Malignent Melanoma Survivors who climb


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Social climber
Orange, CA
Aug 4, 2011 - 01:39am PT
Thanks again for all the condolences. I miss Paul a lot! But I am so glad he is no longer suffering in pain, that was hard to watch.

-Anna (Paul's sis)

Here is a quote from Paul:
If I laugh
even when I feel
like crying
then even my
worst days will
be hilarious.
P.D. Humphrey

Social climber
Aug 4, 2011 - 01:52am PT
hey there say, dear family of paul...

oh my, this was on my friend's birthday, and before mine...
had not recently checked here, as the thread seemed busy, and i figured paul's known-friends were cheering him on...

oh my...

my condolences to you, paster dave, ruth, his sister and other family and loved ones.... i was sure so happy for paul and ruth, in their vows...

love endures, though, after the body is gone, and may that love sustain you, ruth... will be praying for you to be strong through the loss, so you can share in the love that he left you, among his family...

god bless to you all, at this hard time...

Social climber
humboldt county
Aug 4, 2011 - 11:18pm PT

RIP Paul xoxo

Trad climber
Aug 5, 2011 - 02:24am PT
Very Quiet Here Tonight.
haven't checked in in a while but I always go to
Malignant Melanoma Survivors Who Climb.
That thread drew me in from the beginning.
Partly because of Millis or the too many friends I have
had on the same trip.

Paul Humphrey was amazingly generous while in middle of his own struggle
giving advice about treatment strategies, showing it's ok to laugh, to cry, to kvetch.
Looking at the first post: He knew what was coming
but met it with a fine sense of Cosmic Irrelevance, Laughter, Love
Immense of humor and compassion, for himself as well.

Up Against The Wall - not only the cancer but also the medical bureaucracy
I don't know if there's any gravestone
but if I were carving it, it would say
 in his choice of professions - tree acrobatics, yoga teacher,
 in his climbing - pioneering as well as following
 in his choice of hair color and toenail polish
I'm glad he had the wonderful Ruth and that she had him.

Paul, Sorry you didn't get to your slide show.
It was splendid.
My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends
waking up to this quieter world.
Good night.

I'm wondering, knowing ,
how expensive it is to die,
whether there's a paypal address for Ruth?

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 5, 2011 - 02:29am PT
Checks can be sent to:

101 Colgan Ave # 29
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Trad climber
LA LA Land
Aug 5, 2011 - 11:48am PT
May your soul ascend to the greatest heights,
May those who mourn be comforted, and,
May we only celebrate joyous occasions together.
Johnny K.

Southern California
Aug 5, 2011 - 11:57am PT
Paul ,Condolences to Ruth,Pauls family and all the amazing friends Paul had all over the world.

Social climber
Orange, CA
Aug 5, 2011 - 02:30pm PT
Ruth's paypal account is under if you want to send money that way too. Thanks Jan for posting the mailing address.

Trad climber
the flat water trails...
Aug 5, 2011 - 05:06pm PT
SOOOOO beyond sorry to hear this news, yet at the same time I know that there is peace within the pain and grief..

My sincere, heartfelt condolences to all of Paul's friends and family. You are in my heart and my prayers...


Aug 10, 2011 - 12:23am PT
RIP Paul. You have been an inspiration to so many of us - thank you for sharing.

My condolences to his family and friends.


Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Aug 10, 2011 - 12:30am PT
RIP Paul.

As a survivor of a relatively recent bout of cancer, I'm doubly thankful for what you posted here.

Good luck on any further adventures.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Aug 10, 2011 - 04:37pm PT
Bump...sitting here with a cuppa tea...missing Paul's posts.

Gym Birdwall

Gym climber
Aug 10, 2011 - 06:23pm PT
In celebration of Paul Humphrey's life.

We lost Paul to cancer July 29, 2011.
Paul was an amazing man. An awesome climber and a patient teacher.
He would rush to set up ropes so everyone could climb.

He was my best friend, my climbing partner, my love, my life.

Please bring your own stories of Paul to this thread
Rejoice, post pictures, smile and tell campfire stories online.

His last wish was to climb. On and on and on.
"Why not keep climbing with my friends," he said. "why not?"
Put a bit of ashes into chalk and off I go...climbing new routes,
jamming into cracks, holding onto a rock.

Make it so! I have Metolius chalk socks awaiting.
That's right...Paul's Balls.(Paul's great sense of humor to the end)
Good Times, good times.

