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Lowell_Skoog

R. Duke Watson, 1915-2010

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Today's Seattle Times has a notice of the death of R. Duke Watson, a remarkable Northwest mountaineer. Here is the paid notice that ran in the paper:

 

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=142327975

 

And here is my 2006 profile of Duke from the Northwest Mountaineering Journal:

 

http://www.mountaineers.org/NWMJ/06/061_Watson1.html

 

Mountain soldier, pioneer climber and skier, conservationist, adventurer, and family man, Duke continues to inspire me. He lived to 94, and will be fondly remembered by his many friends.

 

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Thanks Lowell, one of my neighbors ( a spry 78 or so) continued to hike with Duke on a regular basis until last year. An awesome dude!

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I noticed that the link in the Seattle times article to the NWMJ is a broken link. Too bad, not sure whom to contact to have them fix it?

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I'll have to talk to my dad. He'd go hiking on mellow trails with Duke and other old time climber buddies. Just a few months back was the last time.

 

Duke was a great guy. :cry::brew:

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Wow, amazing life. Seems like he deserves a cascades peak named in his honor.

 

Any chance the Mt. Watson up near Baker is named for him? I couldn't find a name history for it in Beckey or SlummitPost.

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Wow, amazing life. Seems like he deserves a cascades peak named in his honor.

 

Any chance the Mt. Watson up near Baker is named for him? I couldn't find a name history for it in Beckey or SlummitPost.

 

I doubt it. Duke has always been an amazingly low-key guy. I don't know where the name of that peak came from. My way of remembering Duke (besides the profile that I wrote) is to keep the name of Wamihaspi Peak alive. Wamihaspi is a contraction of "Watson, Milnor, Hall and Spickard" who made an early ascent of the peak. The name was a joke, but the Indian-sounding word made it into Beckey's red guidebook. Wamihaspi is also called Blue Lake Peak, near Washington Pass.

 

 

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Probably no chance of that.

 

I quizzed my dad on that one. Apparently you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get a peak named. He said there was a long process people went through to get Mt. Spickard named what it is.

 

Anything easily visible from a distance was named early on. Spickard benefited from being in a remote location.

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Wow, amazing life. Seems like he deserves a cascades peak named in his honor.

 

Any chance the Mt. Watson up near Baker is named for him? I couldn't find a name history for it in Beckey or SlummitPost.

Now that we have rehonored-but-not-renamed (M.L.) King County and (Ira) Spring Mountain, maybe it's easier than a complete redo?

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Anything easily visible from a distance was named early on. Spickard benefited from being in a remote location.

 

Plus there was already a mountain in the Cascades named Glacier Peak.

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:brew: RIP Duke, thanks for your service and your love of wild places and wild things.

 

:tup: Lowell as usual for a stellar job of reporting.

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Well crafted words Lowell! May we all have a run 1/2 as good as Dukes.

 

regards to all

 

Bill

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