Anyone who kayaked in Colorado throughout the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000’s likely consulted the state’s bible of boating, Colorado Rivers & Creeks, written by Gordon Banks and Dave Eckardt, long considered the unequivocal guide to rafting and kayaking in Colorado.
That same community is now mourning his death last Saturday from a mountain biking accident in Snowmass, Colorado.
According to a story in the Aspen Times, Pitkin County coroner Dr. Steve Ayers said that David Eckardt, 62, was conscious and talking when another biker found him at 1:10 p.m. Saturday on the Valhalla mountain biking trail, a black diamond riding trail with berms, jumps and other features. However, when mountain patrol and medical staff arrived about 10 minutes later Eckardt was in full cardiac arrest from trauma and paramedics were not successful in reviving him.
Eckardt, who also wrote 2008’s “Guide to Baja Sea Kayaking,” was a longtime member of Colorado’s kayaking community, and credited with numerous first descents around the state and worldwide. Friends were quick to praise him as a person and for his contributions to the sport on Facebook.
“RIP to a legendary kayaker, skier, author, and all around fun guy,” posted fellow kayaker John Mattson. “Please drink a toast to Dave Eckardt alias “Danger Dave”. He lived an awesome life and will be deeply missed.”
“His and Gordon’s book was the first real serious whitewater book of Colorado that really included the gnarly Class V stuff that people are doing now,” fellow kayaker Tom Chamberlain told the Times. “The book they did was the first modern book that took into account the Class V waters and plastic boats. It was a big step from ‘Rivers of the Southwest.'”
A second edition of “Colorado Rivers & Creeks” was re-printed in 1999. A memorial service is slated to be held in Aspen sin November or December.