Sean Leary

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Burt

Social climber
Angelus Oaks, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 24, 2014 - 12:27am PT

There is a memorial account set up for Mieka and the baby now.

Mountain America Credit Union
Sean "Stanley" Leary Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 9001
West Jordan, UT 84084




This is far from my place, but as others closer to him are greaving, we as a community need to pull together. We have all been in awe of Sean Leary or as some know him as Stanley. An email for his sister today says that Sean was killed in or around Zion. I am in shock and disbelief. Please keep his spirit crushing by just giving thanks and kind words. No need to speculate , no need to argue, just a beautiful life cut too short and someone who has touched us all.

Godspeed Stanley

Kurtburt
Gearhead

Trad climber
Novato Ca
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:32am PT
Oh No!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:33am PT
Oh no... I'm so sorry.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:35am PT
Peace to Sean's loved ones and friends. Joy to a life lived.

"The Bold see paths few choose and knowing not they go....loving the path they choose and are loved."
Hankster

Social climber
Golden, CO
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:39am PT
Credit: Hankster

Chris McNamara on Sean Leary, ripped from FB

Sean Leary was one my all-time favorite adventure partners. Not only was it fun to climb El Cap or jump off a bridge with him, but we could talk about everything from veggie gardening to eastern philosophy. Climbing El Cap was fun, as was doing Sean’s first BASE jump off the Potato Bridge. But I remember best the long conversations on the descents from El Cap or over breakfast before a big day in the mountains. We both shared a vision/philosophy that all these big adventures were not about the photos and videos that came from them (though that was a fun side benefit). It was much more about finding and staying on an elusive path of constant discovery and growth. Sometimes that was about climbing El Cap faster or finding the last great undone BASE jumps in the U.S. But more often it was about books we were reading, how he could get solar on his house in El Portal, or how to have a better backyard veggie garden.

I first really got to know Sean on New Year’s Eve 2000. The world was coming to an end because of some bad computer programming, or so a lot of people thought. We were out in the desert near Bishop around a big campfire. Everyone was on way too many drugs; Sean and I were on even more. Everyone else eventually fell asleep so it was just the two of us left to watch the first sunrise of the millennium. I can’t remember if we said much — our brains were pretty much Jello at that point. I just remember thinking that we were two people on the same path: using mountains, adventures (and maybe a little acid) to tap into the most powerful and meaningful experiences we could find.

I saw Sean a few times over the early 2000’s, and then came the day of his first BASE jump off the Potato Bridge in Twin Falls with Ivo Ninov and Ammon McNeely. I don’t remember why I was the teacher; I had a well-earned reputation in the BASE world of having a bit more ambition than skill. But all three of them jumped and landed perfectly. The next day they again made perfect jumps and I followed with my first attempt at swooping a smaller BASE canopy. It resulted in a horribly sprained ankle that still swells up periodically today. Sean, Ammon and Ivo took turns carrying me out and drove me to the hospital. That began my path of getting out of BASE.

I sold Sean one of my BASE rigs and he started the path of becoming the most prolific U.S/ wingsuit base jumper in history. He found more new Western US wingsuit exits than probably anyone. Even though I retired from BASE jumping shortly after Sean got into it, I lived vicariously through him. We shared notes on what was possible that had never been done. We talked about the dangers of the sport, which are massive. He was fully aware and I think I knew where his head was at — my own head had been there. It was that delicious time when increasing skill and wingsuit design progression matched up with the fact we were (and still are) in a Golden Age of the sport with unlimited “first exits” waiting to be nabbed. A great BASE flight is one of the greatest feelings in the world. And sadly it has taken way too many of my friends, including one of the Great Ones of all time, Sean Leary.
— with Sean Leary, Ivo Ninov and Ammon McNeely at El Capitan, Yosemite National Park.

Fly free kiddo, love you.
Hankster
grover

climber
Northern Mexico
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:40am PT
Peace be with you Sean and condolences to family and friends.
BLD

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:45am PT
So lost for words. You will be missed Sean. Condolences to all.
Meagher

Trad climber
Reno, NV
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:52am PT
Sad news. My condolences to all who loved and knew him.
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:52am PT
Damn. I still sing Coilers song "Stanley The Big Wall Hammer" all the time. Brutal loss of a really good man. Rest in peace buddy. See you out there.
WBraun

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:54am PT
"one of the Great Ones of all time, Sean Leary"

Yep

The first time I ever saw him climb I was totally blown away ......
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:54am PT
Condolences & Respect. Thanks for the Inspiration as to what is possible in this life.
Joe

Social climber
Santa Cruz
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:00am PT
too too sad...
enjoimx

Trad climber
SLO
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:04am PT
Damn! Big inspiration to me. Rest in peace brother. Soooo sad
YosemiteSteve

Trad climber
CA
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:08am PT
F*#k.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:25am PT
Thank you for posting that, Hank. Some photos of below

Summit of temple crag with Alex Honnold cedar wright and Sean leary
Summit of temple crag with Alex Honnold cedar wright and Sean leary
Credit: Chris McNamara

Sean Leary starts up the first pitch of the nose
Sean Leary starts up the first pitch of the nose
Credit: Chris McNamara

Sean Leary on the top of The Nose with half dome in the back
Sean Leary on the top of The Nose with half dome in the back
Credit: Chris McNamara

Back with plenty of time to send the El Cap Layback. From left to righ...
Back with plenty of time to send the El Cap Layback. From left to right: Racer 5, Big Stone, Sean Leary.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Sean Leary on the summit of El Capitan
Sean Leary on the summit of El Capitan
Credit: Chris McNamara

After Sean, Ivo and Ammon's first base jump, potato bridge.
After Sean, Ivo and Ammon's first base jump, potato bridge.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:26am PT
No f*#king way!
Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:27am PT
too sad for words ...
~peace

Coolcarl

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:51am PT
This clip always makes me smile.
"The best climber in the world is the one having the most fun"
Clip starts at 2:30



NA_Kid

Big Wall climber
The Bear State
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:56am PT
Wow, so sad to hear. He was an inspiration to me. Quiet hardman of the valley, crushing it.
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Mar 24, 2014 - 02:00am PT
When I asked Sean if he wanted to an El Cap push early last month, he replied;

"Dude, hell yeah!! I'd be so psyched to go climb with ya! It's just fine tuning the timing to make it happen!"


