UW-River Falls student, Winona native dies in rock climbing accident in Colorado

The UW-River Falls community is mourning the loss of a 22-year-old horticulture student that died in a rock climbing accident in Colorado May 18. 

The student was identified as Mitchel Halberg, of Winona. He had just finished his first year studying horticulture at River Falls and was President-elect of the Rock Climbing Club.

Halberg’s family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to the UWRF Rock Climbing Club through the UWRF Foundation or the Conserve School in Land O’ Lakes.

River Falls also shared Halberg’s obituary, which noted that he leaves behind a fiancé.

Halberg was a Winona High School graduate and attended Southeastern Tech where he studied and refurbished Jeeps. He spent six months in Denver with his fiancé before returning to attend college to study horticulture. 

According to the obituary, he was celebrating his recent election as President of the Rock Climbing Club in Colorado where he died in the accident.

“It is a blessing to know he was doing something he loved,” said the obituary.

He will have a funeral service Saturday, May 25 at 1 p.m. at Central Lutheran Church in Winona with visitation from 10 a.m. until the service begins.