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Student dies in climbing accident

May 25, 2019

A student who had recently completed his first year at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls died May 18 during a rock climbing incident near Fort Collins, Colorado. According to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office in Colorado, Mitchel Halberg, 22, was climbing at Poudre Canyon and died after suffering a head injury when he fell.

Halberg was born on September 7, 1996, in Winona, Minnesota, and lived there for most of his life.

According to information provided by Hoff Funeral & Cremation Service in Winona, Halberg graduated in 2015 from Winona Senior High School, where he was involved in athletics. He then earned his associate of arts degree from Minnesota State College Southeast in 2017, before temporarily moving to Colorado with his fiancée.

After a six-month stay in Colorado, Halberg attended UWRF and studied horticulture. The climbing accident occurred during a visit back to Colorado with friends after the spring semester ended. Halberg was involved on campus as the president-elect of the Rock Climbing Club.

According to Halberg’s obituary, he is survived by his parents, Jennifer and Jeffery Halberg; brother, Lance; fiancée, Jessica Erbe, who also is a UWRF student; and grandparents, Judy and Dick Langenfeld of Winsted, Minnesota, and Delaine and Laurie Halberg of Hudson, Wisconsin. Survivors also include aunts, uncles and cousins: Scott and Jill Halberg of Hudson; Michele and Daniel Malotky and sons, Martin and Simon, of Greensboro, North Carolina; Brian Langenfeld and Dawn Rodin and his son, Riley, of Winsted, Minnesota; and Tim and Amie Langenfeld and their daughter, Alexis, of Lester Prairie, Minnesota.

The funeral service is scheduled at 1 p.m. May 25 at Central Lutheran Church in Winona. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Memorials, rather than flowers, are preferred to the UWRF Rock Climbing Club through the UWRF Foundation or to the Conserve School in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin.

Checks for the UWRF Rock Climbing Club may be sent to UW-River Falls Foundation, ATTN: Rock Climbing Club, 118 North Hall, 410 S. Third Street, River Falls, WI 54022.

The university provides grief counseling for students, faculty and staff through Counseling Services. Resources for coping with grief due to death and tragedy also are available through the Student Health and Counseling Services page on the UWRF website, uwrf.edu.