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Partner missedyno


May 28, 2013, 5:19 PM
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Looking to Connect with others who have seen their climbing partner die
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Today marks 2 weeks... two weeks since we decided to bail off our multipitch route so we wouldn't be topping out in the dark.

two weeks since we safely completed 4 rappels and started walking down what appeared to be a descent gully.

two weeks since that descent gully turned out to be full of loose rock and still quite a way's up from the ground.

two weeks since I was by my friend's side within minutes - there was nothing I could do - no first aid to be administered... I kept the area and environment calm and comfortable for her passing. No yelling, no weeping, just calm for her to depart - in peace.

I acknowledge that this is a very unique experience. Many have lost a climbing buddy or friend or maybe have been close to a rescue mission... I'm looking to connect with people who have been in the same situation.

I feel like I'm running out of people to tell my story to, so I'm looking to connect with others who have had a similar experience. she decked and died shortly thereafter.

Also, I'm doing really well - I saw her fall and when I got down to the ledge and realized the height... then saw where she lay, unmoving, I moved to immediately accept and surrender to the reality. There was no resistance, no time for denial... I actually uncovered a strength in myself that I had suspected was there but had never seen in action.

Please PM if you've been there, or if you know of someone who has had a similar experience.


gblauer
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May 28, 2013, 6:02 PM
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My sincerest condolences to you. I wish I had some words that would comfort you. You are in my thoughts in prayers.


edge


May 28, 2013, 6:39 PM
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Re: [missedyno] Looking to Connect with others who have seen their climbing partner die [In reply to]
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Missedyno, first of all you have my deepest sympathies and respect. This was a brave, difficult, and unfathomable trial that you were thrown into, and your friend was lucky to have you with her.

I had heard of an accident in Squamish, but didn't know the details until reading your post. Two similar accidents have taken place in the last couple of weeks at Taquitz and Yosemite, and both surviving partners have reached out with their stories at www.supertopo in the forums, where they have found some solace from the community there. I would encourage you to post at the "Taco" to share in the wisdom offered there from a generally more travelled crowd who can share their collective experience.

It is important for you to know that you are not alone. The greater climbing community feels your pain, and hopes that you will stay strong and heal. I wish you peace as you move forward in these difficult times ahead of you.

As I type this, I am sitting near a campground on the shores of the Hudson River in upstate NY, at the start of a three month cross country road trip. I have a shell with sage burning nearby, and can't help but wonder what path lies ahead and where it will lead. Fireflies appear overhead out of nowhere, their lights burning bright and then disappearing. Sometimes the most beautiful things are like that, and we can only remember those lights in the dark for the brief happiness they bring to us.

Peace to you,
Loran


(This post was edited by edge on May 28, 2013, 6:54 PM)


Partner missedyno


May 28, 2013, 7:38 PM
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Thanks Loran - to clarify, I live in Squamish (sort of, at present) but the accident was May 14 in Leavenworth, WA.

Burn sage, I have done the same plenty of times to clear my spirit and the space around me.

Thank you for your kind words.

Jessica


billl7


May 28, 2013, 8:09 PM
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Jessica,

I haven't had a similar experience. But I know I could have but for an arbitrary decision here or there.

Keep processing it. And if it seems too much, consider even just one good therapy session from someone recommended by another.

I'll second Loran's comment about posting on the Taco.

Peace,
Bill L


curt


May 29, 2013, 12:44 AM
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missedyno wrote:
Today marks 2 weeks... two weeks since we decided to bail off our multipitch route so we wouldn't be topping out in the dark.

two weeks since we safely completed 4 rappels and started walking down what appeared to be a descent gully.

two weeks since that descent gully turned out to be full of loose rock and still quite a way's up from the ground.

two weeks since I was by my friend's side within minutes - there was nothing I could do - no first aid to be administered... I kept the area and environment calm and comfortable for her passing. No yelling, no weeping, just calm for her to depart - in peace.

I acknowledge that this is a very unique experience. Many have lost a climbing buddy or friend or maybe have been close to a rescue mission... I'm looking to connect with people who have been in the same situation.

I feel like I'm running out of people to tell my story to, so I'm looking to connect with others who have had a similar experience. she decked and died shortly thereafter.

Also, I'm doing really well - I saw her fall and when I got down to the ledge and realized the height... then saw where she lay, unmoving, I moved to immediately accept and surrender to the reality. There was no resistance, no time for denial... I actually uncovered a strength in myself that I had suspected was there but had never seen in action.

Please PM if you've been there, or if you know of someone who has had a similar experience.

Maybe give Greg Davis a shout over at ST. He experienced something quite similar very recently...

http://www.supertopo.com/...itz-rescue-5-17-2013

I think he posts here too, but I don't recall his user name here.

