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Jeff Barnow

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About Jeff Barnow

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  1. Sad news coming

    The first that I knew of Brian was a text message that my team (CancerClimbers) received on the mountain (Denali) from Brian saying that he was heading up there the following week and to look out for his yellow Bibler Bombshell tent. We had just arrived at the 11,000ft camp and were excited to meet new people especially this Brian guy who was messaging us. Well that night a lot of snow fell 4-5 feet and we got stuck for about a week at 11 waiting for snow to fall and then consolidate. When we started to move towards 14,200 we moved a bunch of gear to a spot around windy corner and headed back down. On the way back down I met Brian and Misuki, he commented on my boots since he had the same kind and quickly we figured out that this was the mistery text messager. They both had monster smiles on their faces and were genuinely excited to meet us as we quickly found out that they had caught up with us. Over the next couple weeks we spent time with Brian as his character was outstanding and he was eager to be friendly and hangout. Misuki was nice but quiet and seemed engulfed with the fact that she was in her element, the mountains and not just some mountain but a great one. You know how some people act when they are so calm and content that they couldn't be better and are in their own personal heaven...this is what she looked like. The day before they left 14,200 for their summit attempt we were hanging out talking about how Brian had rummaged up all available extra food from descending parties and was sitting on a gold mine so I asked if he had any bread or better yet bagels. I figured maybe I could get a bagel or two out of him since my craving for bread was so bad after 2 weeks without. He came back with an entire bag and we started whooping and hollering we were so excited. One of the biggest smiles I've ever seen was on his face and he was so happy to be sharing with us that he said "Man I wish I had another bag, if I knew you guys were going to be that happy I would have brought 4 more packs with me!" We then made a bacon cheddar slop melt with the bagels, took a bite and passed it on to the next guy. Brian sat in on the cook off and we all BSed and enjoyed these incredible mountain treats. His generosity was so appreciated and I realized at this point that this is the kind of person that I strive to have as a friend. Sharing, nice, reaches out, enthusiastic, happy...all characteristics that every good person has. I watched them walk out of camp the following day, we watched them climb for a few hours as the shapes of their bodies got smaller and smaller and then they disappeared behind the ridge. His last words to me were "see you at 17" as they were walking out of camp. As for us we had decided that it was too cold and windy and we had run out of time. We descended a few days later and upon reaching base camp we found out the bad news. At first it was difficult to believe or really comprehend. We took Misuki's advice and drank a lot of whiskey and beer after a long 3 weeks on the mountain and looked at their cache tag where they had buried a bottle of tequila...good tequila too. Sitting there looking at the tag it said cascade climbers their team name and the reality started to set in. My time with them was brief but sweet. They were genuine people with a genuine love for the mountains. Being in love with the mountains is a dangerous passion but if that's where your happiest then that is where you must reside part of the time. They were happy! To all friends and family, my condolences as these were truly great people and the kind that the world needs more of.
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