R.I.P. my friend, you will continue to inspire myself, and many others for a very long while.

My condolences to his family, and the many people who also loved him.


Wayne Willoughby
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Mar 24, 2014 - 02:09am PT
Wow. Condolences to friends and family. I always cringe when i see a thread title with a first and last name.
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 02:14am PT
Go in Peace my Friend. . .
Go in Peace my Friend. . .
Credit: Dean Fidelman
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Mar 24, 2014 - 02:30am PT
super mega-sad day for the world;........Sean was often at the old "Gordon Ranch" back before I was married and had my own family;.......He was loved and respected by all;...an amazing human. I am so very very very sorry to hear this. Rest in peace, my friend......you will be greatly missed..
weezy

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 03:55am PT
I have very mixed feelings about my friends who jump off things with parachutes.

Glad to have met you, Stanley.

flashing Crush The Skull in Millcreek...

Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Mar 24, 2014 - 04:14am PT
Very sad news, indeed....my condolences and prayers for Sean's family, and all of his friends.

May his spirit continue to soar in the high and wild places...
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 24, 2014 - 06:08am PT

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun.
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides.
That it may rise and expand and seek God unemcumbered.
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth reclaims your limbs, then shall you truely dance.

Kahlil Gibran
Scout 2

Trad climber
Placerville
Mar 24, 2014 - 06:21am PT
Its a sad Day to be missing an amazing guy.I remember hanging at the bridge many a time talking to him seeing all the amzing things he's done and was so unasuming and humble. What a great spirit. we will all miss.
Condolence to all and especialy his family.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Mar 24, 2014 - 09:09am PT
Sorry for Hank, Chris, Ammon and the rest of the climbing and base world that he so infected with life. Sorry for Seans family. Condolences to each and every one that knew the Man.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Mar 24, 2014 - 09:18am PT
sean gave the sun a reason to rise.
now that he's gone,
we gotta carry that chariot.

first forward,
then in all directions at once.

take care of the day in front of you,
as sean would have.
WTF

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 09:19am PT
Im going to miss Sean he was always so kind and nice. If you did not know him and his adventures you would have never known how incredible he was but those were as Chris said on the face book post a small fraction of his being.

Hank im sorry i miss read your other thread and posted on that thread. Im sorry for your other friend.

While sadness overwhelms me I am also pissed. He was about to enjoy the biggest climb of his life. Fatherhood.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK
JohnnyG

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 09:44am PT
Sean was one of the nicest people out there.
Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:00am PT
Super bummed...a very nice, soulful man. Very sad that his unborn kid will never know him. I was honored to support him some years back when Roberta died... I know that he has many loved ones feeling that kind of anguish now...

Here he is, last autumn, doing another lap on the Nose with Mayan Gobat-Smith, setting the mixed record in some 4 hours plus change...They passed about 7 parties in 20 minutes, including Eric Perlman and I doing our very long day, old guy ascent. He still had time, not breathing hard or anything, to greet me warmly, ask what was new, say hi to my son, then a few minutes later they were hundreds of feet away...

RIP you were one of the really great ones.
Credit: Eric Perlman
fluffy

Trad climber
Colorado
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:08am PT
Goddamit another senseless tragedy

RIP

I feel terrible for his loved ones especially his son who will never know him

Be strong
RP3

Big Wall climber
Sonora
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:11am PT
This one hurts really bad. RIP, Stanley.
wannabeen

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:15am PT
I'm crushed.
He was a real man...
Sweet, sensitive, intelligent, goofy, and a total, total badass at living this life.
My memories date back 20 years to the month.
If u had Stanley belaying u, there was no stopping. So much energy flowing.
And he taught me so much about fear (or how to dance around it).
So generous with his time and love for all things.
Driving back from Tuolumne, after climbing Acapulco Gold, we stopped on the side of the road
to pick Scarlet Penstamens for his girlfriend.
That was Sean. Crushing the rock, and our hearts in the same breath.
Thank u for showing me the path.
Sean will be so very missed.
Truly "one of the great ones"
BK
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:17am PT
RIP and condolences.
Tad
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:19am PT
Bummer. Stanley was an awesome dude. will miss you!
cmarc

Trad climber
Brazil
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:23am PT
Stanley photographed By Roberta Nunes, circa 2005
Stanley photographed By Roberta Nunes, circa 2005
Credit: cmarc
The world awoke sadder. Even thousands of miles away, here in Brazil, will miss the sagacity and humility. Thanks for all the inspiration, always. Give a huge hug to Roberta. Fly free, Stanley.

wannabeen

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:26am PT
Does anyone have advice or experience in setting up a trust for Mika and his unborn child?
rolo

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:29am PT
After Roberta died Bean (Bowers) brought Sean up to the Tetons to escape and rest for a bit. I recall doing the East Ridge of the Grand with him. Few times have I climbed with a climber so fluid, fast and graceful. As we walked in the dark, in between the noise of our heavy up-hill breathing I could hear something strange. It was Sean that was sobbing, still grieving Roberta very hard. I tried to be a good friend to him that day, not sure I succeeded. I will remember that day fondly. Very sorry to see him go.

Go in peace Sean and give a big hug to both Roberta and Bean for me.
10b4me

Sport climber
www.tenbeephotography.com
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:30am PT
My condolences to his family, and friends.
mrtropy

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:44am PT
Very sad to hear this, his grandfather was a doctor of mine, in my town. A very good orthopedic surgeon who passed away 2 years ago. I never knew Sean but my heart goes out to his family.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:48am PT
Ugh... what a harsh way to start my week. RIP bro...
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:49am PT
Man, so sorry for his friends and family. This reminds me of when we lost Walt. I still haven't gotten over that one. I still think about Walt all of the time, decades later.
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:49am PT


Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Sean Leary...

