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Forum responses to news of mountaineering deaths

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 Moacs 26 Jul 2007
Sadly there are several death every year of people pursuing climbing in all its diverse forms.

Sometimes these tragic events are reported by news providers ... and subsequently alerted to folk on here by way of a thread referencing the article.

Quite frequently these threads turn into an uncomfortable blend of several things:
- people expressing sympathy and condolences
- people responding to the manner and content of the reporting
- people picking through the details for learning points ... and sometimes pointing blame
- people indulging their usual trolling and tomfoolery

I use "uncomfortable" above because sometimes close friends and relatives of the victims of the incident do come across these threads, and the direction the thread has taken (the blend of the comments) will determine whether they feel empathy and support from us or a kind of arrogant derision that kicks them whilst they are down.

So, please, can I make a suggestion?

Let the original thread reporting the incident be a place for empathy and condolence. Where the person is known the personal anecdotes and tributes are hugely supportive to families that have had a tragic bereavement.

All the other aspects (working out what went wrong, arguing about kit lists and reporting styles, trolling, etc.) could be started in a separate thread that depersonalises and anonomises the incident.

Call me old fashioned if you like, but it's a respect thing.

Anyone agree or disagree?

John
 Fredt 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:
Agree. Through experience, I know that parents/relatives will want to find and read the threads.
 Glyn Jones 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs: agreed

2 down - 26497 to go

 JamieAyres 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Agreed.
OP Moacs 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Glyn Jones:
> (In reply to John Lisle) agreed
>
> 2 down - 26497 to go

Lol. That's quite a herd.

To be honest if it just makes some people think for a moment before they trash a thread that families may see, it'll be worth it.

J
 Denni 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Hi mate,
completely agree. Last year someone who used this site regularly unfortunately died.

Condolenses initially, then it turned into a "my opinion is correct because I know what I'm talking about, ill equipped etc, oooh and sorry for your loss" thread.

Even loads of the "old school" apparently wise heads on here ignored the OP and turned it into a slagging session.

My friend Daisy went on there, gave them rock all, then gave UKC mods rock all for allowing it to happen so they pulled the thread.

I completely agree with you, although I think people shouldn't post alternative threads about where to lay blame etc, etc as families would still pick up on this.

My tuppenceworth anyway!
Den
 Denni 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Atholl de-Saint-Croix:

26496 to go!!
 CJD 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

i agree.
 SonyaD 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs: I agree also. But the cynic in me couldn't see that ever happening as folk always like to mouth off
 Burns 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Agreed. I avoid posting on such threads and hope I will never have to. I see them as being for the business of people directly involved with the incident, or for the families of those concerned.
 Banned User 77 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Burns: I agree, sadly I'm often drawn to comment.

It infuriates me how climbers can so easily point the finger. It's like there is no comprehension of what risk analysis/calculation is all about; you minimise the risk, not remove the risk.
Rosie A 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Burns:

Exactly, why post unless you knew them?

I think the mods could use their discretion on these threads and keep them pared down in the way John describes above.
In reply to Moacs:

Yep totally agree.
 Burns 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Good thread. I'm glad someone has finally articulated this point. I hope its heeded.
 Fume Troll 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Burns and RosieA: I don't see anything wrong with offering condolences, sypathy, prayers etc for people or events you weren't directly involved with.

I think you can be part of a community without knowing everyone in that community. Many people will still feel a connection through what we do and will want to express grief at what has happened to "one of us".

I find it hard to imagine a parent, friend or anyone else being offended by that.

Cheers,

FT.
In reply to Atholl de-Saint-Croix:

> I think people shouldn't post alternative threads about where to lay blame etc, etc

IMHO one thing the climbing community is very bad at is learning from other people's mistakes.

To make risk-based decisions we need to be informed - including on what happens when things go wrong.

However, as you say, it often goes too far on here and turns into a slagging session. Often hard to de-personalise discussions of incidents but we should try.
crikeyorikey 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Fume Troll:

A good suggestion in theory,

but if families stumble across 'condolence threads' because their relative is mentioned,

then surely they'll also stumble across the criticism / opinions thread where their relative is mentioned.

ok the threads will be clearly seperate into one of all comforting and one thread or critical analysis by all and sundry, but the families will see both.


