Climbing wall to honor counselor killed last month

Lakeside Bible Camp in Clinton is planning to build a climbing wall in honor of one of its most popular young counselors, who died in a mountain-climbing accident last month on

Mount Hood.

“He had a great love of the outdoors,” Kevin Craig, camp manager, said Monday of Luke Gullberg, whose body was found Dec. 12 about 9,000 feet up the 11,249-foot Oregon mountain on Dec. 12. He was 26.

Gullberg, who lived most of his life in the Des Moines area, died along with two climbing companions while traversing a glacier, officials said.

Friends said he had been climbing mountains for about 10 years, and had scaled several peaks in the region including Mount Rainier, several times.

Hundreds of friends and family packed into a Des Moines middle school gymnasium for a funeral service held after his body was found.

Craig said Gullberg attended Lakeside Bible Camp as a camper and counselor for more than 15 seasons.

“He was a great guy to have around camp,” Craig said. “He loved kids, he loved people, he loved the outdoors. He was an excellent influence. The kids really looked up to Luke.”

Gullberg, who was working as a salesman at an REI store in Tukwila at the time of his death, majored in English at Central Washington University and had plans to become a teacher.

He was described by friends as generous and fun-loving, a talented photographer and videographer and deeply involved in his church.

A fund drive is under way for money to build “Luke’s Wall” at the camp.

Craig said about $8,000 has been raised so far, and that research is being done to determine the kind of wall to build, which will depend on the amount of money raised.

The camp, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, can accommodate as many as 180 campers, said Craig, who has been manager for about 15 years.

He said the camp hopes to have the wall in place by summer.

“We feel it will be a fitting tribute,” Craig said.

Donations for the climbing wall can be made by visiting the camp’s Web site, or by sending a check to the camp, Craig said.

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