ZM, Cancer, and the end of a Dream


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tinker b

the commonwealth
Jan 13, 2013 - 11:13am PT
^^^well said susan i wish i could put things so well
i recieved ian's offset brass nuts last week. i feel honored to have them.
in my experiance with grief, those feelings of pain will continue to be there when something triggers it, but for me my ability to breath and let go of the pain is easier now. there is a lot of love out there for you and your son, and it goes on and does not stop.
hopefully ian's offsets will be heading up the captain this spring. i'll let you know. i am sure that whenever i place those tiny little pieces i will think of ian (even though i only know him through the taco) and have a little more confidence thinking that there is one more down from the heavens urging me on.


Social climber
boulder co
Jan 13, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Hey Mark,

I got my single lost arrow in the mail yesterday and I'm totally psyched. It has tons of character and thats exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again for doing all this to help out Ian's family and know that that pin will be heading up the captain again in June.


Wilson, Wyoming
Jan 13, 2013 - 01:07pm PT
Susan, that is beautiful. And to all of you who will be taking some of Ian's gear up the Cap, it warms my heart no end!

Yosemite Valley
Jan 13, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
Quick story about shuttling the gear from Redding to Portland: We were heading north on I-5 to pick up the gear from Cory in the midst of that big storm that hit CA before Christmas. As we neared Redding we saw signs that I-5 was closed just north of there. We met Cory at the arranged pick-up spot, and within minutes the conversation turned to the state of the road.

Now, I had never met Cory before and this was supposed to be a quick hand-off of gear, but Cory immediately looked me in the eye and said "You should stay with us". We didn't really have any other plan and he seemed so sincere, so we agreed. It turned out to be a great evening and morning with Cory and his family. Their generosity was over the top! We talked climbing as they served us coffee and pancakes in the morning before we headed out.

It was a wonderfully generous gesture and one that we hope to return someday. I feel like we made some new friends.

All that to say that this sharing of Ian's gear is having positive impacts beyond the obvious ones discussed here. Best to you Michelle.


Jan 13, 2013 - 07:16pm PT
As climbers, we often ascribe fetish status to certain pieces of gear. Touchstones. With personalities. Mostly positive, as we are superstitious and propel ourselves higher sometimes on faith alone.

Maybe it was part of your very first rack and you refuse to upgrade it out of nostagia.
Maybe it held a big fall.
Maybe it seems that every time you place it on the first pitch, the rest of the day spools out like molten glass, smooth and bright, with perfect friction and elegant sequences and comfy belay ledges.

Part of Ian's rack now resides with my gear. It will not likely see a big wall with me, but when the time comes to slot one of those little Ballnuts in a keyhole or cobble a couple microbrassies together and then look up at the waiting stretch of the unknown, that bit of good juju that comes from his stoke and his dreams may make all the difference.


Wilson, Wyoming
Jan 13, 2013 - 07:51pm PT
I too have had some incredibly rewarding moments and connections made with wonderful people, (even if mostly in cyber world) through the fundraiser I did, what I've witnessed on this forum, and from being a part of Ian's journey.

I just know how amazed and overwhelmed Ian would be to know he is the reason for this ripple effect, but at the same time, I can't help but believe it was also somehow part of his 'plan'.

For all of you who have been a part of this experience,
May the road (the walls :)) rise up to meet you...
May the wind be always at your back...
May the sun shine warm upon your face...
May you live life to it's fullest...
and may Ian's spirit live on in you!

It will be 2 months on Tuesday...I will love and miss you always Ian.

Trad climber
Carson City, NV
Jan 14, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
Peak bagging bump for Ian.
That is his carabiner.
Getting Ian's gear outside and up high!!
Getting Ian's gear outside and up high!!
Credit: m_jones
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jan 14, 2013 - 05:32pm PT
Good on ya, Max!
Michelle Gill

Jan 14, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
Max, you just made my freakin' day!!

Wilson, Wyoming
Jan 14, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
Max that is awesome!! what a great pic and what a great idea to post a pic of his gear in use!
I can feel Ian's spirit coming through! Thanks!