 Jamie B 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Agree wholeheartedly. A difficulty does arise when the more sensitive majority try to chase these vultures off the thread; things can get heated and the thread can easily spiral downhill. It would be good if this role was instead played by a moderator with a zap gun.

Thanks for articualting this point.
 Tony the Blade 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

A good point very well put John. Gets my support.
 Denni 26 Jul 2007
In reply to featuresforfeet:
> (In reply to Atholl de-Saint-Croix)
>
> [...]
>
> IMHO one thing the climbing community is very bad at is learning from other people's mistakes.
>

Hi mate,

totally agree with you there. What annoys me is that people, not all of course before I drop myself in it!, think they know it all and are above learning new things or learning from mistakes.

In general, climbers and mountaineers IMHO as well, do not learn as the same mistakes are made year in and out at the same places.

I'm happy to be told if I'm doing something wrong and will always take advice, whether I follow it is another thing!

Den
Rosie A 26 Jul 2007
In reply to featuresforfeet:

But you'd sulrey agree that a thread meant for condolences to loved ones shouldn't involve picking over the details of what went wrong. there's a time and a place for that, and immediately after a traumatic death, when people are trying to come to terms with loss, can't be the time, even though UKC may be the place.
 freelancer_85 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

I Agree

Josh.
OP Moacs 26 Jul 2007
In reply to crikeyorikey:

My suggestion was that the "other" thread should anonomise the incident.

For example, I think a thread titled "how much gear to carry in the Alps" and starting "The reporting in the thread today on the tragedy on Mt Blanc quotes french guides as claiming the victims were inadequately equipped..." would be fair enough.

J

 Jamie B 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

I've even seen analysis of a major whipper (fortunately limped away from) which I felt would have been quite damaging to the leader's headspace had he read it. Not as serious as what you're describing, but indicative of the same lack of consideration.
 Dave Murphy 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

agree
 Fume Troll 26 Jul 2007
In reply to crikeyorikey: They won't see both if the "other" thread doesn't mention names. Which I think is what John is suggesting.

Cheers,

FT.
 Fume Troll 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Fume Troll: By the way, I fully agree with the OP.

Cheers,

FT.
 fivestar 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Rosie A:
> (In reply to featuresforfeet)
>
> But you'd sulrey agree that a thread meant for condolences to loved ones shouldn't involve picking over the details of what went wrong. there's a time and a place for that, and immediately after a traumatic death, when people are trying to come to terms with loss, can't be the time, even though UKC may be the place.

Second that one, really not appropriate to hashing over the details while a family is grieving.

Good post John

Cheers

James
 Trangia 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Excellent thread.

I agree.
 Pauline 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

agree!
Snorkers McPorkers 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Rosie A:
> (In reply to Burns)
>
> Exactly, why post unless you knew them?

Agree there. Posts from those who genuinely knew the victims well and are paying tribute are part of the process of grieving and moving on, but not forgetting.

IMHO Posts from rubberneckers, or even those that seem to want to be brushed by some perceived 'hand of fame' are sickening. Posts from those attempting to extract information for their own gory/morbid interest and speculation (usually excused along the lines of 'oh I only want to know exactly what happened so I don't make the same mistake') are worse and have no place. The details of accidents do come out in time and should be left to do so, not pried or forced out through rumour-mongering and speculation.


In reply to Rosie A:

Yes, I agree. My point was broader - that we should discuss accidents (but not immeadiately after and on a news-linked thread).
 blondel 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

I agree completely that the thread should be confined strictly to condolences, but I think these can be from anyone who is genuinely moved to say something sincere. When you're suffering like that a kind word is a kind word regardless of who sends it (though of course some are a lot more special).