Contact me if you would like one
The late Paul Humphrey on "The Yogi" Lost Rocks, Arcada, CA. This is a...
The late Paul Humphrey on "The Yogi" Lost Rocks, Arcada, CA. This is a cover shot from Vertical Times 2004. The access fund works closely with climbers to preserve climbing for everyone. Paul promoted Adopt-A-Crag to help this cause. Thanks Paul
Credit: Bennett Barthelemy
take Paul climbing with you

Climb on
Love you Babe,
aka Gym Birdwall
Gym Birdwall

Gym climber
Aug 11, 2011 - 12:09pm PT
Many faces of Paul <br/>
Good times, good times
Many faces of Paul
Good times, good times
Credit: Gym Birdwall
Big Daddy B.C.

Trad climber
Palo Alto, Ca.
Aug 18, 2011 - 01:07am PT
Paul will always be in my soul with his pleasure of climbing. He is an inspiration to all . This sucks!

Aug 20, 2011 - 12:07am PT
Disaster Master's Last Moments

I wrote this the morning after Paul passed.

Writing is ultimately an act of selfishness. Who am I to presume that I have anything to to say? What audacity to believe that it could possibly have meaning to another.... And yet, the words are all I have, insufficient as they are.
Last night, at 8:15 pm, a great and gentle soul departed our world. Paul David Humphrey, after several years of pain, suffering, hope given and taken, chose to leave his mortal body for what lies beyond. I used the word choice not merely to soften the blow. I really do believe it was a choice. I spoke with him two days prior. His laugh, though weakened, was still as vibrant. His mind, though bleary, was just as sharp and witty. His spirit, though it had taken a beating, still held all its potency. Those who spent his final days with him will testify: his body gave out, but he never gave up. He never surrendered. He lived far longer than any doctor thought possible. He endured far more pain than any pharmacist believed was tolerable. And even in the end, there was strength in him. Just that morning he stood on his own and worked his way to the restroom for his morning ablutions. In my frantic scramble to get there to be with him, I always believed that I would get to speak with him one last time, that I would get to hug him, tell him how much I have missed him, how much I love him.
When I arrived, I found him unconscious, laboring for breath. I knew that breath. I had seen it in my father before he died. And yet, I still held to hope that he would have one more lucid moment. So I sat next to him and chatted with Ruth, his wife, and David, his father, waiting. I held Paul's hand and stroked that lovely head of thick hair. I held his head up while Ruth administered the staggering dosages of pain killers. Nobody believed that a person could take that much morphine and not go into a coma. But the disbelievers didn't know Paul. The will to endure and the strength to see it through weren't just facets of his character, they were also the tools that shaped him. He chose to endure it all as long as he did, and nobody knows why.
As with most things, the moment approached without notice. Ruth was on the phone with the hospice nurse talking about the foam in his mouth, not sure if removing it would mean that his body would be denied the pain killers it needed and yet concerned that he might choke on it. I was rubbing his head. Sometime during the administering of his medicine, one of his eyes had opened, and his pupil was moving back and forth. I couldn't tell if it was an autonomic response or deliberate, but I watched that unblinking eye, looking into him as one looks into a bottomless pool. I held his hand. He stirred ever so slightly. His breathing calmed. He swallowed ever so slightly. He turned his head, and those brilliant eyes took in my gaze. I thought he was coming to consciousness. I smiled at him, inches from his face, gazing.
“Hey Buddy. I made it,” I said. His eyes moved back and forth. His labored breathing calmed, and he looked on at me.
“I sure have missed you,” I said. I didn't know what else to say. It was simple truth. We hadn't seen each other in years. He looked at me. Then with one last breath, and one last look, his body collapsed in on itself, and his life winked. No outwardly visible thing happened. I was looking into his eyes at something, and then it simply was gone. Even then, looking so deeply into his eyes, I could see his spirit, strong as ever, vital as ever. And just before he let go, that spirit exploded into the Universe, a star gone Super Nova, the light of which will radiate forth for years and decades to come.
Paul David Humphrey. You are a force in the Universe. You always have been. You always will be. It is our duty, our task, our labor of love to unravel what it all meant. As for me, I know why you endured so much for so long, but it would be selfishness in me to exclaim it. All I can say is thank you. Thank you for everything, the tenderness of our friendship, the adventures we have had, the trials of life we have endured together, the laughter, the triumphs, the stumbles, the wisdoms we have gleaned. You live on in me as a difference. My life would not be where it is had we not shared our path together for a time. I love you. I miss you. But most of all, you will live on in me as that Force.
Goodbye my friend,
Till we meet again,
outside of time.

John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
Aug 20, 2011 - 12:50am PT



Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Aug 20, 2011 - 01:09am PT
yep. Susan
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 20, 2011 - 01:12am PT
Thank you for standing vigil with Paul as he died. It's one of the most important things we do as humans.
Captain...or Skully

or some such
Aug 20, 2011 - 01:18am PT
Aye. Stand with those that lead the way.
Be with them. For them & you, too. For us all.
I miss Paul & I never even met him. Glad that I got to be touched, even remotely, by his Life.
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