For all you that wanted to help out Blitzo


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1121 - 1140 of total 1308 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Aug 17, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
^Fletcher...I know when I'm gonna birth certificate has an expiration date on it.

: )
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2013 - 12:39pm PT

Blitzo has passed: 1:31am, 8/17/2013, surrounded by friends.
It is a sad time for all those he has touched either directly or though his photo work.

He loved having fun and had no shortage of that during his run. Without saying, he was a great photographer, but also loved beer and knew a lot about it not just from the right end of the bottle. His stories were unrivaled and as unreal as they seemed, they were true. He did the living in communes thing, lived large in Hawaii, owned something like 11 Great Danes while living in a trailer, worked in a casino and told us of the wild tales of altered states throughout the entire US with his early days in New York being especially entertaining.

He was a movie buff and knew all about movies 90% of us will never see, or would want to. His personality allowed him to fixate on certain movies, watch them about 20 times, and then have the entire move seared into his brain, able to recount any scene at any time.

His music library is beyond huge, with Zappa being his favorite. He knew the lyrics, the musicians, the where's and when's of every album he owned. And he owned tons. Talking to him about music was always a learning experience and had little tidbits about the most obscure shout or riff in the background, and who was doing it. He was a real fan of the music and it was something he really enjoyed.

His photo work will be his legacy to those that did not know him personally. It is hard not to run in to a Blitzo Photo on Mountain Project or in many guide books. He was the right place right time guy for many legendary climbing photos featuring the best climbers of the day on their signature test pieces. Shortly the site will be operational and will feature the bulk of his portfolio. He wanted a foundation type thing to be funded by future print sales from that site to help out kids that had an interest in photography. We will continue to work on making that happen.

Even with the inevitable bumps in the road that life deals out, and he had more than his share, he remained a fun and somewhat upbeat guy, under conditions that would crush most. He was always a good sport with our ribbing, kidding and 3rd grade Photoshop manipulations of his image. He didn't have much, but whatever he had he would share, be it some high end beers, some new music or just some laughs. He was a dependable and trustworthy (albeit slow!) worker, the best dog sitter I've ever known, a solid friend, and someone that you just wanted to help out. We helped him because we wanted to, not because he ever asked for it. Mostly though, he was just our pal, and we will miss him dearly. We are all diminished with his passing.

There will be some sort of Blitzopalooza in probably a couple of months, most likely in October out here in Josh. Stay tuned for info.

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Aug 17, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
Thanks Russ....REST IN PEACE, BLITZO!!!!!!!!!!!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Aug 17, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
RIP Billy/Blitzo
Condolences to all who knew him!!!

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Aug 17, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
thanks Russ...he knew how much he was loved. Even til the very end. Literally. He felt the love in that room earlier this morning and finally let go.

Wonderful obit to our amazing Blitzo. I will miss him dearly but am so lucky to have had so many amazing and hilarious times with him. We're all better for having him in our lives.

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Aug 17, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
My sincere condolences to all his wonderful friends and his family. Those of you who were able to be there by his side, surrounding him with love in his final weeks, and those who loved him and sent those thoughts from afar - what a difference you made...

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Aug 17, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
His actual name is Walter.

Social climber
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
hey there say, russ... oh my... say, i fell asleep last night at 1:30, which is early for me, and i was wondering how blitzo was...

he was leaving us, here, and moving on, now, i know...

also, sooze, phyl has her quilt here, for you:
i am putting little tid-bits of dates, etc on it for you...

it is a gift now for you, since the blitzo quilt needed
big squares and would not fit to this...

we both are hoping it will be a good blanket for you,
back home, as you 'leave care-giver mode' and
get strong at being home, without blitzo...

you are not forgotten through this hard loveing care,
that you have given...

god bless...

my condolences to the sister of blitzo = martha
and my condolences to locker, and ALL the close dear
friends of blitz...

Sport climber
Tucson, AZ
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:06pm PT

Rest in peace Blitzo...

To the caregivers and friends... you are all so very special and this community has given me hope once again.

"Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation."


Peace to all... and a great big hug.
~Lisa Mae

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
Well said, Russ. Thank you.

RIP Blitzo. Really looking forward to the web site. An excellent and worthy legacy.


Flank of the Big Horns
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
There is always sadness at the passing of a loved one, much in fact. However, the amount of love shown on this thread gives one hope that all is not lost and the sadness will be replaced with gratitude for being a part of his life.

Condolences to those close to Blitzo. His art will resound with those of us who didn't personally know him for a long time to come.


Trad climber
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:14pm PT

Social climber
chicago ill
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
RIP Billy!

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:16pm PT


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:18pm PT
To Biil, from Largo
To Biil, from Largo
Credit: Largo

Credit: Largo
Tan Slacks

Joshua Tree
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Our dear friend passed away last night. He lived a life so full of adventure and thoughtfulness. For the last few days he lay in a bed surrounded by his friends. We drank, told tales and remembered our friend. It was amazing to see all the people brought together to join in this celebration of Walter. I got to thinking about this quote I had seen a long time ago and I thought how fitting it was to our old friend.

He was the candle that lit so many others and yet he was always there to light another, never diminished. He always brought laughter with all that light. What could be better?

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."


Rest in peace dear Blitzo.

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
Thanks for the update Russ.

I'm glad to know he isn't suffering anymore but very sad that he is gone.

Looking forward to his site, as well.

