/ Simon4 RIP ..... saying goodbye

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L wayne1965 - on 10 Aug 2017
It is perhaps long over due ..... I am signed upto UKC after having been in the 'business' for nearly 40yrs!!

My first posting is then on the rather heavy subject of the passing of Simon Kemper aka Simon4 or super dwarf.

Firstly, for anyone who would like to know about his burial ..... it has not happened yet and I will post the details when they are available.....

otherwise to give you the story of his last day ...... nothing to do with 4000m peak bagging
.....................

The Super Dwarf’s last peak ……

Simon was house sitting for us in Quaix en Chartreuse … you might say it was his second home …. One of his last messages was to tell how we had timed our departure perfectly because it was day after day of straight rain, so we need not worry about the garden being watered …. Followed by …. As if someone had flicked a great weather switch it was sunshine and blues skies. He had then set off to climb the peak central of les Aig d’Arves. A peak of some 3500m, a long quite remote walk to a col of the same name followed by a modest grade 3b scramble to the top. He stayed at the hut, more because he had the time and what better way to pass the time than in an almost empty hut. A night out in the hills was what he lived for. The next morning he set off early … before the only others on the hill that day, a guide and his client who would later pass him close to the summit. Simon definitely got to the top, we have a stern faced selfie to prove it. From that point we can only hypothesize. The scrambling was easy (for Simon) but there is a section with serious exposure and the rock is less than ideal. Either he went off route or a hold broke away, whichever, he slipped and fell some 200m down the steep south face. The guide had already gone and so simply reported back to the hut saying that Simon was not far behind and should be there in less than an hour. After that time had passed the guardian did her duty and raised the alarm.
Simon was found at about 10pm that same day 6th July 2017.
jon on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:

Thank you Wayne, very sad indeed. The alps give so much, but also take...
I'm guessing that his 50th 4000er was to have been the Lauteraarhorn?
taddersandbadger - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:

A sad debut on UKC.

Just spent a few minutes flicking through Simon's pretty impressive photo collection on UKC.
My first impression is of a modest, kind soul that cared about others and had a real appreciation of the world around him.

RIP Superdwarf.
pneame on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:

Still find losing him sad... a considerable loss to UKC. He was always happy to share his vast knowledge and experience with anyone who cared to listen. And, of course, with people who didn't care to listen, on occasion!
It's just hard to think he's gone.
Thanks for the update.
L wayne1965 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jon:
yes .... I'll be heading up there on his behalf on 6th July 2018
.... to complete his collection and leave something of his ..... his axe or something like
I'll take the risk of leaving some such litter on this occasion
..... pm me if interested ...
Post edited at 14:06
L wayne1965 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to taddersandbadger:

any pictures with him in them are most likely taken by me!
L wayne1965 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to pneame:

indeed it is hard ... someone who was getting on a bit and nonetheless could still most likely walk (and talk) most 18yr olds into the ground .... and yet suddenly his is gone !!

It is thanks to his generosity and enthusiasm that I made the leap from rock climbing and winter walker to Alpiniste nearly 30 yrs ago .... sadly I was not there on this last outing to take care of him
jon on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:

Thank you, but sadly an invitation I have to decline. The Lauteraarhorn is one of eleven remaining on my 61 Blodigs 4000ers list. A list I'll now never complete. With various bits of body failing on me, it's only fit for sunny rock climbing! 2009 was the last time I managed one of them with the Schreckhorn. I remember having a discussion with Simon about it, my run-in with the Ogre... sorry, gardien, and Lauteraarhorn suggestions, a couple of years back:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=628894&v=1#x8176303

Make sure you hide the axe well.
pneame on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jon:

That has to be one of the best examples of Simon's (non mountain) skills ever without even once denigrating guardianistas. I'd somehow missed most of it. I miss him even more.

jcw on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:

My profound condolences. I have emailed you direct.
ads.ukclimbing.com
L wayne1965 - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to jon:

I was thinking of attaching the axe to the cross on the top with cable ties ...... assuming there is a cross ...
if someone is displeased and takes it down ... so beit! .. nothing is forever ... except death!
wercat on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:

Is there some private vantage point near the summit, perhaps just out of sight, slightly less frequented where you could put it where it might remain a little longer and perhaps be contemplated by those seeking a quieter spot?
L wayne1965 - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to wercat:

that is possible .... will see when there .... assuming I get there myself .... I am optimistic ..... said axe will have a plaque showing that it is clearly intended to stay there ...... I do not think this top is that frequented, so hope it will stay for a few years ....
L wayne1965 - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:

wow ... WTF! ... over 1500 views in a few days ... that says something about Simon4
Lusk - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:

He was a lad, I miss him and I never met him.
Toerag - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:


> I was thinking of attaching the axe to the cross on the top with cable ties ...... assuming there is a cross ...
Use the modern metal ties as well as plastic ones, they'll be penknife-proof. Might need a special tool to tighten them though.

Dave Kerr - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Toerag:

> Use the modern metal ties as well as plastic ones, they'll be penknife-proof. Might need a special tool to tighten them though.

Or, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, think of a memorial that won't annoy people or encourage them to thievery.
L wayne1965 - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

open to suggestions .....
btw ..... this is not a tourist peak ..... there will be weeks that pass when no one goes there ........
and those that do will pass through pretty quickly ... no time to stop and pontificate
placing it somewhere nearby with a plaque on it could be the good solution ..... only the very very occasional person who stays to enjoy the view and contemplate life will find it ....
PaulW - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to wayne1965:

There are memorials all over the mountains, rarely causing any offence and usually provoking interest. I'm sure you will do whatever is suitable.

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