Curt


lena_chita
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May 29, 2013, 5:40 AM
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I am really sorry for your loss, Jessica.


milesenoell


May 29, 2013, 8:57 AM
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I have never had to handle a situation like yours and have little to offer, but let me say that I really appreciate your being willing to share some of your experience with us here. Falls have a way of jarring us to alertness, and hopefully your tale can help protect us when we encounter similar situations.


donald949


May 29, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Let me also offer my condolences.
I'm sure there are no words I can offer to help much. Climbing is unique, and we are few and far between, but know we stand with you, even if it is at a distance.
Thoughts and prayers with you.
Don


Ruff_Dog


May 29, 2013, 10:54 AM
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I'm sorry, Jessica. It's something, I feel, no one should go through alone. And it's really sad. My condolences.


Partner missedyno


May 29, 2013, 11:19 AM
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All your responses are so perfect.

Thank you.

It's been a bit annoying the responses from non-climbers, or people who get me to wear their grief. things like "it must have been so horrible" or other things that just colour me broken.

cause i'm not.

and yes, I have a grief counsellor I have gone to see and can reach out to anytime. i'm also really into yoga and am heading to maui for some sunshine and yoga for a couple weeks.

some days are better than others. it's certainly a process.


quiteatingmysteak


May 29, 2013, 12:05 PM
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Heya :) It's Greg Davis. I don't post here anymore, I think Monsanto bought the place or something. I parted ways with my absolute best friend on May 17th, and since have decided to drag him around with me in my thoughts and mind. When you surround yourself with awesome people, they never really leave. Just as he influenced me in life his vision, drive, heart and soul are right where I need them. You don't lose those things.

I will lose my parents some day (they hope to outlive me at least, but Mom has some wicked hungarian old lady genes) and many of my friends who mentored me and taught me climbing when I was just a boy and they at the twlight of their careers. It's a natural process, and be it cancer or a car accident or a climbing mis-step we have to find ways to move on, find ways to honor those we loved and pass their love onto others.

Keep reaching out, keep following your dreams. Make every day count, and surround yourself with friends. There's a lot out there waiting to meet you :)

Greg


gblauer
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May 29, 2013, 2:32 PM
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Greg, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I read the story on another site. Terribly tragic. You too are in my thoughts and prayers.


Syd


May 30, 2013, 4:19 AM
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My heart goes out to those who have lost close friends. I'm an older climber and have now lost 18, but only one through climbing. I have an older friend who lost 16 last year. It does make me very grateful for the life I have. I think I value life much more now.


curt


May 30, 2013, 4:34 PM
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I started this thread ten years ago. Today, I can add the names of several more of my climbing partners who have died while climbing.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...iew_flat;post=516204

Unfortunately, this part of my old post has proven to be all too true:

curt wrote:
Expect to see more posts like the recent thread about the Tahquitz tragedy. It is simply part and parcel of the climbing experience. I don't mean to be melodramatic or macabre or anything, but if this is not something that you, as an individual, can deal with then this is certainly not the right sport. I truly wish it were otherwise.

I can only be personally thankful that no climbing partners have died while climbing with me. I really don't know how I would react to that, but I would probably feel some sense of responsibility--whether I was responsible or not.

Curt


shotwell


May 30, 2013, 11:30 PM
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Personal vendetta or otherwise, it is sick to give a man a one star rating for this post. Fuck off, coward.

I too cannot imagine how I would react to the death of my own partner. I do know that it is a real possibility. I have accepted the possibility as has my primary partner. I do hope I never have to go through it with her; it was hard enough for me with a stranger.

To the original poster, your strength is an inspiration. I am sure your partner appreciated a gentle spirit for her passing. I hope you continue to carry this peace with you.


Gmburns2000


May 31, 2013, 6:11 AM
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My sincerest condolences. I lost the person who introduced me to climbing in rappelling accident many years ago. I wasn't there, but I was touched tremendously by this event. I went climbing the next day more to honor him and thank him. I think about him often and what his introduction meant to me. The only thing I can say is keep moving forward and do whatever it is you need to do. Where your heart leads you is where you need to be.

Best...
Greg


Partner missedyno


May 31, 2013, 10:36 AM
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Thanks Curt. I know that this is the first of at least a few climbing & backcountry touring friends that I'll loose to the mountains. Acceptance is key, and gratitude for each day we choose to live and breathe is a bonus!


curt wrote:
I started this thread ten years ago. Today, I can add the names of several more of my climbing partners who have died while climbing.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...iew_flat;post=516204

Unfortunately, this part of my old post has proven to be all too true:

curt wrote:
Expect to see more posts like the recent thread about the Tahquitz tragedy. It is simply part and parcel of the climbing experience. I don't mean to be melodramatic or macabre or anything, but if this is not something that you, as an individual, can deal with then this is certainly not the right sport. I truly wish it were otherwise.

I can only be personally thankful that no climbing partners have died while climbing with me. I really don't know how I would react to that, but I would probably feel some sense of responsibility--whether I was responsible or not.

Curt


curt


May 31, 2013, 12:18 PM
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When I linked that old thread here, I failed to notice that Mike Reardon had posted in it. That's quite poignant and sort of eerie now...


Michael Reardon wrote:
Not sure exactly what kind of reaction you were expecting Curt, but for what it's worth, here's my $.02.

