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mike_m

Sad news coming

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Mizuki was one of my rope leaders on Cooper Spur, Mt. Hood a few years ago.

I've been meaning to climb with her again, now I never will.

All of us that met her miss her so much.

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I've tied in a few times with Mizuki, both alpine and cragging, but to me she was more than a climbing partner. Mizuki was a friend, with whom I shared adventures beyond climbing. While her reputation with many was that of a reserved uber climber, she had another side that some of us were lucky enough to experiance. I'd like to share some of those none-climbing memories.

 

She came to my latest Halloween party, one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave, dressed as a hot nurse. She had a less appropriate word for it, that she would announce with a mischievous laugh. Half way through the party, when I found my bottle of Patron Silver was empty, I learned Mizuki (and others) had just discovered a liking for good tequila. She said she would never drink the cheap stuff again.

 

Later that year, Mizuki introduced a group of us to what she considered the best sushi in Seattle at her favorite Japanese restaurant. All dressed up, she cringed ever so slightly (though hid it well) when I ordered spider rolls. She never judged her friends too harshly for their less cultured tastes. She simply smiled encouragingly and passed me the eel.

 

Like some that prefer the holidays spent through activity with friends rather than family obligation, she joined us for chirstmas eve skiing. She was tireless, getting in run after run, then ready to go out for food and drink when the lifts closed.

 

That season also found Mizuki leading a group of us to places like the Jazz Alley, and the Sorento, as she challenged us to keep up with her unique, opulent, and striking urban wardrobe. Nobody missed her when she entered a room, showing most Seattleites that clothes did not need to be understated.

 

I started writing a fairly amateur screenplay this year. Most of my climbing friends had parts, and had agreed to help make it if I wound up filming it myself. I held off asking Mizuki, because the part I had in mind for her was probably the most challenging of all, but also the part that many would be insulted if asked to play, the part of the antagonist witch. I finally worked up the courage to ask her, and she agreed with enthusiasm that of course she would play that part. She couldn't wait to get started. Her bright smile sealed the deal.

 

Many live this life as though it is how we demonstrate worth for a next life. Mizuki lived this life as though she was already in the next life, each day to be celebrated and enjoyed to perfection.

 

Don't be surprised this year, if you find a bottle of Patron Silver on the summit of some alpine destination, probably Eldorado or Glacier Peak. If you find it, enjoy a shot in Mizuki's memory.

 

- Glenn

 

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Octavius,

Those are beautiful memories. I hope you find a little peace when looking back on those good times with her.

May she rest in peace.

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Bravo, Glenn!

 

Mizuki and I had more trips not happen, for various reasons, than did happen. Her death means that I won't get to know her as well as I presumed I would. I'm not going to make the memorial tomorrow, so I'll share some appreciations of her here.

 

I really appreciated Mizuki's choice of what to say. She carefully selected words and was notably unafraid of and appreciative of silence. In this way, she reminded me of 'The Man with No Name' that Clint Eastwood played in his 60s spaghetti western movies. Often a bit of silence and a shit-eating grin communicated more than any words could, and also added emphasis to words when they were spoken. I think Mizuki understood this and embodied it like few I've met.

 

I appreciated Mizuki's unbridled and egoless enthusiasm. She called me several times in April asking me to go into the Stuart Range. "Let's climb the Stuart Glacier Couloir in a day from the gate!" I got winded and broke out in a sweat just thinking about it.

 

I appreciated Mizuki's careful and crafty use of the 'f-word'. As a fellow connoisseur of that word, I saw that she understood its unique role in English.

 

I appreciate that after walking all the way in to the Carbon Glacier last spring on a Lib Ridge attempt and after sitting in a downpour for an hour hoping for a break in the weather, she said, "I want to climb this route, and I want to climb it when the weather is nice so I can see. Let's get the fuck out of here." And, with a smile on her face, we turned and retreated back to White River.

 

I appreciate Mizuki for coming over last August and helping us empty our kitchen, dining room, and living room before we started remodeling. She didn't know me very well, but showed up and enthusiastically helped.

 

I appreciate Mizuki for continuing to ask me to go climbing with her, even though I often said 'no' or 'not this weekend', and even when I said yes, the weather often didn't cooperate for us.