Sioux Juan

Big Wall climber
Costa mesa
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:52am PT
FLY HIGH...........Sean.......................RIP
this just in

climber
north fork
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:54am PT
Best thoughts to all that knew him, one day at a time.
gonzo chemist

climber
the east coast, for now.
Mar 24, 2014 - 11:00am PT

Condolences to all who knew and loved him. RIP Sean Leary.
karen roseme

Mountain climber
san diego
Mar 24, 2014 - 11:12am PT
Sean, I am so sad I will not get to see your smiling face again except in my dreams.
I am so glad I got to spend some time with you!
You were such an inspiration to me not just because of you're climbing but because of your huge heart.
Sean was in Mexico on a trip around 10 years ago and found a small puppy in the dump there with her throat slit.
He brought her home and nursed her back to health. At first we thought she was a chiwawa because she was so small but she grew into a beautiful princess Nexpa.
You will be missed!
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Mar 24, 2014 - 11:14am PT
Booooo..... Make it stop.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:41pm PT
A real sad day. I always thought the dude had super stoke and I was always moved by his tenacity and laid back gusto in his climbing vids. I was supposed to see him for a dental appointment not long ago and it seemed like he was always putting it off for some big adventure. I only shook hands with him once, while at the base of El Cap. We were heading to climb three pitches....he was off to do the NIAD and had a smaller rack than we did. It was a high point in my climbing career to b.s. briefly with he and Chris Mac that chilly morning in El Cap meadow. Such a loss. I'm so sorry for those who knew him closely. Sad days. He burned brightly for sure.


My deepest condolences,


Scott
Briham89 and Macronut getting to meet some of our heroes. CMac and Sea...
Briham89 and Macronut getting to meet some of our heroes. CMac and Sean Leary. They probably topped out on The Nose before we finished the third pitch of Lurking Fear that day.

Credit: micronut
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:53pm PT
Sean was one of the most experienced adventure athletes out there. Perhaps we need to rethink the whole BASE game. A great loss. Lo siento.

JL
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 24, 2014 - 12:56pm PT
The star that burns twice as bright burns half as long. It sounds like Sean shined very brightly.

This reminds me of when Rob Slater died. There was some TV show on a week or so ago about a more recent K2 tragedy. They showed some film of the memorial cairn at the base of the mountain and the camera panned down across the names. I saw Robbie's name. It all came back in a second.

They live on in our hearts.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:01pm PT
Heartbreaking. Those of you that knew him closely have written stunningly beautiful tributes.
Your emptiness must be overwhelming.
Many prayers and thoughts go out to you and his family.
Susan
YosemiteSteve

Trad climber
CA
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:11pm PT
So sad. Sean was a great guy.

http://www.nps.gov/zion/parknews/secondbasejump.htm

Springdale, Utah- On Sunday, March 23, 2014, Zion National Park was alerted to an overdue BASE jumper in the vicinity of the West Temple at 6:42 am. The Grand Canyon National Park helicopter crew was called in to assist with the search. They located a body, believed to be the missing BASE jumper, just before 3:00 pm.

The body is located in difficult terrain and in an area where crosswinds limit the use of a helicopter. Search and Rescue crews will assess options for recovery today. The team hopes to be able to recover the body over the next few days.

BASE jumping is illegal within Zion National Park for resource protection and safety reasons. This is the second BASE jumping fatality in Zion in just over a month. The accident is currently under investigation. The name is not being released until the victim is properly identified.
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:31pm PT
Sean was a beacon of light. Such a humble guy and one of the all around best climbers out there. I just saw him 2 weeks ago. So glad I got that chance to hang out with him one last time. I'll miss you buddy. I'm still in shock.
Anastasia

climber
Home
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:35pm PT
Any accidental death is an incredible sad one. My deepest condolences. Be careful folks, please...

Anastasia Sherman
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Mar 24, 2014 - 01:49pm PT
this is shocking news. i'm so sad to lose one of my best and dearest friends. he was my partner on freerider, and a fast salathe ascent. a superior athlete, he was a world class rock climber, and i was awed at how bad ass he was on those two ascents.

when i turned 50, sean was the only one to show up to go kayaking on the merced with me. the guy totally saved that birthday for me. it was great hanging out at his trailer in el portal, with the inevitable parade of world class climbers filtering through. everybody liked sean, he was so charming and humble. the world just lost the greatest guy ever. my wife and i loved him dearly. the world will never be the same for us.

steve schneider
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Mar 24, 2014 - 02:43pm PT
hey there say, all... chris, hank, and all friends and family members...

oh my I just saw what was going on--two different folks have recently died:

my deep condolences to the family of sean leary and to his loved ones...
prayers and may you have many many folks around you for comfort, through this hard awful time...

elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Mar 24, 2014 - 02:47pm PT
Brutal... we are losing so many people to base jumping... Sean was one of the finest people I have ever known... he will live on in our hearts and minds. I have posted some shots on my FB page and others have shared them. I will do a special report, on the ElCap Report, in the next few days, on what Sean has meant to us all. Awful days for many of us.......
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
Mar 24, 2014 - 02:52pm PT

Condolences to Sean's family and friends. It is so painful when death is the unexpected outcome of doing the things we love.
Tommy D

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Ca
Mar 24, 2014 - 02:56pm PT
Only met Sean a few times. One of the sweetest, most genuine people I've had the pleasure to share words with. So, so sad to hear he is gone. Great climber, even better man.
Tom Davis
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Mar 24, 2014 - 03:02pm PT
This is so sad. Stanley was one of the nicest people you ever met at the crags. I am stunned beyond belief that he is gone.

RIP Sean.
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Mar 24, 2014 - 03:03pm PT
Good thoughts to family and friends :-(
crackfiend

climber
Springdale, Utah
Mar 24, 2014 - 03:28pm PT
So sad. My condolences to his friends and family. I saw the chopper flying near the West Temple yesterday and knew it wasn't good. Peace everyone
Ro

Trad climber
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mar 24, 2014 - 03:30pm PT
Fly free Man!

Say hello to all our friends up there!

Bye for now!

RGelly
a.s.

Big Wall climber
SF, CA
Mar 24, 2014 - 03:52pm PT
This is so heartbreaking. Sean was the most humble badass, and genuinely a good person to everyone. You'd never know all the amazing things he did unless you asked.

example...
Summer of 2000, I'd just swapped leads on the East Buttress of El Cap, and was super stoked by the climb (it was basically at my leading limit). I was talking to him about it and he mentioned yes he'd climbed it, Onsight Freesolo, totally casual-like. It WAS casual for him - though amazing for most mere mortals.