Prior to climbing, death seemed to always be around the corner for me. Without major details, the moments of almost death came from reckless youth, illness, drugs, alcohol, and on more than one occasion, a gun to the head. During that time period, I also got to experience burying pretty much every friend and family member I was ever close to. When I got into climbing, what had been reckless before, became normal to the eccentrics that I became close to, and admired. Now granted, Yabo might not have been a good role model, but seeing folks like him and a few others that no one ever heard of, definitely inspired me to push the boundaries, until the occasional failure was inevitable. Then something happened.

There was no major event. There was no spark of recognition. It was more a simple opening of the eyes. I just woke up. Simple as that. I shed everything, and climbing was the only thing that stuck. There was something pure about touching rock, and controlling what happens next. It's not up to the rock whether I stick around or not, it's up to me. I choose to move up. I choose to grab that hold. I choose to place a piece. I choose to clip a bolt. And sometimes, I choose to merely climb, close to the ground and otherwise. It bring solace when there is none, and chaos when there is none.

On Saturday, I chose to climb a route that hadn't been done before. It was a nondescript crack in Bishop that travelled it's way up for a couple pitches and had never felt human hands. The rock was suspect, the belays were nonexistent, and each piece I placed felt looser than the softballs I pulled off and lobbed into space. Or as my partner stated, it was the first time in 10 years he had ever seen me wear a helmet. At the top of the first major belay, I found myself wedged in between a wide crack, with a couple of marginal aliens for backup, and then put my partner on belay. It was then I realized that the climb I just did was a bit harder than what killed those two climbers at Tahquitz. And here I was trying my best to "one up" them.

Granted, it would have taken an act of God to pull me out of the spot if my partner fell, and the aliens weren't that bad, but it wasn't the point. Right then and there, I got to feel a bit of what must have happened to those two guys (it wasn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last, but it was the most recent). Wrong space, wrong time. Or maybe it was the right one. As much as I believe I choose to climb the rock and all the other garbage I said above, just maybe I don't have a choice in when I die. That being said, I can argue and go on about the what and how's of the afterlife, but in the end it's just that. I likely don't have a choice, because no matter what I do, it will happen. That being said, all I can do, is remain awake. Climbing allows me that ability.

I do feel sadness and the occasional tear when I think of those that moved on, or worse, sit at a table with a group of other climbers and realize that next season, some of us might not be here, especially those who head to the mountains. But I also enjoy the common denominator that in those that push the limits, whether it be a 5.6 boltfest, or an alpine deathrun, they are awake. And it is the personal memory of being asleep that keeps me climbing, and in turn, keeps those memories alive and burning. I do wish I could share a tall tale, or hear some of those friends laugh once again, but I've realized, that when I'm on the top of a climb, if I listen closely, I already have.

Curt


5.samadhi


May 31, 2013, 1:32 PM
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^ wow, Reardon's words are spooky and very wise. I really resonated with what he said at the end, about realizing who may not be around next season...

although dying climbing would truly and righteously SUCK - read not good - I would rather go out climbing or base jumping than go out sedentary in a chair after 80 years of 'normal' and unremarkable life. That is the real scare to me -

If somebody loved climbing, then we have to have an acceptance of the counterbalance that is demanded of them because of their mistake. But we can still be frustrated at our partners that mis-step, choose the wrong gear, choose the wrong wind conditions (other sports), etc. We can still be vigilant - as FUCK - to protect ourselves and our partners because we're aware from years of experience that DEATH is right around the motherfucking corner.

Crazy


Partner missedyno


May 31, 2013, 1:47 PM
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yep, I found and read a few Reardon posts when looking for people to connect with for this post.


I can say one thing with absolute confidence: fellow climbers seem to say the right thing about this, they really get it, while the non-climbers seem to cling to me to work through their own shock.

So thank you, as always, for the support. Doing a-ok.


fng


May 31, 2013, 2:51 PM
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So sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers are with you.

I have not suffered a loss of such a close friend but have thought of my reaction and believe it would similar to yours. I have also thought of how I would want my partner to react if I was victim to such circumstances. I have shared this with many of my partners which is to keep doing what we loved together. Keep climbing. I have often thought how I would feel looking down from above. For one I would be on an endless perfect hand crack with perfect pro and would be saddened to see my partner not living free from any guilt of what had happened. I would expect he would know, regardless of circumstances , that I only wished he continue the joy and freedom of being on the rock....and I would be there with him/her.


Partner macherry


Jun 1, 2013, 1:04 PM
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missedyno wrote:
All your responses are so perfect.

Thank you.

It's been a bit annoying the responses from non-climbers, or people who get me to wear their grief. things like "it must have been so horrible" or other things that just colour me broken.

cause i'm not.

and yes, I have a grief counsellor I have gone to see and can reach out to anytime. i'm also really into yoga and am heading to maui for some sunshine and yoga for a couple weeks.

some days are better than others. it's certainly a process.


so sorry jess.

sun and yoga, good for the soul.


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