Wilson, Wyoming
Jan 14, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
And since tomorrow will mark 2 months, here's a pic of Ian that I think may have come from someone on this site a while ago...Just thought this would be a good time to repost. You know he's up there.

Credit: Audrey
Michelle Gill

Jan 15, 2013 - 02:08pm PT
Hey Mark Hudon, just wanted to share this story with you. It's been 2 month today since Ian passed away. I kinda tried not to think about it. So I did something I haven't done in 2 months. Got up & turned on "Good Morning America." Pretty boring start to ones day, right? Yeah, you'd think. Got bored after about 20 minutes, turned on my computer for a morning surf & ended up watching/reading your documentary on your's and Max's 1st ascent up the Captain together after all those years. Needless to say, I was riveted and inspired! Couldn't help but picture my Ian up there all those years ago. Very emotional. And what a story you told. Could almost picture myself up there! At the very least I felt inspired to always push forward, and not be afraid to turn the next corner. You mentioned somewhere towards the middle of your story that you looked around and could see other guys on different routes. You mentioned a guy soloing ZM and you know where my heart went. So I stopped and looked at the clock. It was 10 till 9. That was the time I had woken up the morning of Ian's passing and had seen fear in his eyes for the first time. Nothing 8mg of Haldol & an additional bolus of morphine didn't take care of. Yet, it is a look that has haunted me terribly. Anyways, this morning at that exact moment, and because I turned on "Good Morning America", I also heard the Sandy Hook surviving children singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". So much for boring. Thank you for being a part of Ian's story. And, knowingly or not, making him a part of yours. Your surgery today, might that have anything to do with crushing your hand on that flake back in the 70's? Just wondering. Would you ever have thought, on that 1st ascent, that your story would bring comfort to a grieving widow of a fellow climber? ....."if happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh why, can't I?" Healing prayers for your hand, my friend...God is good all the time. Love and best wishes, Michelle.

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 15, 2013 - 06:11pm PT
Hey Michelle;
I just put a 70 dollar Postal money order in the Mail for you,
this morning, for some stoppers Mark sent me.
You should get it in a couple of days.

Could you PM me when you receive it, so I know it arrived safe.

Thank You.


Edit: some of the small nuts I am sending to Sonya (Sofcookay)
for her climbing jewelry she makes. she makes AWESOME Climbers necklaces!
I'm thinking, if you don't mind Michelle, that I will stamp Ians Initials on the nuts before I send them to Sonya.
So He will always be in the mountains somewhere.

Let me know if that is ok.
Credit: Cosmiccragsman
Michelle Gill

Jan 15, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
Wow Dwaine, of course you can, thank you for thinking of it, and thank you for asking. I will PM you as you have asked. Everyone in this community is so awesome!! And could you use the initials ICG? For Ian Charles Gill? That would be so sweet!!

Trad climber
Jan 15, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
I got my hardware about a week ago. Thanks Mark!

Here's a couple photos of Adam and I playing with the new toys out on some boulders near home this weekend. El Cap here we come!

Thank you Michelle for letting Mark give us all a part of Ian's story.

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jan 15, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
MH, yes it is. $100 for it $3 for PayPal fees and $5 for shipping, add another $5 for shipping to Canada.

Make a donation for $108 at I'll get an email from them with your address and I'll ship it right out.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jan 16, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
okay, its killing me that no one has bought those draws yet (pic 4)!

$10 each!

Get 'em!

Big Wall climber
Brooklyn Park, MD
Jan 17, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
PM sent.

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Jan 18, 2013 - 03:44pm PT

Thank you Mark for the work you are putting into this great cause. My hope is to get out and start using some of the gear I have purchased in the near future. The poster arrived yesterday and now I have a goal. Zodiac A3-C3F...... I will be posing in the future under 'scared sh"tless'.

Good thoughts going out to the Gill family and friends :-)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jan 18, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
There is still gear that needs to be sold!

Labrat bought more than $500 worth of gear and earned a free El Cap Pano. Anyone else who spends/donates $500 will get one also.
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