Later that summer, while he was working for the YCS Guide Service, he guided a client up the Rostrom. A prior party had 1) big wall climbed the Rostrom, and 2) smeared/thrown their sh#t in the cracks. He had to basically lead through this heinous situation, and haul his client past it. Understandably pissed, he chucked their fixed lines from the top - though kindly didn't let loose their haulbag. Later, he and Singer went back with a bucket of bleach and cleaned the route (as a public service to other monkeys). He never talked about doing any of this... you'd only find out if you asked.

I haven't seen him for a few years now, but will miss you dearly Stanley!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Mar 24, 2014 - 04:18pm PT
Later that summer, while he was working for the YCS Guide Service, he guided a client up the Rostrom. A prior party had 1) big wall climbed the Rostrom, and 2) smeared/thrown their sh#t in the cracks. He had to basically lead through this heinous situation, and haul his client past it. Understandably pissed, he chucked their fixed lines from the top - though kindly didn't let loose their haulbag. Later, he and Singer went back with a bucket of bleach and cleaned the route (as a public service to other monkeys). He never talked about doing any of this... you'd only find out if you asked.

Wow. What a cool f*#kin dude.
schwortz

Social climber
"close to everything = not at anything", ca
Mar 24, 2014 - 04:32pm PT
chatted a couple times at the bridge along with a mutual friend. he was super nice, humble, psyched. gave us some good beta. she died a couple of years ago too.

RIP
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Mar 24, 2014 - 05:14pm PT
Didn't know Sean well at all, but had the opportunity to talk to him a few times at the Bridge, and he was always such a humble guy.

I was BSing with him one day, and my fiancee didn't know who Sean was other then he was talking about big wallin. She asked him what his favorite route on the Cap was (he had ran up the Nose in 4 hours and change the day before.) He just shrugged, gave that warm smile and said "Oh the Nose, I guess."

That low key attitude was always present it seemed, and yet he was such an extraordinary guy. He was and still is an inspiration to me, and my heart goes out to his family and friends today.

Saw a recent post that some of Sean's friends are on their way down to him now so that he won't have to be alone tonight, which saddens me and makes me happy at the same time. Godspeed man, BSBD.
socialclimber

Trad climber
CA
Mar 24, 2014 - 05:43pm PT
If you haven't seen it, watch The Asgard Project, Sean's climbing in that is pretty fantastic.

I really enjoy the stories coming forth about him.

Charles
WanderlustMD

Trad climber
New England
Mar 24, 2014 - 06:00pm PT
Never crossed paths with him, but feel for his family...especially his wife and child. Ugh, this is just horrible. Peace to all who knew him, it sounds like those of us who did not missed out.

-Matt
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Mar 24, 2014 - 06:22pm PT
Blessings on the great adventure.  Sending peace and love vibes to tho...
Blessings on the great adventure. Sending peace and love vibes to those who will miss him.
Credit: Karl Baba
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Mar 24, 2014 - 06:32pm PT
Sorry that I never met the man, my loss.

My sincere condolences go out to his family and many close friends.

Guy Keesee
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Mar 24, 2014 - 06:52pm PT
I really enjoy the stories coming forth about him.

That's the best part about these threads!
WBraun

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 09:30pm PT
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
Mar 24, 2014 - 09:33pm PT
Karl's picture going from Earth to heaven, Werner's going from heaven to earth. Both fitting.

RIP Sean.
The Lisa

Trad climber
Da Bronx, NY
Mar 24, 2014 - 09:34pm PT
I am so sorry for his family and friends who must carry on without him. I know of him only through the Taco stand and from many climbing movies and can only imagine your pain.
Lisa
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 24, 2014 - 09:40pm PT
Aw, man ... Stanley. Geez.

Condolences to Stanley's friends and family.

Peter Zabrok,
Hamilton, Ontario
bob

climber
Mar 24, 2014 - 09:41pm PT
I am so sad today. Just returned from a hike around some obscure cliffs with Sean and family on my mind. Sad.

I posted this earlier to FB.


"Peace Sean. Climbing with you taught me so much. The deepest memories though...... waking pre-dawn, sipping coffee and heading out to the break. Nexpa, chasing anchors, and just being psyched to do what we were doing. Climbing was so good. That trip was great. See you on the next one............."

Bob Jensen
David Wilson

climber
CA
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:14pm PT
My son Chase and I stood in El Cap meadow one rainy day a number of years ago. Sean was there with his dog looking up into the mist like we were. Of course we knew who he was. We all stood and talked together that one time we actually met. He had a humble understated presence even in that brief encounter. I always wanted to know him better.

All my condolences to his family and friends. We lost a good one.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Mar 24, 2014 - 10:47pm PT

So very sad, sincere condolences to Sean's family and friends.
Sending up prayers of comfort for those that loved Sean...
tonights sky from turtle back dome...
tonights sky from turtle back dome...
paz



Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Mar 24, 2014 - 11:16pm PT
Fly on brother . . . you don't need wings anymore.

Peace to Sean's family and friends.
Morgan

Trad climber
East Coast
Mar 24, 2014 - 11:18pm PT
I only met Sean a couple of times on the Valley Floor. He introduced himself as Stanley and was racked up for El Cap like I would for a 75-foot route at my local crag. He was psyched, energetic, chill, and friendly all at the same time. He was eager to get on to the next adventure, but present and in the moment. In some ways, he reminded me of Alex Lowe. No doubt he inspired many with his casual style while sending hard. Stanley's passing leaves a tremendous void, but also a life lived fully. Peace and condolences to all of Sean's family and friends.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA/Joshua Tree
Mar 25, 2014 - 01:22am PT
This is so sad. Stanley was a truly top shelf human being.

World class climber who didn't chase the headlines and media glory. Just loved what he did and lived the life.

So kind and humble. A total class act. Had some meadow seshes and times at the Bridge with him amongst friends some years back. He was just such a nice guy with such unreal talent. And that smile. So much warmth.

What a huge loss.
weezy

climber
Mar 25, 2014 - 02:01am PT
I didn't know Stanley very well but I remember the first time I met him. 2001?