I do think the principle of kindness ought to be extended a lot further through the forums generally than it is though: anonymous unkindness can cause a lot of pain in just the same way. My great-grandmother's principle of asking yourself "Is it kind, is it true, is it necessary?" before you express an opinion goes a very long way for me.
 sasmojo 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs: well put mate, agreed.
 sutty 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Perhaps anyone, that means everyone who finds one of the condolences threads going off course should use the report abuse button to notify the mods so they can delete bad postings so they get removed ASAP. They cannot read all the threads but rely on other peeps keeping them informed.
In reply to Moacs:

I agree, good post.

While there may be space for forensic reviews of such occurences for the sake of learning, posts announcing the person's death is not the place for it, because as someone said earlier, the deceased's family and friends will want to read it, whether they are mountaineers or not.

I agree the mods ought to zap any insensitivity pronto, as I believe they recently did on a Michael Reardon thread.
 Calder 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Valid.

Sarah G 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Disagree.

It's a forum, not an on-line Book of Condolence.

We all should have the opportunity to learn from wht may have or have not happened; the beuaty of these threads is that we have the chance to do just that.

It's also an open forum; if users do say something that is uncomfortable to you or a relative etc then that is the chance you take by using the forums. Taste and manners is a matter for the individual poster, not you. As a previous poster said, anything nasty or inappropriate can be reported. The mods seem to be increasingly hot on this kind of thing.

I would not like to think that the ethos of these forums in being able to discuss any issue is going to be restricted because someone might be uncomfortable with what is said.

Sxx
 Mystery Toad 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Where has there been trolling in such threads?
If true that's shocking.
Bleedin chimps ought to be banned; if I may say so.

I'm sorry I said that. It isn't fair to the other chimps.
 mart rich 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:
Agreed

and this needed to be said

Martin
 mart rich 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Sarah G:

But it would come across better if the condolences (often with friends/relatives input) is kept seperate from the "learning from" posts and threads

imo

Martin
 Norrie Muir 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Sarah G:
>
> I would not like to think that the ethos of these forums in being able to discuss any issue is going to be restricted because someone might be uncomfortable with what is said.

I must have been reading different posts to you. Speculation by inexperienced, incompetent and uninformed posters on deaths in the Scottish hills in winter has made me question the value of posting on the UKC forums.

In my opinion more deaths will occur due to these inexperienced, incompetent and uninformed posters.
GerryS 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Sarah G:

"Disagree. It's a forum, not an on-line Book of Condolence. We all should have the opportunity to learn from wht may have or have not happened; the beuaty of these threads is that we have the chance to do just that. "

Well said.

In reply to John Lisle:

To set the record straight the original thread http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=254496 was started as a straight forward news report not a condolence thread.

Without the reporting and anlysis of accidents we cannot judge the risks involved. From the postings I've seen on the original thread I am more likely to carry a bothy bag and / or a shovel with me if I am taking a group on a long exposed alpine route subject to changeable weather.

 Bobt 26 Jul 2007
In reply to GerryS:
> (In reply to Sarah G)
>
> "Disagree. It's a forum, not an on-line Book of Condolence. We all should have the opportunity to learn from wht may have or have not happened;

That statement says it all. It's the uninformed speculation and utter bollocks spouted, based on what may or may not have happened, that makes these threads so distasteful. Can you explain how anyone has the opportunity to learn from this?
 Trangia 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Sarah G:

I hear what you say, but isn't a forum supposed to be about INFORMED debate? Comments made by people about a fatality which has just been reported are usually based on press reports and are far from informed.

As has been said some relatives and friends DO read the comments made on this forum. In the immediate aftermath of a tragedy if people feel moved to post their condolences then why shouldn't they? The climbing/mountaineering fraternity is a broad church with many differing opinions and view points, but unless some individuals are utter *rseholes there is a broad consensus when it comes to the feeling of sadness that one of our number (even a stranger) had been killed. If people wish to express their feelings and condolences, it does de facto become an online thread of condolence.

As the OP says no-one wants to stiffle debate but a thread of condolence is not the place to do it. Those who want to can make uninformed *rseholes of themselves in another thread which hopefully will not make direct reference to the victim, at least in the immediate aftermath.

