Still at a loss for words, but wanted to share some images from good times shared with one of my dearest friends. Straight hardened steel with a heart of gold. Love you brother.
Speaking at our wedding. Despite habitually spending all his money on climbing all the time, he figured out how to travel all the way to Thailand to deliver a beautiful and touching prayer during our ceremony. Thanks Tim, for the pic.
Stoker. This is acclimating way up some side valley of the Changping in China. We found a bunch of garbage left by a previous expedition in a little glacial tarn and spend all day cleaning it up. This brought him much joy.
Not stoker. He was cold. I told him to put on a jacket when the blizzards started hiking up to this high camp, but he refused. Then he was cold.
THE LOG! We actually talked about this log in the Chiliwack Valley (cascades) just a week ago, recounting the story to our housemates in Patagonia. We were attempting a winter climb up there and “THE LOG” proved one of the most formidable obstacles. With such dense bushes all around, we actually busted out the tools to “send” the 4 meter diameter fallen cedar….all smiles as usual.
My “gift” to him on his 37th birthday. Free climbing pitch 10 on Siguniang. A nice evening of “cragging’ above our bivi ledge seen below.
Scoping the SW ridge of his beloved Siguniang before our climb together.
Just off my first summit in Asia, “Chadder” (as they called him there) refused to let more than a day of nice weather pass before shouldering these loads and heading up on Sigi. Looking back, its overwhelming how much he taught me. About caring and trying hard and thinking positively. The mind is a powerful thing, especially his.
Lots of adventure ahead.
He hadn’t had a sip of water in 36 hours here. But…..still all smiles as usual!
He was having so much fun….
Nearing the top of Siguniang. Everyone talks about his “drive” and “will power” for obvious reasons, but holy shit - this day was like none other I’d witnessed. There were so many reasons we should have bailed way earlier, but he was so stoically motivated to finish this route. He literally grabbed the rack from me, put his head down into the storm and charged upward. I just had to draft along as the rope came tight.
On the summit of Siguniang.
Another one of the most emotional moments of our lives. Spreading Lara’s ashes on the summit. This was what was driving him so hard to get there.
Frosty chad trying to get down.
Even frostier chad.
The beauty of the Changping: Lara Shan.
Common way to spend time with Chad, hiking around with heavy packs….
Poaching the second ascent of Yangmantai….we kept calling it the north ridge of Stuart at 18,000’…so much fun.
Another cumbre, more smiles.
In his element. Way above the valleys.
Brewing up some of his favorite “nuun tea” after a long day out…
More heavy pack lugging. Seerdengpu in the background.
Trying to keep up as usual….
His favorite Chinese swamp valleys…..
Another memorable night in China.
More unclimbed spire romping together
High on Seerdengpu
Siguniang and Lara Shan in the background. He knew this valley so well.
Lets try this one!…… Why not?
In front of the Monastery he loved so dearly. The Gubla Gompa, home of Lama Rinzing Dorje. Chad was thrilled this place was rebuilt after the 2008 Sichuan earthquakes and spent much time here with the Lama.
All part of the adventure.
The 2010 Changping crew. One of the countless groups of people he shared his wisdom, positivity and strength with. Everyone in this pic has, since 2010, commented over and over what an impact Chad had on them. Just being around him was inspiring and meaningful. He knew what was up and was generous with showing others how to see it.
And his dear friends, the Ma family of Rilong.
Trying to teach Mr. Ma some knots……
We had a good laugh here….
Back close to home, bushwacking in the north cascades. All smiles, of course!
Summertime in the pickets.
Shiver bivi on the North Howser Tower in Canada.
I love this pic of chad. “Summertime” high on the North Howser, he is wearing all summer clothes, fingerless leather gloves etc, jugging an icy rope and sliding right back down it. I can still hear his voice, half laughing….”Dude….its worse now!”…Tough as hell.
Another moment of incredible natural beauty shared with him. Down climbing in China at sunset.
And finally, the west side of the Fitz Roy group a few days ago. I know you’re back with Lara and Joe now - but, man, we sure miss you down here. You’ll always be with us too, brother.