We were all loitering on top of the Rostrum slacklining and whatnot and Stanley and his partner (Jimmy?) topped out. We smoked them out and they admitted that they had done Astroman that morning before doing the Rostrum. They were just chilling out, relishing their accomplishment when out of the blue Stanley suggests that they outta go use the rest of the daylight to go do the Steck-Salathe.

And off they went!
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 25, 2014 - 09:42am PT
Sounds like an awesome guy. If only we all could be like that.

I can tell that he will be missed.
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Mar 25, 2014 - 10:11am PT
I'd like to suggest you dorks find a higher meaning than jumping off a f ing cliff.


Sensible. But flying with the birds is an unbelievable rush.
Rest in Peace.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 25, 2014 - 10:12am PT
I never met Sean...sounds like he was an unique person who will be missed by many.
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Mar 25, 2014 - 10:46am PT
I never had the pleasure of meeting Sean, but I I'm aware of who he is from climbing media. Watching the Banff Mountain Film Festival, he wasn't in it once, but twice for completely different adventures on the rock ranging from Antarctica to the High Sierra. It seems he truly embodied the climbing spirit, and it is sad that he is gone.

Josh
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
Mar 25, 2014 - 10:49am PT
RIP, my condolences to his family and friends. Losing people like him always leaves a hollow space.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Mar 25, 2014 - 11:11am PT
I have been inspired by his climbing achievements for a while. From what I read now, it seems he was extraordinary simply as a person, too. My condolences to those who knew him.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 25, 2014 - 12:35pm PT
If you haven't seen the video of Sean and Cedar speed soloing the Nutcracker (it was posted on the first page of the thread), then you have to check it out.

They climbed like monkeys, actually running up the last pitch, and then collapse in laughter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNx-cohSOpU

I feel that this is an important thread, so I'm bumping it up again. I really wish that Sean's buddies would post up some good stories. I never met him, but have friends who did. They are devastated.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Mar 25, 2014 - 12:38pm PT
just another person who never had the pleasure of meeting Sean , but I'm so impressed by the outpouring of love and respect for him .

I'd also love to hear some stories and anecdotes about his life ...
10b4me

Sport climber
www.tenbeephotography.com
Mar 25, 2014 - 01:38pm PT
Bump
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Mar 25, 2014 - 01:45pm PT
Then there was the ledge party on Mideast Crisis. In the morning Stanley led right up a fair sized waterfall.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Mar 25, 2014 - 02:24pm PT
According to one of Sean's friends, he was recovered a short while ago by a joint effort between them and the NPS.

They climbed up to Sean and were able to reach him last night and coordinate with NPS today.

Our thoughts are with Sean's family, loved ones and friends today.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Mar 25, 2014 - 02:43pm PT
These are from Joshua Tree New Years probably 1995. If you were there you'd remember (the kegs on Intersection). Some of the best times of my life.

I met Sean in Humboldt long before he became a rock star. It's been far too long since I've seen him and now.... :(

I did not take these photos - was given permission to post them.

Credit: not me

Rich, Lynda, Tad, Cedar, Sean, Maria
Rich, Lynda, Tad, Cedar, Sean, Maria
Credit: not me

Thomas, Cedar, Scotty B, Sean ~1996
Thomas, Cedar, Scotty B, Sean ~1996
Credit: not me

Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Mar 25, 2014 - 03:06pm PT
I've been thinking and feeling this for a few days, not exactly sure what to write. I wasn't one of his best buds but it was always great to see him.

BITD I got stung by a bee (I'm allergic) and as I was turning purple and injected the Epi-pen and getting scared and waiting, Stanley was with me along with a few others, but having Sean there was somehow very comforting for me. It was the first time I really felt his kindness. Nothing he said or particularly did, just his presence and caring that made me feel I was safe. He just really showed up. Thank you Sean! I wish I took the time to get to know you better. Thanks for coming to our wedding.Thanks for always being cool. Thanks for your being.

I'm sad for his family and close friends. He is so loved by those guys. That was always plain to see. I feel so bad for them, only imagining their deep loss and pain.

I think everybody knows how he got his nickname but maybe Coiler will post up.
Double D

climber
Mar 25, 2014 - 04:10pm PT
My condolences to his family, and friends.
Action Jackson

Gym climber
Oakland
Mar 26, 2014 - 12:14am PT
I didn't know Sean for very long, just a few years. I met him through his wife, a former colleague of mine. I stayed with the two of them last fall, and Sean really made an indelible impression on me. I'm a total amateur climber but knew about his unreal accomplishments. While staying with them, Sean and I stayed up late watching videos of his most recent adventures - the Ulvetanna, Antarctica expedition, wingsuit flying videos, etc. I couldn't get enough of them, and he seemed so stoked to share them with me. I told him that I was just getting into climbing, and that it was something I had always wanted to do, and he genuinely offered to take me with him some time, which was pretty cool. Unfortunately, I never got to take him up on the offer. While backpacking around Eagle Peak a few months later, I happened to bump into him. It was February and the park seemed relatively empty; I hadn't seen more than two other people in three days, but there was Sean, cruising down the Yosemite Falls trail on an unusually hot and bright February day. He seemed surprised and truly happy to see me. I feel privileged to have known such a warm and passionate soul. I send my deepest condolences to those who were fortunate enough to have shared in his radiance.
Spanky

Social climber
boulder co
Mar 26, 2014 - 12:21am PT
FYI,

Steph Davis just posted a very touching remembrance on her blog. I never met Sean but from how well he's respected I wish that I had. RIP

High infatuation.com
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Mar 26, 2014 - 01:01am PT
Clickable link to Steph's Blog
QITNL

climber
Mar 26, 2014 - 02:28am PT
nice photo



credit: the link above
r2d2

Trad climber
East Bay
Mar 26, 2014 - 02:55am PT
In 2002, Sean took me and my friends to do our first lead ever on Pine Line at the base of El Cap. I went first, he watched carefully, at one point I asked him "I am tired, can I take a hang and rest a bit?". "Not on your first lead, You can do it, Jenn" he said. So I went on and finished it in a perfect style. I've climbed Pine line many many times since then, every time I remembered what Sean said that day. He had inspired me so much.

Last time I saw Sean was a year ago, at Berkeley Ironworks. He told me he got married and he looked very happy...

