Forums: Climbing Information: In Memory Of:
Brutus Of Wyde Climbing Journal, Memorial Text, and Thanks
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for In Memory Of

Premier Sponsor:



Jun 30, 2009, 7:01 PM
Post #1 of 7 (4727 views)

Registered: Jul 10, 2002
Posts: 1159

Brutus Of Wyde Climbing Journal, Memorial Text, and Thanks
Report this Post
Can't Post

On June 28th, 2009, the Family, co-workers, and a few friends of Brutus of Wyde gathered in Marin County to honor his life. A climber gathering is planned in the mountains for later in the Summer. Stay tuned...

I was the minister for the ceremony and a number of people spoke. What I'd like to do here is post a special thanks from Brutus's wife Em (Nurse Rachet), followed by the text for the memorial, and then the final remarkable pages of his climbing journal, concluded about 1993, which foreshadowed his views regarding the event of his passing. We encourage folks to post their long and short Brutus stories here so we can collect his Wylde-Life stories for posterity.

Much Love and Respect for all who read this

Karlee Baba

Message from Em

Namaste and infinite thanks to all of you
who've shared memories & photos online or in person
You've given comfort beyond words.
You've shown Bruce's family & co-workers
the deep richness of experience, beauty &
connection in the climbing community.

namaste beautiful warrior


We gather today to honor and celebrate the spirit of Bruce Bindner aka “Brutus of Wyde” and to “Be there” for each other in the task of moving forward without his physical presence. I invite you to be yourself. Trust that it’s OK to Cry, Laugh or remain silent. Some of us have chosen not to speak at this time but are holding space of the Heart with us here.

Brutus was an extraordinary man with Extraordinary friends and You are among his friends. I honor you as Bruce would have honored you.

Brutus knew me as “Karlee” or “Baba.” I’m one of his friends from the climbing world. I’m deeply honored that Em asked me here for this memorial.

I’m going to speak for a few minutes followed by a personal silence where we can hold space for each other and commune with Bruce. Then, we have a video to remember his many faces. A few people have been chosen to speak and then anyone moved to speak may share. Volumes could be written about his exploits, so if time runs short, we can continue regaling each other with Brucisms at the Picnic which follows at Muir Beach after the service. I really encourage people to write down notable tales of Bruce and email them to Em so we can make a collection that will hardly need exaggeration.

Bruce engaged in a lot of pastimes that many of us think of as dangerous…Rockclimbing, backcountry skiing, and mountaineering. When his city friends asked about the hazards of his activities, Bruce would usually say the most dangerous thing he did was drive to and from the mountains.

And that’s how Bruce left us. He drove off a steep section of road on his way to meet a friend to climb Castle Rock Spire. There were no witnesses and no one else was hurt. Bruce died of a spinal cord injury and thankfully, there is no evidence that he suffered.

I don’t want to dwell on the way Brutus died. It can’t be reversed or second guessed. How he lived was much more important. I’m afraid that many of us feel cheated by losing Bruce. It’s easy to feel that it’s unfair that such a great friend has been taken from us. I believe Brutus would have none of that. He took responsibility for what he did and, with a big heart like the open sky, would not wish anyone to suffer bitterness over his sudden passing. In fact, miraculously, Bruce has left us a guide for his passing, but I’m saving that for last.

Brutus was an inspiration to me and I want to be as faithful in honoring him.
Bruce was a unique mix of reverence and irreverence. He could spend a precious day off cleaning up trash in the beautiful mountains he held sacred. Somebody said that he was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back and then offer you his trousers. That was no exaggeration. Another remarked that we are left with the question “What would Brutus do?”
And yet, he would not be found observing traditional religious rites nor repeating any dogma. He embodied his ideals rather than preaching them. He “was” the change that he might have advocated. And he loved a good joke or a bit of wildness. His good humor might embarrass now and then, but was not cruel nor at anyone’s expense. I performed Brutus and Em’s wedding in a alpine mountain meadow. Instead of exchanging rings at his wedding, he and Em exchanged items of climbing gear called “Nut tools.”

I’m afraid I owe him an apology for not pulling off anything irreverent and funny at his memorial. My feeling is that he would have wanted that, but in the end would have cared too much about people’s raw feelings. I thought about showing up in one of those paper birthday hats as if I were confused about the occasion I was invited for, but I just can’t bring myself. For those of you who know that irreverent side of Bruce, just imagine that we planted a whoopee cushion under your chair. You just need to understand that Brutus would hope that you to return to laughter as soon as you’re ready.

You almost had to underestimate Bruce at first since he was so humble and it was unreasonable to expect anyone to have so many talents.
I would have only been a little surprised if He had started flapping his arms and actually start lifting off the floor, then smile at me and say "what's the matter, never seen anybody fly before? I'm not really very good at it"

He was a bit like the bonsai trees that grace this hall, with a strong and resilient character compressed and distilled in an inimitable form.

