Missing US Pilot in Italy


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Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 31, 2013 - 10:56am PT


Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Jan 31, 2013 - 10:58am PT
He truly was exceptional. Luc made me realize that the generation after mine was a better set of people in many ways. More aware of the world, more understanding of others, and kinder to other human beings. Smarter and stronger too.

This photo of Luc was taken at the top of Lone Pine Peak (obviously, I'm the one with a shirt on):

He was so strong, so careful and so utterly competent. I can't even start to imagine what went wrong.


Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 31, 2013 - 11:15am PT
So sorry. If he ejected, it's most likely there was a mechanical malfunction. Sometimes competence isn't enough, and accidents just happen.
Flying those jets is a dangerous profession. Every year dedicated pilots who defend our nation and our interests abroad don't make it back.
It never gets any easier and saying they're heroes sounds very hollow right now, but in time, his family and friends will be able to take consolation from that.

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 31, 2013 - 11:32am PT
Ahh crap.....

I am so sorry about your friend.

Jan 31, 2013 - 11:36am PT
My deepest condolences to all his friends, family, and his town. I can't imagine facing my life with my baby Aristides without Bill. I can't imagine his wife's pain and suffering. May the child be born healthy and easily. May she find her way so even though she will ALWAYS miss him, that she will find the balance and feel strength and joy for knowing him.


Ice climber
canyon country,CA
Jan 31, 2013 - 11:59am PT
I am so sorry.

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:00pm PT
Very sorry to hear that Brad. I am sure it has hit your small community very hard. Condolences to all.....


Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
Very sorry for this outcome.

Best regards to his family and close friends.


Jason Torlano

Social climber
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:09pm PT
Sorry for your lost. "Lest we forget the fallen soldiers of yesterday"
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:20pm PT
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:25pm PT
Condolences to friends and family

Trad climber
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
awful news.

big blow to the entire community.


Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
Very very sorry to read this.

All of our condolences to Luc's family and friends.

The climbing world is less, and the US Air Force is less today.


Credit: survival

Credit: survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 31, 2013 - 01:33pm PT

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 31, 2013 - 01:42pm PT
My deepest condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of this amazing patriot.

Soar on, Luc....
The Warbler

the edge of America
Jan 31, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
That's a sad tale.

Condolences to his family and friends, especially his child and widow.


Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Jan 31, 2013 - 02:35pm PT
:-( Sad news. RIP

Social climber
Toshi's Station, picking up power converters.
Jan 31, 2013 - 02:39pm PT
I've been in semi shock since this went down and I immediately thought of you Brad. Big loss for Twain Harte and the world. My thoughts are with his family and the many people I know at home struggling with this loss.

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Jan 31, 2013 - 03:18pm PT
After Luc and I had been climbing together for a while he told me he wanted to do some longer routes in the High Sierra. We did a few such routes before he left for the Air Force Academy and one during a summer when he was home.

He was an incredibly strong climber and in good cardio/hiking shape too.

Our first longer climb was The Nevabe Ridge on Mount Morgan North. This route is only class three, but it's a long, long ridge with a lot of elevation gain.

We started fairly early, each carrying our own day packs. I'm strong, and by that point I'd done well over one hundred High Sierra routes. I hiked steeply uphill toward the actual ridge. Luc meanwhile hiked a little ahead. He was very strong, and 20 years younger than me.

As we sometimes did, the two of us exchanged some well meaning banter during the day. For the first hour or so Luc stayed ahead of me. He'd periodically stop to shout back: "are you OK old man?" And, "are you going to make it ?" I assured Luc that I'd make the summit, but that I'd do so at my own pace.

After the first hour of hiking Luc slowed noticeably. I kept up my normal, "all day" pace. Soon I was waiting for him. I didn't say anything, I just waited. After a few hours he was really lagging; this was his first time ever at these altitudes, and he lacked experience and obviously hadn't paced himself.

Finally, when the summit was in sight, I told Luc that I was going to continue at my pace and that I'd wait for him there. I went ahead, and when I arrived, I ate lunch. It was 15 minutes before Luc arrived.

He was amazed at the views; this was really his first time in the high mountains. I said nothing more about having to wait for him. Obviously, he'd stopped with the "old man" comments long before. We descended to the car by mid-afternoon.

Point made.

A year later we did the North Ridge of Lone Pine Peak. We roped up for some of this, but did most of it without gear. Even after we untied, we stayed fairly close to each other for the majority of the climb. It was obvious that Luc was pacing himself, now smarter and more experienced up high.

However, as Lone Pine's summit came into view, Luc quietly picked up his pace (on class two terrain by now). Did I mention how strong he was? He gradually pulled ahead of me toward the summit. He then waited for me there for 15 minutes. After I arrived he never said a word about his wait.

Counter-point made.

We spent the rest of that Lone Pine trip cragging on the east side.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jan 31, 2013 - 03:25pm PT
Military aviation is very dangerous even peacetime.
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