Fly high Sean, we will always remember you.



mcd

Trad climber
Mar 26, 2014 - 03:28am PT
i remember the last time we kayaked together, some years ago. it was big water on the merced. Stanley, Billy Russel and i got together for some afternoon class 4 action. I should have been just running the river, but of coarse i had to go and catch this giant wave to try and surf, which had its way with me and flipped me hard and sucked me right outta my boat. long swim, glad to have my buds at my side to get me to shore.
a bit of a rest and then back in for some more action. within minutes billys swimming, which he always pulls off in good style, getting to shore fast and then back in the boat, like no big deal. we set off again and get through the toughest rapids on the run. then stanley swims! in all my years of boating this is the only time we all had to swim. we head to takeout and break out a couple cold ones, relaxing from the adrenalin rushes we all had experienced
days like that with my friends are about as good as it gets for me

ill be thinking of you brother
when i hear the merced river charging
or go out to shuteye for some first ascent adventuring
or at the fifi big wallin
or just doing the ol el cap lieback and watchin speed climbers scramblin

dan mcdevitt



nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Mar 26, 2014 - 12:37pm PT
bump
Fletcher

Gym climber
A very quiet place
Mar 26, 2014 - 12:43pm PT
Steph Davis' blog post was very heartfelt, personal and moving. For those of us who didn't know Sean personally, I suspect it provides a good sense of the light that Sean had within and spread freely to others.

I was at a film festival last night and he had brief appearances in two unrelated films. I don't think many in the audience knew he is gone, but it was somehow good to see his spirit captured on film. As Steph noted, he was not a limelight guy, but he sure was in a lot of places doing good and fun things.

I'm sorry he is gone. Peace to all who knew him.

Eric
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Mar 26, 2014 - 01:56pm PT
Sean and Dean were going for the Nose record and I was going to film them blasting off from the first pitch. It was nice walking up to the start of the approach in the predawn darkness, I found Sean and Dean at the 3rd class slabs leading up to the base of the route.

Dean was full of energy and ready to go, he asked me if I knew how to get to the base and then he was gone running across the slab in the darkness calling for Sean to follow. Sean didn't move, he asked me if he could take my tripod, I quickly gave it to him.

Stanley could see that I was sketching (smoked a 50/50 on the way up to improve my creative eye) so he guided me to the base, never complaining that I was slowing them down when they wanted to go fast. That's who he was, a brother and a Monkey, and sometimes a Guide in the Darkness for an old man and his camera. . .df
Credit: Dean Fidelman
Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Mar 26, 2014 - 03:34pm PT
^^^ Good shot and story Dean. The picture you posted up thread is really great.
BLD

climber
Mar 26, 2014 - 05:04pm PT
I just came across this NPS News report from Zion.

http://www.nps.gov/zion/parknews/basejumperrecovered.htm

Such a bummer.

Fly on Sean!
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 26, 2014 - 06:24pm PT
I've been pondering what I could say & what I feel about losing Stanley. Once again, words fail to convey. We hung out quite a bit in the waning days of the last "Golden Age" of derelicts & rock monkeys. I always thought his secret bivy arrangements were genius, & told him so. A fun and gentle man, though freaky & wild where appropriate. I'll miss you Bro.
I'm weary of losing my friends.....especially before their time.
Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Mar 26, 2014 - 08:07pm PT
Capt. Kirk, the bivy comment jogs my memory- if I remember correctly for a while he was bivying in his car, took the front seat out, and didn't he pull a car cover over the rig? No? Or was that my plan? I do remember he had a Datsun 510 wagon later on (being a 510 owner myself).
Yafer

Trad climber
Chatsworth, California
Mar 26, 2014 - 10:57pm PT
it could have been me or you...the price of the pinnacle of exhilaration...looking for that bigger rush of adrenaline. I understand. I know so many of the tribe that have gone over doing what we love...selfish bastards that we are..with the illusion of being invincible. See you over there Sean. Peace Yafer.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Mar 26, 2014 - 11:28pm PT
"I've been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I'm finally free.

I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.

You'll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I raise above . . . and I'll never know the same about you . . . your holiness or your kind of love.

And it makes me feel so sorry."
snakefoot

climber
cali
Mar 27, 2014 - 12:14am PT
the real deal
the real deal
Credit: snakefoot
fluffy

Trad climber
Colorado
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:05am PT
From today's Chronicle...see article for some great pics.

Extreme athlete from California dies in Utah base jump

Peter Fimrite

Sean Leary knew the dangers associated with climbing El Capitan or flying off a cliff in a wing suit, but like many extreme athletes, the excitement and freedom somehow made him feel more alive.

His pursuit of that intense adrenaline rush is what made him one of the country's greatest climbers and base jumpers.

It is also what killed him.

The body of Leary, 38, of El Portal in Mariposa County, was recovered Monday in the mountains of Zion National Park in Utah after he apparently clipped a rock outcropping during a base jump in a wing suit, which allows the jumper to steer through canyons before opening a parachute.

Friends said he had gone to Utah to work as a rigger and guide on a climbing film. On March 13, the day before the shoot, he decided to do a lone wing suit jump off West Temple formation in Zion a few hours after sunset with a bright moon above.

Dean Potter, his friend and climbing partner, said he apparently didn't see a notch in the mountain and clipped it at high speed, plummeting 100 feet down the mountain, where he was killed instantly.

Nobody knew he was missing until his wife, who is seven months pregnant, checked his e-mail and saw a message from the film company wondering why he hadn't shown up. Potter and eight others recovered his body Monday with help from a National Park Service search-and-rescue team.

His death sent shock waves through the Yosemite climbing community, where Leary was a hero not only for his climbing ability but for being humble and friendly.

"I'm just so terribly sad," said Nick Rosen, a friend and the producer at Sender Films, which specializes in documentaries about rock climbing and extreme sports. "It is hitting the community and Sean's friends so hard not only because he was one of the great unsung heroes, but because he was uniquely humble and caring and was just as incredible as a human being as he was as a climber."

A celebrated career
It was a tragic end to a celebrated career climbing some of the most daunting big walls and cliffs in the world.

Leary, who was known as "Stanley," and Potter set the speed record in 2010 climbing up the Nose route on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, an athletic feat that climbers characterize as roughly equivalent to sprinting a marathon.