 

I appreciate Mizuki for her remarkle collection of orange clothing and gear. A bit of orange will go with me on every trip from now on, in her memory.

 

I appreciate Mizuki for the TRs she contributed to this site. They are succinct, informative, and humorous.

 

Thank you and godspeed Mizuki.

 

Loren

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My condolences to both families, Brians wife in north bend and mizuki's family. Sorry for everyone's loss here on cc.com, it sounds like there were pretty cool people and great climbing partners.

 

We have suffered another big loss in the climbing community. I lost a family member this year, and Ed Miller died last year, Kellogg, Chris Boskoff and Charlie........let's try and stay safe.

 

I am sure they were safe as well, some things are just out of our control it seems.

 

Thank you to Brian and Mizuki for all the support and your contributions to this site and the climbing community.

 

RIP

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Many live this life as though it is how we demonstrate worth for a next life. Mizuki lived this life as though she was already in the next life, each day to be celebrated and enjoyed to perfection.

 

 

very nice

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"After climb, go home, take shower, drink beer." -Mizuki Takahashi

 

Yep, that sounds just like her.

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just returned from a really moving service for brian massey- much sadness and joy too as we all remembered his amazing character, smile and dedication to climbing, firefighting and those people he loved. brian worked fill-in shifts-when he was not on shift at the fire station, at the redmond vertical world and his impact there was huge. His attitude was so positive he made it so fun to be there with him. as the former manager of the gym, i remember interviewing him and being so psyched to bring him on board-we pretty much hired him on the spot. i knew he would rock out there. he didnt work there for the money (as anyone that has worked at a gym can attest to), he just loved climbing so much and wanted to be an even closer part of the climbing community-sharing climbing with others. he made friends and climbing partners easily as we welcomed him and his wife jess into our community- he is so missed and we all feel his loss and the gifts he gave us. i really cant say enough about how greatful we at the gym were to brian for his spririt and friendship

 

my heart goes out to his family and to mizuki's family. may we all continue to honor thier lives by climbing and living to the fullest.

 

lina

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my heart goes out to his family and to mizuki's family. may we all continue to honor thier lives by climbing and living to the fullest.

 

lina

 

Well put Lina. The services for Brian were nice. I miss him already. Myself,Bigbro and friends had a Guiness in his honor at the NB Grill afterwards.

 

I need to try and get this pit worked out of my gut.

 

RIP Brother

 

Joe

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(This post is a letter to Mizuki from Bill Donnelly, in Ohio, who was a climbing partner with Mizuki on a recent trip - Bill does not have a computer, so I am posting for him. Bill wrote this after learning of Mizuki's death. It is his way of saying goodbye.)

 

Mizuki:

 

I've known you such a short time that this is only my third letter to you. I hope my last one got to you before you left for Alaska.

 

When I first met you in Ouray in March, I was intrigued by your quietude and your brief, honest words. After ice climbing with you and having meals with you for those few days I became more intrigued: your deep passion; your quiet fire; your break from Japan; your slightly altered English; and, your living spirit.

 

I know you died doing what you love doing, Mizuki, but I'm sure that is of little consolation for you as well as the rest of us who miss you. I am sorry for the mountains you will not get to climb. I am sorry we will not get to climb together at Red Rocks Nevada late this Summer, like we had planned. I am sorry for not getting the chance to love you from afar.

 

I know, in some sense, your spirit lives on, Mizuki, but yours was a life unfinished and a life full of "forward." Your leaving is quite simply a loss - for you, for all of us. Thank you for allowing me to connect with you.

 

Goodbye, Mizuki.

 

Bill

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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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Thank you all for your kind words about Mizuki and our son, Brian. Nothing will ever bring them back, but reading your thoughts honors their memory in ways beyond our understanding.

 

In the last few years, since Brian left home to go to college in Spokane, we have very few pictures of him, especially of him climbing.

 

If any of you who climbed with him have pictures you'd be willing to share we'd love to get them. I've set up a special email account to receive them:

 

briansdad79@gmail.com

 

Feel free to send whatever pics/videos you'd like. Please, also, indicate when/where the pics were taken.

 

Thanks so much!

 

I'm sure all who knew him remember his gigantic smile, so to all of his and Mizuki's friends here, keep smiling in his honor, and keep climbing, but remember, above all else BE SAFE!

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