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therunningdog

Missing climber in the Buck-Clark-Luahna area

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I'm sorry to hear the news. A long time ago a climbing accident killed a good friend of mine. I still think about him.

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Jason, thanks for the quality write-up. It was really amazing how many facts were wrong in that media report, but I guess it doesn't really matter...

 

TJ was one of my best friends and one of favorite climbing partners. He got me on board to climb Washingtons 100 highest mountains with him, and we spent a lot of days the past few years hiking up choss piles and slogging across large glaciers. Yeah, some of the mountains were nasty choss piles, but it got us to random parts of the state we never would have gone otherwise. TJ was at #83/100 after his summit of Clark Mountain last week.

 

TJ and I spent a month in 2005 on an expedition in China, and many of those days we spent hukered down in a tent, playing gin(he always won more games than I) and telling stories for hours. Always a guy to get his friends' back, at the end of the trip, he punched out our drunk expedition leader when he pulled a knife on me.

 

He was a great climbing partner and travel buddy, but more than anything...he was a great friend. One of the most kind and genuine guys I have ever met. I already miss the guy.

 

Rest In Peace, TJ.

 

Tim Halder

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Thanks for posting the details, Jason and Tim. And thanks for your efforts in the search. This is terrible news. I didn't know TJ, but he sounds like somebody that I would have liked to know.

 

I did a similar trip last year, climbing Luahna, Buck, and a couple peaks near High Pass on a four-day trip in early autumn. My partner and I thought Luahna was a rather treacherous peak. We found a route that was "okay" up the west ridge, but it would be easy to stray onto exposed and crappy rock. The rock is not very good and the best route is not obvious.

 

I'm not going to try to draw any lessons from this tragedy at this point. I'd just like to offer my condolences to you, TJ's other friends, and his family.

 

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Terrible news indeed. :( I headed up solo in to that area last Spring but was stopped in the valley with bad weather. That brings home your comment about that could have been any of us. It's so true. I didn't know TJ, but as Lowell said, he sounds like a guy that I would have liked to know.

 

R.I.P. TJ and sincere condolences to all his family and friends in this difficult time.

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Ditto on the condolances. TJ sounds like a kick assed kind of guy, as do you who went to help your friend. Warm regards and the best to you all, I know you'll never forget him.

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Damn, a sad day indeed. I had the pleasure of meeting TJ last winter when I helped him with a broken ski binding. I could tell within the first 30 seconds that he was definitely a top notch guy and the posts by Jason and Tim here have clearly reinforced that. He will be missed.

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A very sad and premature ending to what seems to have been a life fully lived. My condolences to TJ's friends and family.

 

 

[video:youtube]7SXWDA0cyZI

 

Panorama from the summit of Luahna

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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Thanks Jason and Tim for the write-ups, and just to restate the obvious, you guys really put in the effort out there and TJ would have been proud. Although I only knew TJ a little before this year, I had the pleasure of spending a week with him on a backcountry ski trip in the Italian Alps this spring. The truly impressive aspect of this trip was he just took up skiing in the fall prior to our trip, spent all winter learning to ski and then got out there and just did it. I was astounded with his ability to pick up the sport in such short time and his relentless effort drove everyone just a little harder and his spirit made it that much more enjoyable. He was a terrific guy to be around and I was looking forward to spending future days in the mountains with him. He will definitely be missed and my condolences to his family and friends.

 

Kirk Schumacher

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I was very sad to hear that T.J. died. I never climbed with him, but I interviewed him 10 years ago for my magazine, BEARS and Other Top Predators, after he was attacked by a grizzly in Yellowstone. He was a likable fellow there in the hospital, animatedly describing the attack with his scalp stapled together and his eye socket sewn shut (to protect it from infection).

 

Jason, thanks for the detailed write up of the search and recovery. I guessed from the Seattle Times report that he must have gone through Nepeequa Valley. More thoughts on T.J., the area, and his bear incident on my blog at http://www.findingwilderness.com/.

 

 

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For those of you that knew TJ, there will be a memorial service for him on Friday, from 3:00-5:00, at the new Mountaineers location at Magnuson Park.

 

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words. His friends and family are so grateful for the support.

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Thanks for the great report Jason, and heartfelt thanks to everyone for their efforts. I will never know TJ, but anyone whom you admired that much must have been absolutely first class. Having lost (as in lost and never found on a Sisters traverse out of Bend in 2000) a very close friend to climbing, and been in on a few too many near misses, it really hits home. We are frequently so close to danger in the hills, succeed, shrug and move on. The mountains are so beautiful, and our time in them so precious. Enjoy the adventure, cherish the great friends you get out with, and be careful. I hope to see you again out there.

 

PK

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Thanks for the kind words Phil (we should get out again sometime!) . .. and also thanks to all the folks who packed the house at the Mountaineers yesterday for TJ's memorial service. The stories told by his many friends and family were heart warming, funny, and provided great insight into a life fully lived. True to TJ's spirit, we invaded the Six Arms afterwards and continued the remembrances over beers. Just how TJ would have wanted it .. . :brew:

 

-JG

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@JasonG that's a powerful tale that says a lot about you and Tim as well as TJ. RIP.

 

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