The Coroner's Inquest is the correct Forum for such matters, and until that has been reported I believe people should exercise restraint when it comes to speculation.
 Merlin 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Sarah G: I agree with you there I think.

Being in the forces death is around quite a bit.

And I think to discuss what happened isn't a bad thing. Why depersonalise it too, I don't think anyone would feel any less/more sorry if the person/people involved were mentioned.

I really don't believe that this is a major issue.

I also believe that this is a place where family/friends can view what climbers thought about the incident as I'd imagine they'd be fairly interested.

No dissrespect meant by the way.
OP Moacs 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Sarah G:

Good response - thank you.

Just to clarify, I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a discussion of what went wrong, why it did, whether the reporting is fair and realistic or even some black humour about death.

I'm only saying that all of that might be better separated from the directly-identifiable information.

I'm also not saying (?!) that the fora should be sickly sweet and insincere. However I do feel empathy with the friends and family of those bereaved.

Maybe if people were just aware of the fact that next of kin frequently do read these threads then they might think twice about how they phrase their "offhand" remark.

J
OP Moacs 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Mystery Toad:
> (In reply to John Lisle)
>
> Where has there been trolling in such threads?


Did you see the (subsequently deleted) posts in the Mike Reardon thread?

J
 smithaldo 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

95% of people who want to "know what happened" in the guise of "learning from it" wont learn anything because they are armchair alpinists/winter climbers. Just check the profiles of those who have replied with that response on this thread and you will see what I mean.

It's just morbid fascination.
In reply to Moacs:

I wondered last night if this was the right time and place for a heated discussion (one I was part of)on recent events. I dont like the finger pointing and the "it wouldnt happen to me because Im great" posters but it is a climbing forum where people post thier opinions.

I dont think you can ahve two threads one depersonalised and the other not, family and freinds will still read both in my opinion anyway
 Andy Hobson 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Trangia:
>
> As the OP says no-one wants to stiffle debate but a thread of condolence is not the place to do it. Those who want to can make uninformed *rseholes of themselves in another thread which hopefully will not make direct reference to the victim, at least in the immediate aftermath.

Well said that man.

to Sarah G: I can only assume you've never lost anyone you know through climbing. If you ever do (God forbid), I hope you're happy to sit back and say nowt when a load of internet strangers start discussing whether or not they should have been doing what they were doing, or how they were too incompetent to be where they were, on a thread you've started for condolences. It's vile and insensitive and it can cause a massive amount of upset for the families and friends of those concerned.

Agree wholeheartedly with the OP, btw.
 Enty 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Fredt:
> (In reply to John Lisle)
> Agree. Through experience, I know that parents/relatives will want to find and read the threads.


This is a good thread.
Fred, do the families really want to read condolences from people who never even came within a 1000 miles of the deceased?
I find the "yes condolences to friends and family" et etc really tiresome.

The Ent
 Trangia 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Fredt)
> [...]
>
>
>
do the families really want to read condolences from people who never even came within a 1000 miles of the deceased?
>
> The Ent

In a word Yes, and I speak from the experience of having been closely involved with a family who lost a loved one in the Alps.

It's comforting to know that other climbers/mountaineers empathise even if they are strangers.

 IanJackson 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs: I was thinking along the same lines today. Thanks for making the effort.
 TMM 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

I agree John.

I think it will be tough to maintain but that the effort should be made.

The uninformed opinions and speculations of strangers, many of whom are wholly unqualified to comment, can only be upsetting to those involved.
 toad 26 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs: been thinking along these lines for a while - try to avoid those threads tbh. Good on you for putting it on the record
Mr Rain 27 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

