Raymond David (R.D.) Caughron, MBA 73, died last month atop Nepal's Mount Makalu, the fifth tallest mountain in the world. Caughron, who was 58, was part of a Polish expedition to climb Makalu, which is 27,766 feet high. Caughron's 12-member team, led by Piotr Pustelnik of Poland, had set off in late March and planned to reach the top of Makalu in early May. On April 24, bad weather and heavy snowfall apparently forced Caughron to camp alone at high elevation. He froze to death in a hole he had carved in the ice for shelter. Climbers found his body on April 26 and buried him there at 23,330 feet.
In a recent alumni note to CalBusiness, Caughron said that he had gone on five 8,000-meter peak expeditions, including Gasherbrum II and Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, K-2 in China, and Dhaulagiri and Kangchenjunga in Nepal. He wrote, "All have been great adventures, and perhaps more are to come." Caughron was an expert in the field of energy conservation. He worked as a consultant, helping PG&E advise private companies about how to conserve energy.
Born in San Luis Obispo on May 6, 1943, Caughron was raised in Manhattan, Kan. He graduated from Kansas State University with a mechanical engineering degree. He received his MBA from Berkeley in 1973. In 1976, he married Susan Henke. The couple had a daughter and divorced in 1986. Caughron is survived by a 20-year-old daughter, Heather Caughron, of Berkeley, and two brothers, Samuel Caughron, of Charlottesville, Va. and Michael Caughron of Kansas City, Mo.
A group of Caughron's friends has created a committee to hold a memorial service and other activities. For more information please visit, http://www.supertopo.com/rd/.
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