Friends react to CSU student death in Rocky Mountain National Park

Corey Stewart passed away doing what made him happy.

“(That’s) the only thing keeping me OK with this,” Olivia Biondi said. Biondi has been friends with Stewart since before they could walk.

While climbing with two friends last Thursday, Stewart fell about 50 feet and landed on his head while scaling the rock face in the Lumpy Ridge range. Details of his death were confirmed by Deputy Coroner of the Larimer County Coroner Office Greg Fariman.

Stewart, a New Jersey native, was a CSU sophomore natural resource recreation and tourism major.

“His injuries were unsurvivable,” Fairman said. “He was gone within a couple minutes.”

Rock climbing was something Stewart had even enjoyed doing after he had a bad accident in 2012 that he wasn’t expected to survive due to head trauma.

“I was blown away to hear about this accident and think he was comfortable enough to go back out there,” Biondi said.

Biondi said that even though she moved from New Jersey after she turned one, she remembers spending summers with Stewart and his family.

“(Corey and his family) are the only non-family part of Jersey that I still talk to, he’s like a big brother to me,” Biondi said. “He had been such a big part of my childhood.”

Biondi said a vivid memory she does have of their childhood together is one that scarred for life. Stewart was into skateboarding and Biondi, who was not, got on a skateboard and Stewart pushed her down a hill. She ended up falling and scraped her entire backside.

“My boyfriend can’t even get me to try skateboarding now,” Biondi said.

“I can’t believe it even happened. There is a picture in the hallway at my parents house with him and our siblings with ice cream all over our faces,” Biondi said. “That’s the Corey I remember.”

Stewart was always athletic, according to his high school friend Steve Carcamo. When Carcamo met him in their senior year calculus class, Stewart was really into long boarding and frisbee.

“I never thought he would fall, it was really unexpected,” Carcamo said. “It was really emotional, but now it is getting better.”

Carcamo said one of the best times he and Stewart had together was when they travelled to Costa Rica after senior year with a group of friends.

“We’d been through a lot of ups and downs,” Carcamo said.

Collegian Senior Reporter Corrie Sahling can be reached at news@collegian.com.