The record was broken two years later by Hans Florine and Alex Honnold, but Leary continued pushing limits on the vertical granite walls of Yosemite. He set a speed record with Honnold on what is known as the Salathé Wall, another route on El Capitan. In 2012, he and Mayan Smith-Gobat set the mixed male-female speed record for the Nose.

Leary climbed on Baffin Island, Patagonia, and, with another climber, established a new never-before-been-climbed route on Ulvetanna in Antarctica.

Ironically, Leary began wing suit and base jumping in 2006 after the woman he loved, a Brazilian climber named Roberta Nunes, died in his arms after a car crash, also in Utah, according to Rosen, who made a film about it called "Patagonia Promise."

'Affirmation of life'
"Right before she died she made him promise her that he would keep pursing adventure," Rosen said. "He was really, really low and base jumping became this affirmation of life for him. He wing suited off of El Mocho, a peak in Patagonia, and scattered her ashes. It's really tragic because, in a very real way, he had since risen from the ashes and had found love again and was looking forward to family life."

After his record-setting climb with Potter, Leary said he understood the risks.

"There are definitely risks we are taking, but we are trying to be safety-conscious," Leary said. "No one wants to die doing it."

In a video by aerial filmmaker and photographer Chad Copeland, Leary described the feeling of the takeoff in a wing suit.

"There's a second of absolute freedom. You're floating in the air," Leary says. "It's just magic when the wing suit pops open and inflates and you start to take off. Then you feel like, this must be what birds see, you know?"

Potter, in a phone call Wednesday as he returned from Zion, said that he will miss his friend, whom he spent many hours with talking about life as they walked their dogs together.

A multifaceted man
"Sean was a combination of things - a professional athlete very much at the top of his game - but also a man who loved the peace he found in the mountains and the focused energy he found while pushing himself," Potter said. "All the friends dropped everything and came here to look for him when we found out he was missing. It's fitting that Sean was found by his friends."
velvet!

Trad climber
La Cochitaville
Mar 27, 2014 - 01:17pm PT
I can only echo the sentiments of everyone else in my interactions with Sean...

In 2011, Stanley was climbing the Nose for Sean Villanueva and Nico Favarese helping to rig/climb for the Belgium camera crew that was filming the badass Belgium duo's ascent...The day prior had been hot and long for them as they climbed and hauled all their crap to Dolt. With three climbers, two photogs, two portaledges and all the other assorted wall necessities, they had pretty much taken over Dolt Tower for their bivy.

Enter Chantel and I...it's 5AM and we are on a NIAD run trying to break the woman's speed record. I top out onto Dolt into the dark, I yell down to Chantel in a pathetic attempt at a wall whisper trying in vain not wake folks up, then begin digging through their piles of kit to find the water jug we had stashed days earlier.

Sean wakes up and, despite having had a long day and uncomfortably short bivy that night, is instantly stoked for us. He eagerly helps move their gear so I can get to the water all while giving us encouragement for the rest of the climb. When Chantel gets up there and I need to lower her but all the anchors are commandeered, Sean's immediately up again and helps brace me as I lower her off of my waist.

He had to have been exhausted and our NIAD time that day was a leisurely cruise compared to what he could do but he was so nice and supportive and excited for us - even as it interrupted his last few moments of precious rest.

Stanley, Sean, Nico and the Belgium film crew on Dolt. photo credit: T...
Stanley, Sean, Nico and the Belgium film crew on Dolt. photo credit: Tom Evans and the El Cap Report.
Credit: velvet!

Stanley really was the best of us.
Jesster

Sport climber
Amador
Mar 27, 2014 - 02:05pm PT
Via Erin's Facebook page (Sean's sister):

There is a memorial account set up for Mieka and the baby now.

Mountain America Credit Union
Sean "Stanley" Leary Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 9001
West Jordan, UT 84084

Thank you to everyone for their well wishes and amazing support for all of us.
saa

climber
Bleau, cham, pink granite coast
Mar 27, 2014 - 02:59pm PT
Rip.
Sh#t,

Mnkys r sndng.
Even in wingsuit.
Even in this moment.

Condoleances to all touched.


Sorry , this is not well formulated at all.

Sabine.
BrentA

Gym climber
Roca Rojo
Mar 27, 2014 - 03:10pm PT
You can feel the void Sean has left in this World.

I hope his unborn child can taste the passion Sean embodied.
Golden Jah to all whom are in pain.

I lived .75 orbits out from this level of Monkey.
Hearing the way he is described by those that knew/loved him gives me hope for humanity.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
Mar 27, 2014 - 05:08pm PT
Like others maybe, my exposure to him was that rip roaring solo ascent of Nutcracker with Cedar Wright featured in that Masters of Stone clip. Like unbridled hounds, those guys showed the magic and fun of the Yose trip.

As a new father, it hits home to hear Sean won't get to personally pass on his passion. I hope the best for his unborn baby and the mother who now carries precious cargo with a heavy heart. How sad.
mcd

Trad climber
Mar 27, 2014 - 09:32pm PT
Stanley cruising 5.12 up on the Warbird with Alex. Fifi buttress
Stanley cruising 5.12 up on the Warbird with Alex. Fifi buttress
Credit: Dan Mcdevitt
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Mar 27, 2014 - 10:32pm PT
I'm so incredibly sorry to hear about this. I was a very young climber in Tuolumne when Sean showed up in '98 working for the Mountain School and started crushing all the .12's I had been gaping at the summer before. I never knew him that well but his face and his presence are embedded in the fondest memories of my favorite time of my life. It's so ephemeral the life we live and the people that we may touch or be touched by. I am humbled by his life and his passing. My best to his family and his close friends of which there are clearly many.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:42pm PT
Sean "Stanley" Leary talks about his freedom.
http://vimeo.com/89884385
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:51pm PT
Having only been around this unbelievably massive, interconnected campfire for a relatively short time, I've been hesitant to post. But my heart wants to speak despite feeling shy.

