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tvashtarkatena

Talkeetna Climber's Memorial

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For those among us who have lost friends in the Alaska Range, I offer these photographs of the Climber’s Memorial in Talkeetna, Alaska. My apologies for any omissions; I only photographed the names of people I met or knew personally.

 

 

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Edited by tvashtarkatena

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a very sombering place. Not that it should matter, but the names with ages less than 30 years old seemed to make me more sad. There is a pair of 19 year olds in the memorial.

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i didn't let myself go there until after i came back from the mountain, and only then after a pitcher or 4 at the west rib :)

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who did you know in 1995?

 

I was on the mountain not too far away when those three died, and started up the hill just after one guy died.

 

saw one guy from france get helicoptered off too.

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who did you know in 1995?

 

I was on the mountain not too far away when those three died, and started up the hill just after one guy died.

 

saw one guy from france get helicoptered off too.

 

To this day, I miss Scott Hall. A fun, warm-hearted guy. I learned to climb with him, and Jimmy Hinkhouse was on the first alpine climb I led, Ingalls in the Stuart range.

 

It was so hard to accept that they were just--gone.

 

The two of them, and Thomas Downey, who I didn't know, died that spring while climbing the West Buttress. IIRC, it appeared that they climbed into a crevasse to wait out a storm, and were buried by snow or glacier debris. :(

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Scott Hall. He was one of my students during my Mountie days. Really great guy.

 

Talked to those guys several times as we were ascending Denali. Nice people.

 

We were also practicing on a weekend on Mt. Rainier with the three of them too. We all came across a blind climber on Rainier who eventually climbed Everest--we were all wearing goggles in some tough winds and this guy wasn't and was retying his boots without looking down. We all felt kinda wimpy.

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I knew Scott, Jim & Tom intimately - to this day I think of them often.

 

RIP Brothas

 

I love and miss you guys deeply.

 

:yoda:

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Sadly, I have several friends on that board all of whom are buried on Denali or over on the Ruth. However I have not visited it - not sure I want to. In Zermatt there is a climbers section of the local cemetery that is very sobering especially if you read some of the epitaphs.

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I'd encourage anybody in the area to visit the memorial. I've been twice, once during a tourist stop in Talkeetna and once before climbing Denali. Not only is it extremely moving, i think it helps climbers gain perspective on what they're doing. You just take things a little more seriously after seeing that list.

 

There's also a lot of famous graves there of bush pilots and climbing legends.

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I had the good fortune of meeting Jimmy Hinkhouse and Scott Hall

in 1993. In 1994, had a failed Rainier summit attempt with Jim, but a couple months later, summited Rainier for the first time, with Scott as leader of my rope team.

 

Great guys.

I'll never forget 'em.

 

 

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Thanks so much for your post; it's indeed a very moving and beautiful place,and seeing this brought back in a rush the thoughts and feelings I had when I was there in 2003. I also have several friends whose graves are there.

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