We will all miss you, Blitzo. I will drink some beer tonight in your honor and celebrate your life and what you have left behind for us. Thank you!
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:28pm PT
Credit: photo by Blitzo...
I have spent alot of time w/Blitzo over the last 15 years or so. Everytime I saw him I was happy to see him, and every time we went climbing we had fun. Everytime;...that was the sort of dude Blitzo was.
Blitzo didn't have any kids;.....and for this reason I think he felt a strong and close connection to my three children;....he always asked about them and seemed facinated by them from the day they were born. Blitzo was one of the poorest ($ wise) people I knew;..he always struggled with "getting by".....but he always did. I know he had some $ at one time, and I understand he "blew" it on concerts, CDs, climbing trips, and top end beer;....but that was Blitzo;....Personally, I applaude that sort of life style;...and in the end, it looks like it was the best thing to do;...that is, live life to the fullest, do your own thing, and don't look back or have any regrets about it.
Blitzo was a talented, strong, and experienced climber. By the time I started to climb with him alot, he was already 45 years old, and even though he was still strong and talented, he seemed like he didn't want to "pull too hard" and give it the maximum effort, even though we all knew he could climb 5.11s if he so desired.
He always, always liked to explore, and relished the new route, the new place, and the new experience.
The last few years, Blitzo seemed to enjoy soloing, climbing near the road, and hanging with his homies, but didn't seem too interested in hiking "more than an hour"....which is what we often did.
Blitzo housesit for us a number of times;......when Blitzo was here, knew he wouldn't screw things up;...he was smart and reliable, trustworthy, and honest.
At one time we were thinking about moving, and Blitzo did a ton of work over here at our house;.....always cheerful and happy to have work and never complained about the crappy jobs I gave him or the serf wages I paid him.
He was an amazing photographer, as most of the climbing community is aware of. Funny thing is, he oftentimes took those amazing photos with a cheap point-and-shoot. He wasn't the "in-your-face" type of photograper posing, no fanfare, no staging, no rehearsing;....most of the the time you never knew he was even taking pics.....he would whip out his camera, take the pic without saying anything, and then put it away and get back to his beer.
Blitzo had run ins with the law, and did spend time in the slammer;...I recieved long, detailed letters from times when he was incarcerated;.....they were very insiteful and good reads;...mostly about interpersonal relationships with friends he made "in the can".
His car was always breaking down, which seemed to be a constant issuse with him this last decade.....I think he finally gave up on it and started to walk or bike everywhere, which seemed to suit him quite well.
After his first round w/cancer, he was down in Palm Springs and needed a ride home; wife and kids went to pick him up. I was afraid he would look sick, frail, and sad;......but just the opposite;...Andrea said he was upbeat as ever, fit as can be, well fed and beefed up, and perky and "Blitzo-like" as ever.
Blitzo loved his beer; wasn't just beer to him, but something much much more. It was his communion, his passion, and a big part of his life.
He never really was a drunk, for he was always really too poor to buy enough beer to become one. He did tell me once that if there was beer to be had, he would stay put until it was all gone; matter how much beer there was or how long it took to drink it.
I've only seen him drunk a few times, and the real drunks around here will drink any slag beer;...Blitzo liked the good stuff.
Blitzo and I shared many friends, and it seemed everyone liked Billy. Yeah, he did do alot of hallucigens "back in the day", and he did the commune thing, and some would say he had loose "morals"....but he never stuck any of that in anyones face. He had friends that were old, young, super-strick Christians, military, rich, poor, educated and ignorant;.....he somehow touched all these people in a way that allowed them to get very close to him, no matter who they were or where they came from; was sort of Blitzo's "magic"......
He loved music, and was big fan of Zappa, live music, and at one time in his life, was a fanatical concert attendee.
For someone not big on school and academia, he was smart and knew more than most of my educated friends (including myself)....he knew about the world, about people, about life.....
When I was putting together my website, Blitzo gave me many many many very awesome photos;....and he charged me $0.00 for them....(not that I could have paid him much anyways....);....he always shared what he had and what he could offer;...and did it cheerfully and gladly..
It's been tough these last few weeks;.....Blitzo was very very very sick and not gonna get better. Blitzo was a care-giver for his father for over a year, and knew the procedure all too well..........
Russ and Susan have been seriously awesome friends to Blitzo during this last year;...Locker too;.as well as many many other that have helped him out before his sickness and during.....but it's not just because it was his "hour of need".........before he was sick, if you needed to find Blitzo;..he was at Russ's house or out climbing with Locker and his other dear friends, or doing work at someone's house for sub-minimum wages.
I'm a big Blitzo fan,....always have been, and always will be. He had a great sense of humor, a grand, wonderful, and facinating outlook on life, ...and smile and a great story, a wild adventure, and a kooky adventure always unfolding.........
Sorry if this is a bit long;.....Blitzo was a big part in my life and the life of my family.
He will be missed, and we will often raise our glass to Blitzo in appreciation and very wonderful memories of many many days spent together at the crags. I am glad he can finally rest peacefully after a long tough battle with cancer. Sleep well, my friend.........thank you, Blitzo...

Aug 17, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
never hung with blitzo, but have followed this thread continuously and appreciated many of his pics. We have truly lost a good man. RIP. Russ, check your mail in few days as i would like to add to this foundation for photography..

Trad climber
Aug 17, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
Those tributes are really wonderful to read.

He wanted a foundation type thing to be funded by future print sales from that site to help out kids that had an interest in photography

That is an awesome legacy.

Condolences for the sadness so many close to Blitzo are feeling at his transition. The one thing I have found hardest to deal with in regards to my feelings of loss with Teddy is that inability to know - to really KNOW - that though the body couldn't contain the life energy any more, that energy can not be dissipated. Why CAN'T we KNOW!!? Even those who have their faith, can't really and truly KNOW. Just have to believe. But belief is a powerful tool for living.

I imagine that many here are going to have some moments as they go about their days, climbing, enjoying the types of nature that Blitzo found so compelling in his photos, and feeling his presence. May those times be a comfort.
Messages 1121 - 1140 of total 1308 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews