Valeri was a good friend for many years, we go back to Yosemite and his first trip here to the US. He was a great person, friend, father and husband. I got the news Saturday morning, miss him dearly.
Valeri was one hardcore badazz, modest, nice guys. Few and far between. Came to the US, took him to Yosemite, El Cap Meadow, first question... “tell me the hardest route, we will do that. Valeri, you’ve never climbed here, maybe we done something mellower, the Nose. Sure, i will lead every pitch.” He did. X Games Gold medalist, sky surfing...old school. Took up base jumping doing some nasty big walls around the world, figured quicker way off to go do more walls. Then on to the big mountains! He was always at the top of what ever he pursued. His best quality was his friendliness and genuine concern for his relationship with his friends. I’ll never forget a day in Joshua Tree with Bridwell, at the end of the day Jim expressed his interest in base. Valeri without hesitation said, You will jump with me!” Had to call Jim today and break the news, he was bummed. Valeri, you are missed Brother, my heart is sad.