I have to think he wouldn’t want us squirming in our chairs waiting for any formal rituals and prayers. Let’s make a point to remember Bruce in a private moment outside in beauty. Sometime when one of nature’s special gifts touches our soul. That way our grief may be uplifted with the quality of wonder and love that dispels the darkness, and embraces the glory of life. Brutus was a master of seizing the day.
Bruce was always honoring "the gifts" that the poetry of life serendipitously brings us. Even on my way to this memorial from Yosemite, somebody in the next lane suddenly paid my bridge toll for me. That’s something Brutus would do and I saw it as “My gift for the day”

Brutus left us many, many gifts and they didn’t end when he moved onwards. It turns out over 16 ago Bruce wrote and sketched in a climbing journal. It ends with a beautiful drawing of Castle Rock Spire, which was where he was driving that fateful day. On those very last pages of his journal he transcribed two poems that he certainly meant to be the heart of his memorial. He knew he would leave us someday and left guidance for his passing.
I read them here in the order he wrote them.

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

That was by Mary Frye

And this one

Remember, by Christina Georgina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning… stay.
Remember me, when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then, or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

“So.. How to be faithful to his Spirit at this memorial?” is a question I’ve had to ask myself. “What would Brutus do?” If he were physically present I’m sure he would be bending over backwards to make food for the picnic, to help set-up, and to be a friend. He would honor our love and respect for him but not wish us to suffer in grief and pain. Can we wish him well on his new greatest journey of all, honor his incredible example and love, all while missing him? All while confused about why he left our world so soon?
The passing of Bruce Bindner passes the torch to all of us to find pleasure and fulfillment in serving our friends and community while living large and from the heart. The leader of the band has moved on and it’s our show now. The training wheels have been taken off. I wish Bruce all the wonder that his new journey offers and I wish you all big giant lives, full to the brim with the gifts that life offers.

One of Bruce’s favorite phrases was “Blessed are those who live out their dreams.’ May it be so.

We have prayer flags to share with you. Tibetans hang them to bring the sacred to their world and let the winds carry their prayers into the heavens.

Lets take a few moments, starting and ending with the bell, to remember Brutus. Feel what it was like to be with him and let’s commune with that memory.


Brutus of Wyde was a true inspiration as a climber and as a human. As a tribute to him I suggest we all make a point of figuring out some ingenius way to really stoke someone out, or teach them something cool, and go out and do it. Hike some cold beverages out to the top of El Cap, Fix a great meal for some bros at camp, or clean up a mess that's not yours.

WIth Respect and Love

Karlee Baba


Jun 30, 2009, 7:37 PM
Post #2 of 7 (4691 views)

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 18273

Re: [karlbaba] Brutus Of Wyde Climbing Journal, Memorial Text, and Thanks [In reply to]
Report this Post
Can't Post


Thanks so much for posting that here. Although I didn't personally know Brutus, I think you did a magnificent job of eulogizing him.



Jun 30, 2009, 7:39 PM
Post #3 of 7 (4687 views)

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2824

Re: [curt] Brutus Of Wyde Climbing Journal, Memorial Text, and Thanks [In reply to]
Report this Post
Can't Post

Rest in Peace.

Thanks for sharing this.


Jun 30, 2009, 8:09 PM
Post #4 of 7 (4657 views)

Registered: Jun 7, 2005
Posts: 3371

Re: [karlbaba] Brutus Of Wyde Climbing Journal, Memorial Text, and Thanks [In reply to]
Report this Post
Can't Post

Thanks for posting that Karl.

Hoping for peace for all of those who's lives he's touched.


Jul 1, 2009, 7:58 AM
Post #5 of 7 (4593 views)

Registered: Feb 11, 2005
Posts: 1709

Re: [karlbaba] Brutus Of Wyde Climbing Journal, Memorial Text, and Thanks [In reply to]
Report this Post
Can't Post

Very beautiful Karl. Thanks for sharing.


Jul 2, 2009, 12:37 PM
Post #6 of 7 (4514 views)

Registered: Oct 30, 2001
Posts: 18283

Re: [karlbaba] Brutus Of Wyde Climbing Journal, Memorial Text, and Thanks [In reply to]
Report this Post
Can't Post

Some of the most touching and lovely words I've ever heard spoken about a man.

Very nicely done, Karl.

Partner macherry

Jul 5, 2009, 7:42 PM
Post #7 of 7 (4398 views)

Registered: Sep 10, 2003
Posts: 15848

Re: [reno] Brutus Of Wyde Climbing Journal, Memorial Text, and Thanks [In reply to]
Report this Post
Can't Post

thank you karl

very beautiful

Forums : Climbing Information : In Memory Of


Search for (options)

Log In:

Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?

Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook