot Ypsilon Mountain.
Foster, who has worked as a Rocky Mountain National Park field technician, has hiked and climbed to every named destination in the park and wrote "Rocky Mountain National Park: The Complete Hiking Guide" in 2005.
Blitzen Ridge is a challenging mountaineering route that includes sections of technical rock, often made more difficult in winter conditions, Patterson said.
Recent snow and winds have contributed to what the Colorado Avalanche Information Center deemed considerable avalanche conditions in the area.
Laurienti's body was protected and moved to a safe location Tuesday, according to a news release. Park rangers are expected to evaluate alternatives today for the safe recovery of his remains.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328 or email@example.com.