I feel your loss - once watched a friend blow a single pitch free solo in an abandoned quarry do a 120' last step .... we'd freed that climb (now destroyed due to McMansion expansion) 20 times - he wanted to FS it (climbed it without a mis-step at least a half dozen times) - figure fear overhanging finger jams 10' below the top) overcame skill ... but watching a friend go is never easy - like you I held him as he passed - then got to tell the cops, coroner and his parents what had happened.
Meditate, find that quiet place for yourself, invite your friend who passed in to mourn with you, you'll both find peace.
Life is fragile, but if not fully lived both fragile and futile - forget the fragility and embrace it, live it, love it and don't count on seeing 100 ....
Steve (better than 1/2 way to 100 but not expecting to see 70)
my offering to you is
find the obscure friendships
that obliterate spiritual thresholds,
and unify with those
whom live beyond us.
@Norwegian: I'm at work, reading this post. ALL of our words made me tear up. Thank you.
@Greg. Tahquitz is my home crag. That place makes my soul sing. I have also been to Nomad several times, the last time I took my climbing partner there to get a cool blue/pink helmet climbing. She was dying of cancer and had no hair, but it made her feel pretty...
Thank you for all you have done, and peace to you and Lucas' family..
A measure of a good life may be the number of lives a person has touched. Lucas, it seems from reading through this forum, touched many in his short, vibrant life. Though I hardly knew him, I am saddened by his passing. Last summer, I climbed for a couple weeks in Idyllwild and met Lucas in Nomad. He was friendly and exuberant, sharing stories of climbing and making suggestions on the classic lines. Condolences to the family and friends.
Today I went back over to the accident site to take a closer look at the trees in the area where the rappel ends for the first pitch of the vampire. This is the spot that Lucas most likely fell from. Greg, whom is a hero and did everything right. Said "I heard noise, turned and saw Lucas, rocks, and the rope all coiled in a bunch fall past me.
I was in the area just before and just after the accident and noticed a big chunk of WhiteFir trunk laying in the gully after the accident. I would have noticed if the piece of trunk had been there before because I always check that spot for booty if I am soloing near there. Bits of Bark are strewn everywhere and it makes me wonder if Lucas relied on the tree to avoid the loose rocks or if perhaps the rope tangled in the tree and the action of pulling the rope free may have broke the trunk and pulled the rope down with Lucas?
I checked the piece of trunk closely for bits of hair,material,rope,etc... And found none.
I went up to the remaining White Fir tree that was about 35ft tall and about a foot in diameter and stood dead near the same area and I was able to push it over with very little effort. These trees died over the last decade mostly from mistletoe and they are now good and rotted so they are really dangerous.
Lucas was an exceptional young man and I want to be a better climber somehow as a result of anything we can learn from this tragedy. From now on I am going to stay at the rappel station when I go first and wait for my partner to arrive ( unless the situation demands a different strategy) I will also make sure that when pulling the rope I will not be able to be pulled off by the rope if it becomes involved with falling rocks or trees etc...
I will also try and be more like Lucas, kind, enthusiastic and wise. Hundreds of people were at his memorial service, his friends and partners did him proud and Clark Jacobs spoke eloquently about the student that became the teacher.
I had the best day ever on the rock covering over 6000 ft of easy climbing and feeling grateful to still be here. Inspired by Lucas.
Tonight I am thinking about the holidays and the loved one and friends that are not here to celebrate with us. It is hard, these holidays, when loss is fresh. I know. My prayers and love are with you all....Lucas's Mom and Dad, his beautiful girlfriend, and other family and close friends.
Hey E. A.
Sorry I missed your response, thank you for writing. I went up to the site with a few of his close friends not long after, and didn't see anything that jogged a memory. I think next spring I will be ready to climb those routes again (I've been dreaming of doing the Super Pooper to Price of Fear link-up once more) and I'll take a closer look at the base of the Vampire Direct start. Who knows, I might even get on it again, but right now I'm not in that kind of shape : /
seven months, almost to the day, and my biggest take-away is that there isn't anything wasted. A day I get rained out, a day I call it after a single route, a day I fail at an onsight and blow a sequence... it's not a big deal anymore. A little bit of that has made me more lazy, because I used to care so damn much that it would eat at me. Now, if it's right the good things will happen, but the bad things happen to, and fnding a way to accept them without giving them weight one way or another is just another part of the game.
I will be back in Idyllwild come mid-April, working at Nomad Ventures with my good friend Jim, fitting stinky PCT hikers with fresh socks. I really like it there. I hope to see many of you, and when(if) I get time off I'd love to cruise around some of those route again. It's been years since I'd climbed The Open Book...