Totally in agreement with you.
alison cooper 27 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:
> Sadly there are several death every year of people pursuing climbing in all its diverse forms.
>
> Sometimes these tragic events are reported by news providers ... and subsequently alerted to folk on here by way of a thread referencing the article.
>
> Quite frequently these threads turn into an uncomfortable blend of several things:
> - people expressing sympathy and condolences
> - people responding to the manner and content of the reporting
> - people picking through the details for learning points ... and sometimes pointing blame
> - people indulging their usual trolling and tomfoolery
>
> I use "uncomfortable" above because sometimes close friends and relatives of the victims of the incident do come across these threads, and the direction the thread has taken (the blend of the comments) will determine whether they feel empathy and support from us or a kind of arrogant derision that kicks them whilst they are down.
>
> So, please, can I make a suggestion?
>
> Let the original thread reporting the incident be a place for empathy and condolence. Where the person is known the personal anecdotes and tributes are hugely supportive to families that have had a tragic bereavement.
>
> All the other aspects (working out what went wrong, arguing about kit lists and reporting styles, trolling, etc.) could be started in a separate thread that depersonalises and anonomises the incident.
thing.
>
>
As a parent who lost a son in the Cairngorms last November I felt I had to reply.The many messages of condolence from people who knew Graeme, even if only through this website brought us some comfort at the most awful time.
To see the blame being apportioned at this time was wholely inappropriate.The press twisted facts so much that most of what was reported was shite.Do these people not realise that the bereaved have enough to cope with?We personally found the press so inconsiderate.Investigations are still ongoing into the deaths of Richard Hardy And our son Graeme Cooper.Do not believe half of what is reported .Newspaper sales are what is most important to the papers,us families with feelings don't count.OUr pain is just as great now as it was in November so yes please keep a separate thread for going over the mistakes or whatever went wrong.
Sorry I rambled.
Alison M Cooper
In reply to alison cooper: Back in the 80s, my best friend was killed soloing on the Ben. As the police left his parent's house after telling them the news, the press were knocking on the door. They seem to have no sympathy for victims families - anything for a good story.
 Trangia 27 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

My experience of the press is that you have to tell them what you know or they will make it up. When two of my friends died in the Alps we issued a carefully thought through statement, which to be fair, they used as a reasonably accurate base for their stories. One of the families also asked me to act as their spokesman, and again the press did respect this and directed their enquires to me rather than the family. At the time we desperately needed all the help we could get as they were missing, not confirmed dead, and sympathetic press coverage was one of the tools we needed in the search to try and establish where they were last seen.
 gingerkate 27 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

I agree absolutely. With bells on. I've been totally disgusted at some recent messages on threads about deaths. But I think the only way to make it happen in practise is for extra-vigilant moderation on such threads. Is that possible? I expect the mods have rather a lot to do. But would it be possible to give volunteer mods a temporary zap gun?
 Rob Naylor 27 Jul 2007
In reply to alison cooper:

Alison,

Thanks for posting your point of view. I only met Graeme once and thought he seemed like a great bloke. Some of the comments at the time were, as you say, totally inappropriate, but I hope that, on balance, the messages of condolence and support you had through this site were a more positive thing than the ill-informed judgements that some were making.
 Wee Davie 27 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

I don't generally contribute condolences on these threads because unless I knew/ met the person involved I feel it would be false of me to do so. Just my feeling.

I object strongly to the dissecting/ criticising of others' actions that occurs on here.
For example, the recent Michael Reardon accident shows how inaccurate press coverage can be.
If I was involved in a fatality/ serious accident the last thing I would want is armchair critics basing their opinions on a couple of lines a know- nothing journo wrote.


Davie
 Wee Davie 27 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

PS But the problem is that this is a 'chat room'. It is not a memorial site. People are inclined to talk rubbish in general so I don't see how you can change this?
 Fredt 27 Jul 2007
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Fredt)
> [...]
>
>
> This is a good thread.
> Fred, do the families really want to read condolences from people who never even came within a 1000 miles of the deceased?
> I find the "yes condolences to friends and family" et etc really tiresome.
>

I find them incomprehensible.
I agree that they don't want to see the condolences from total strangers, but they do want an understanding of the deceased's lifestyle, and they will look for anyone who may have met their daughter/son, and anybody with any constructive information. The key thing they want is understanding, not sympathy.

In reply to Trangia:

>I hear what you say, but isn't a forum supposed to be about INFORMED debate?

On the contrary, surely the notion that informed opinion is more valuable than uninformed opinion is a fundamental challenge to the most sacred and deeply-held values of these forums?

Flame him for elitism, someone. I can't be bothered.

I agree with the OP and most that what one might call a Book of Condolence thread and a separate let's-have-all-the-gory-details-so-I-can-learn/enjoy them-thread is the way to go. I realise the moderators aren't omnipotent, but can they not arrange this?

I like someone's great-grandmother's the kind/necessary/true test - precisely the one I always apply myself, of course - but I find it strange to think one would refrain from expressing an opinion which was both kind and true simply on the grounds that it wasn't necessary.

jcm
In reply to Enty:

> Fred, do the families really want to read condolences from people who never even came within a 1000 miles of the deceased?

I'm fairly sure the answer to this is 'yes', at least in some cases. Let's hope neither of us ever has to find out.

I too feel queasy about them by nature and seldom post them, but I think one has to recognise that one's critical faculties aren't at their sharpest when recently bereaved.

jcm

 Offwidth 27 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

I'd go further.

I've been pretty annoyed by some comments made on Rocktalk following accidents and deaths. Sometimes the responses were not meant to be read the way I and others (who cared for the peorson (s) involved) read them but this just shows how sensitive the matter is. I strongly support the moderators deleting any negative comments or tomfoolery or asking posters with ambigous messages to be clearer following any named person reported to have died or been involved in a serious accident: only sensible for the site from a legal perspective anyway.
 Offwidth 27 Jul 2007
In reply to Sarah G:

"It's a forum, not an on-line Book of Condolence." The two are not mutually exclusive.

"We all should have the opportunity to learn from wht may have or have not happened; the beuaty of these threads is that we have the chance to do just that." There is rarely any beauty in such discussions for those who love the victim. There is rarely much to learn at the time of the post (other than climbing is dangerous) as the events, often by neccesity, are usually not publicly clear.

"It's also an open forum; if users do say something that is uncomfortable to you or a relative etc then that is the chance you take by using the forums. Taste and manners is a matter for the individual poster, not you." Not true there are rules and there are external legal limits for the site.

"As a previous poster said, anything nasty or inappropriate can be reported. The mods seem to be increasingly hot on this kind of thing." True and as such makes the previous statement seem very odd.

"I would not like to think that the ethos of these forums in being able to discuss any issue is going to be restricted because someone might be uncomfortable with what is said." Normally I'd agree but not immediately following a tragedy or if it could cause legal action against the site.
In reply to Moacs:

Really good thread John.

I do post to offer my condolences, even if I don't personally know the people involved. I do however empathise with them due to common experience.

I agree totally about keeping any discussion of accidents as impersonal as possible out of respect to the relatives. I'm guilty or widespread trollery and buffoonery, but I think we should show a modicum of respect in some cases, this being one of them. Relatives will look at such threads, and the last thing they need is someone without a clue as to the circumstances sounding off.
 Jim Fraser 28 Jul 2007
In reply to Moacs:

My experience of threads about deaths includes a narrow group of winter climbing threads and those addressing the non-climbing death of Alan Mullin.

I am the original poster of one of the Alan Mullin threads and a major contributor to the main thread. Different threads evolved, splitting and merging, naturally without any contentious issues as far as I know.

In the course of the main thread by 'jamieled', we were visited by Alan's step-daughter, mother, and one of his "Brother Riflemen" from 2nd Royal Green Jackets. His brother got in contact with various climbers through the forum. All of this contact was positive.

I think its important to remember that this is a FORUM. From what is written here, we learn not only of events, but of what others believe, of their ideas new and old, and something of ourselves in how we respond.

If there are gormless tasteless idiots out there then it is as well we know about them.



As some of you will already know
"In truth, it is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom, for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."

 Jamie B 28 Jul 2007
In reply to alison cooper:

Thanks for adding to this thread despite the hurt that you must still be feeling. What you have said adds immediacy to what is clearly a majority sentiment in favour of greater tact and sensitivity on this forum.

Many of our thoughts are still with you.

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