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billcoe

RIP Monty Smith

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I only met him once, but he was incredibly friendly and nice and helpful to me. (Helped me set up an interview with Fred Beckey a few years back.) I was shocked and saddened to see the story about him in today's Oregonian. Shocked and saddened, indeed.

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"Dear Friends of the Forest Park Conservancy,

Today, I have some very sad news to share with you. Monty Smith, former Board member and 2005-2008 President of Friends of Forest Park, Wildwood walker extraordinaire, and a leader in evolving the Forest Park Conservancy, died Saturday morning after taking is his own life at Cape Horn in the Columbia Gorge.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday June 12th at 2pm, First Unitarian Church, SW 12th & Main, Portland, OR 97205, (Entrance on NW corner, Parking on NE corner)

We are all shocked and very saddened by this news and we are all left wondering what happened and why. Monty struggled with severe depression his entire life and to a very few dear loved ones, admitted that he had two faces: the friendly and giving person that he showed his friends, and another face of deep depression that he kept hidden from most of the world.

Monty was a life saver, quite literally, through his extraordinary work with the Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR). As Scott Diamond, President of PMR said, “When saving lives in the mountains we find a way to control our emotions and get the job done, but grieving the loss of a close friend is different. Harder to understand. Harder to deal with.” The family has asked that donations be made to PMR in Monty’s honor

Monty was indeed an extraordinary man, giving to a fault, passionate about the wonder and majesty of the outdoors, loving and generous in so, so many ways. He will be very deeply missed by all of us.

As Monty wrote in his last column for the Forest Park Conservancy, “There’s a line from a Bruce Springstein song that rides like a spark on a circuit in my head: ‘Lost track of..,how far I’ve gone, how high I’ve climbed.”And while his climbing days are over, for those of you that knew Monty, and even if you didn’t, when you are out there in Forest Park, recall the man that loved the heights, loved being of service, loved The Boss and walked the entire Wildwood the day after Thanksgiving, year and after year. The echo of his footfall and his warm smile will embrace you.

Please keep Monty’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

For Monty and for the Forest, I am

Sincerely yours,

 

Michelle Bussard

Executive Director

Forest Park Conservancy "

 

Monty was a friend. The first time I met Monty he told me he was going to be in charity run the following day. I asked him how far was he running....5, 10 miles maybe. His answer "100 miles in a day".

 

I thought "you crazy man"....but he did it. He was truly amazing. RIP my friend.

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Truly a shock. Monty was instrumental in helping some of us in this state get the PLB legislation shot down before it ever got off the ground. I had the opportunity to meet him a couple of times and had several phone conversations as well. RIP my friend.

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Damn but this is sad news. I only met him once at the PLB hearing in Olympia, but I'm familiar with his work. Yet another reminder of how lucky many of us are to have pretty ordinary brain chemistry, clinical depression is very tough. This has got to be really rough on his family, all the best to those folks.

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Ran into Monty on Liberty Ridge five years ago. Good meeting him and his party.

 

My condolences to his family, and may he rest in peace.

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RIP Monty. Thank you for being so generous with your time in helping with the SAR article I've been putting together. I looked forward to sharing it with you, but now I guess I'll have to dedicate it to you instead.

Vaya con Dios,

Rad

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I met Monty probably 8 years ago when I was in the Mazamas. We went through the Adv. Rock Course together. I was watching him on lead at the start of the class, and get through a tricky section, laughing and panting just after he got his gear placed in. It was probably a 5.5 or .6, but it didn't matter. A crux on trad when you're just learning to lead is scary no matter what the ratings are.

 

I also got to do a Hood climb with him ( West Crater Rim) after that class where he was the climb leader. He fell into a small schrund just on the west side of Crater Rock. He got himself out OK. We kinda made jokes about the anchor pully systems that we had learned in AR together after he got himself out. Right after that incident, he assessed the snow stability conditions, and decided to go up the South Side. As we were on the Hogsback, a slab broke loose on West Crater. We were all a little spooked, but remembered to quickly thank Monty for not taking us up that route.

 

He was always a supporter of access and conservation issues.

 

In a weird way, and not even knowing that he had passed on, I was celebrating Monty's life the day he died. I had a group of 25 students and their parents from my school hiking from Lower Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion on the Wildwood. Monty loved Forest Park and the Wildwood Trail. Loved it enough to be the President of the then Friends of Forest Park. None of my students or their parents had ever been on that trail before. They found nature, wilderness, and beauty right in their own backyard.

 

I hope that his wife, Margaret, and his children can find some peace in this difficult time. Monty will be missed by many, including me.

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Such very sad news indeed. I met Monty through the AAC and was one of the crew on that Liberty Ridge climb in 2005 before we went to the Himalayas.

 

After that we hadn't stayed in touch.

 

Does anyone know how he took his life? I've been searching the internet for a while but can't find anything on it.

 

My condolences to his family- sister, wife, and children. I don't pretend to have any clue as to how hard that must be.

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