ZM, Cancer, and the end of a Dream


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Wilson, Wyoming
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:42pm PT
Hey I'm curious since I'm not a climber, what are those things that are clipped onto the bottom left carabiner in Photo 19 called, and what are they used for? Thanks!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jan 8, 2013 - 03:11pm PT
Those are wire rivet or bolt hangers. You would use them on a wall were there are rivets or where a bolt was left hangerless.

Wilson, Wyoming
Jan 8, 2013 - 03:42pm PT
Thanks Mark :)
Michelle Gill

Jan 8, 2013 - 07:51pm PT
Hi, me again, Michelle, Ian's wife. I had been lamenting for a while that I had not saved a piece of his gear for myself, actually said it on this thread once. Well, lo & behold...and I kid you not...this was on my dining room table when I woke up this morning. And the two shall be as one. Holy crow!!
Credit: Michelle Gill
Michelle Gill

Jan 9, 2013 - 01:08am PT
Missin' my honey BUMP!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:50pm PT

Wilson, Wyoming
Jan 10, 2013 - 09:37pm PT
BUMP for Ian, buy some gear!

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jan 10, 2013 - 11:25pm PT
Got my gear in today, Mark. Thank you, and thanks for taking the time to do this.

Michelle, I'm sorry for your loss. Hopefully, someday I will be able to take Ian's gear on my own journey up the Captain. The gear I got will be cherished even more for the story and life that comes with them.

Social climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
hey there say, michelle...

i been extra busy, since just before christmas, and i finally got to step in here.... and, say, just in time to hear abouut your
'table find'.... oh my, what a wonderful wonderful 'hug' from above..

loved hearin the 'two shall be as one' also ...

happy god bless to you this eve!
Michelle Gill

Jan 11, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
I'm not quite sure why I sometimes can't help but torture myself. I just read Ian's (my husband's) original post on this thread. Every time I do I feel that huge hole in my heart, the lump in my throat, and the tears in my eyes. But I can't help it. Those were HIS words. And I lived them every day as he fought. I miss him so much, but he has assured me more than once that he is OK. Thank you Mark Hudon and thank you everyone for your loving comments, your generous purchases, and for making Ian feel so special in this community. I read this thread to him the night before he passed away, and those were his last smiles. I feel blessed to have been a part of that, and once again to thank you all. Sincerely.....Michelle Gill

Wilson, Wyoming
Jan 11, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
bumping this, with a reference to Ian's original thread titled "ZM, Cancer and the Damnable Shame of it all". if you think this thread is hard to read....

Wilson, Wyoming
Jan 13, 2013 - 09:47am PT
bump for gear!

Jan 13, 2013 - 09:50am PT
Deep breaths Michelle and know Ian's with you and watching over you.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 13, 2013 - 10:42am PT
Oh Michelle, I am so sorry for your exquisite pain. I think we have all experienced that searing pain of going back to touch, or read, or hold onto those things that we know will bring us pain...and we literally cant stop from doing it. But they forge our memories and remind us of a blinding love ripped far too soon from us. Intellectually we know that over time it will be like returning to the warm fuzzy blanket of wonderful, poignant but bitter sweet memories that will bring a longing smile instead of the scraping and hollowing pain. Someday you will return and read and leave a stronger person instead of feeling emptied again. And we all know if only "someday" were this afternoon, tomorrow or even next week. If life were only that easy.

You are now left with doing the climb that Ian had to leave behind. I'm sure you feel ill equipped, but just as Ian collected his gear over time, you too, will collect the "gear" you need, and "someday" you'll be posting here that you have " topped out".

You and Ian and Trevor are carried in so many many...

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.
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