/ UKC Climber Deaths
What a dreadful last 12 months or so UKC has had in terms of contributors and climbers known to them losing their lives. I am not going to list them all in case I forget someone, but in all the years I have been climbing I don't recall such a grim period. It's truly heartbreaking. I'm referring both to mountaineering/climbing accidents and premature deaths of climbers from illness
In our sport the likelihood of death is an inevitable factor we all have to take account of, but it seems so unfair when the Grim Reaper embarks on such a prolific cull over such a short time.
I am at a loss a to which forum to post this in and "world mountaineering" seems to be the closest to covering the world and the UK.
I know you meant well, but as someone who lost their climbing partner in the last year and who is still coming to terms with it, remarks about it being "a bad year for this sort of thing" are not helpful.
I am so sorry. That was not my intention at all.
I'm not a great one for public eulogies or funerals but in the coming months I will be making a long overdue visit to a Lancashire crag to climb a classic route, one that a recently departed friend was justifiably proud to have made the first ascent of.
As a climber, I feel that is an appropriate way to remember him.
In a similar vein, there are some inspiring routes in Scotland I may well now make a distinct effort to climb this Winter.
Several things have come to mind in this period.
One is that from the funerals/wakes I've been to or heard about, despite the great sadness, the overall impressions have been very life affirming. These people lived full loving lives while they lived and inspired many others in climbing, in their professional lives, and amongst family and friends. Talking today to a friend at Dave G's wake we agreed we are lucky that climbing has so many selfess great characters who seemed to fit more into their days than several ordinary folk (Dave being exceptional in these respects) and there are very few villains.
Secondly I would hope older (and even some not so old climbers) could think more about recording their memories in books, articles or even podcasts (Grimer's podcasts show how good and good fun these can be).
Thirdly the kind words said on UKC and elsewhere in social media are very much appreciated by family and friends. The best contributions are sometimes read out.
Finally, and especially in climbing, that which sometimes divides us is much less important than what we share and the sadness of death and subsequent gatherings of family and friends are an important reminder of that.
Always remember the life of a person. We are lucky to share the world with people who can inspire us to new heights and show us new paths. Sometimes people die along the way but personally I feel that there's alot to be said for missing the indignity of old age, dementia for example. We westerners seem to wish everyone to cheat death, we should embrace that we all move on and when it's your time it is just that. Those who live a full life until it is done are the ones who we should emulate.
Some may find the statement callous but it may help others.
Somebody, can't remember who, said "It's not the years in your life, what counts is the life in your years".
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