Peter James Carver

Durango resident Peter James Carver died from injuries suffered in an avalanche Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, north of Silverton. He was one week shy of his 24th birthday.

Mr. Carver was born to Bill and Karen Carver on Feb. 9, 1989, at the old Mercy Hospital in Durango. He grew up here, attending Needham Elementary, Miller Middle and Durango High schools, graduating in 2007.

Immediately after high school, he worked for a summer saving about $4,000 for a trip to Latin America with his cousin Brandon Halley and friend Nate Klema, his father said.

“I told him to keep traveling until he ran out of money, then I would buy him a ticket home,” Bill Carver said. “They lasted seven months.”

Mr. Carver was in his junior year at Fort Lewis College studying geology, and it was finding this passion that gave his life direction, his family, said.

Mr. Carver’s mother said he was a renaissance man.

“He endeavored to explore and engage in so many aspects of life,” she said. “Peter loved photography, the hard sciences, manual projects like woodworking and working out in the oil fields. He was really into vintage and retro clothes. And he could go against the grain without rubbing people the wrong way.”

Mr. Carver was preparing for his first photography show at Carver Brewing Co., and in what his family called “typical Peter fashion,” he was making the frames.

His sister, Claire Carver, remembers him as creative and musical. He had a wide-ranging taste in music, particularly enjoying obscure jazz from the 1940s.

“He taught himself to play the harmonica,” she said. “He liked it because you could put it in your pocket.”

Mr. Carver loved exploring, taking numerous river trips, climbing mountains and going off-trail. But he also took precautions. His family said he had taken a backcountry-safety course and had a beacon with him.

Mr. Carver is survived by his father, Bill Carver of Durango; mother, Karen Carver of Durango; siblings Claire Carver and Colin Carver, both of Durango and Portland, Ore.; grandfather Peter McNamara of Milwaukee; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family members.

A celebration of life will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at Durango Discovery Museum, 1333 Camino del Rio. Doors will open at 4 p.m., and also at 4 p.m., friends and family will gather in front of Carver’s for a walking/biking processional to the museum. Attendees are encouraged to park downtown.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Durango Discovery Museum, 1333 Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81301; or the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, 325 Broadway St., WS1, Boulder, CO 80305.