UTEP professor, experienced hiker dies after hiking accident

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - The community continues to mourn the death of a UTEP professor and avid hiker after he fell from a mountain earlier this month.

Karl Putnam, 69, was hiking in the Franklin Mountains on July 2 when he fell 30 feet from Red Rock Canyon. Putnam was rescued by a helicopter and taken to University Medical Center to treat his life-threatening injuries.

He died Thursday after spending nearly two weeks in the hospital.

Putnam, who was nicknamed "God of the Mountain", had gone on more than 300 hikes since joining the El Paso Hiking Group in 2011. Members of the group tell us his body will go to Texas Tech University, as he wished.

"He dedicated more than 30 years to the university's College of Business Administration to educating the students of his region," UTEP officials tell NewsChannel9, "he will be missed by the UTEP community.

Putnam's family is working with UTEP to organize a memorial service on August 13.

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