To never have the opportunity to be in the presence of your dad...it's a journey through life without feeling the presence of his company, his ability to help you feel grounded, the sense of validation in seeing yourself in him, or him within you. There's no tap of common shared experiences or lessons to call to mind when the going gets impossible. No one who will likely know or understand you better than he could have, for better or for worse. It can, at times, be despairingly lonely when the world just doesn't seem to "get" why you are the way you are, and why you do the things you do...especially as it relates to answering that inner call to adventure or to simply following your curiosity wherever it may lead.

There are so many of you here with wonderful, detailed and heartfelt memories and stories -- what an incredible gift it would be to capture these moments in time and shared experiences, especially while they are still alive in your hearts and memories -- so that those who are now grieving, and the precious life about to be born, will be able to carry with them these treasured images in time as they move forward, and grow.

Don Lauria (unwittingly) set the course for me to "find" and get to know my dad through stories about him, which then led me to his friends. His friends are the very best reflection of him, and I find so much comfort in their presence now in my life.

Given all that has been shared with me by this community, from stories, to tears, to keepsakes, to pictures...to generous, warm, supportive friendship...I just wanted to share how meaningful, and unimaginably impactful these experiences have been for me, in the hope that the same will come to pass for Sean's loved ones.

He lives on in the lives of all those he touched.

My heartfelt wishes that Sean's loved ones will find peace, and one day again, joy, in the memories of being touched by such a beautiful soul.

Audrey
BLD

climber
Mar 28, 2014 - 12:00am PT
Audrey,

your post is absolutely incredible.

Thank you...
Tim Klein

Social climber
Palmdale, CA
Mar 28, 2014 - 12:20am PT
Words can't express the shock and sadness.
Sean's psych for others and life was quite remarkable and infectious.
After taking me up our last climb a couple of years ago, he insisted on hanging with my wife and two young boys at Upper Pines CG. Sean had always made comments of how he loved kids and wanted the joy of having one of his own someday. It's devastating to know that this dream will go unfulfilled. Many people spend a lifetime and never come close to exhibiting the generosity and benevolence that Sean demonstrated daily. There will be a distinct hole in The Valley.
Thoughts and Prayers go out to his wife, his family, and friends.
thebravecowboy

climber
Mar 28, 2014 - 12:33am PT
there is no price to be put upon pure inspiration. there is no price to be put upon perfection or beauty.


but we can subsidize that which we find worthy.

this is worthy.


the best part, well there's a lot of best parts, but the first best part

^this man is/was/will continue to be a bodhi^
James

climber
My twin brother's laundry room
Mar 28, 2014 - 02:16am PT
Stanley and I working on a free ascent of the West Face of the Leaning...
Stanley and I working on a free ascent of the West Face of the Leaning Tower. We spent a bit of time up there and then we both sent. He freed one of the 5.12 pitches in a white out snow storm. It was amazing!
Credit: James
I had a lot of fun adventures with Stanley. He was a good friend and a role model for me. I was in Zion for the search and body recovery. I spent a lot of time with his family. It was super intense. While bush whacking through cactus searching for his body, I cursed him for the spurs in my a*#. I loved him for allowing me meet his family and hear the stories of him nearly cutting his hand off with a wood splitter when he was 15, but through the past few days, I mostly just missed him. What a great person to have had in my life.
Jimmy Haden, Jonathan Thesenga, Dean Potter and I during the Zion SAR ...
Jimmy Haden, Jonathan Thesenga, Dean Potter and I during the Zion SAR of Stanley's body.
Credit: James


willstanhope

climber
Mar 28, 2014 - 05:37pm PT
Stanley was a legend in my eyes before I met him. His list of enchainments, speed records and hard climbs were spoken about around campfires in Yosemite California and Indian Creek Utah. He was just one of those guys that people spoke with a certain degree of reverence. In a climbing world full of people eager to be known and stand out, Stanley was a rare-breed: an incredibly talented climber dodging the limelight, doing his own thing.

Over the years I came to know him. I remember one dismal spring evening: slashing rain, arriving in Yosemite a little bit too early (April), without a spot to bivy. Stanley invited me and my friends to his spot in El Portal to avoid the prowling rangers.

Of course there’s the climbing: El Cap and Half Dome free in a day, 3 El Cap routes in a day, huge new routes all over the world. But most of all I will remember the kindness. I’ve crept to the edge of a huge cliff with him and Tim Emmett. I was bug-eyed and dry throated, hardly comprehending the magic trick that was about to take place. And Stanley, saying, “be careful Willy, stay back from the edge.” Fair enough, really- he had a parachute and I didn’t. But for years afterward I thought about that moment often. Stanley cared about his friends.

A few years ago I broke a couple bones in a climbing fall in England. Stanley went out of his way, along with Dean Potter, to hook me up with a health oil and supplement company to get me back on my feet again. At that time I was at a personal low-point. That gesture was huge for me.

I can’t remember where I read this Jim Bridwell quote exactly but I’ll try to paraphrase it here: “In the end, it doesn’t matter what routes you climbed. All that matters is how many people you helped along the way.” The climbs were inspiring, no doubt. But Sean’s thoughtful, caring nature is what I’ll remember most. Rest in peace, Sean.

Stanley and Leo stop in for a beer at the Falcon's Nest Bivy, after ra...
Stanley and Leo stop in for a beer at the Falcon's Nest Bivy, after racing up the Nose in October 2012.
Credit: willstanhope
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Mar 28, 2014 - 05:43pm PT
A beautiful tribute, Will.



MisterE

climber
Mar 28, 2014 - 06:06pm PT
So sorry to hear about this. Condolences to family and friends, especially the Yosemite climbing community.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 28, 2014 - 06:09pm PT
Several years ago during pre-production for a big hardback art book called the Yosemite Revolution, I worked with Sean on a story of breaking the Nose speed record with Dean Potter. Sean was so modest about the whole thing I had to nearly haul the words out of him. But when he finally buckled down the humanity in the man shined through clear and strong. Here is the piece.

NOSE SPEED RECORD
By SEAN LEARY

November 6, 2010. Dean Potter and I fidget, waiting for morning light to chase the shadows off El Capitan. Once we can see well enough to climb, we will race up the Nose route. For years we have bouldered together, slacklined and ranged around the Valley, but the Nose is the first time we’ve roped up for serious climbing. We’ve trained these last few weeks to try – amongst other things – to capture the blistering 2:37:05 speed record set in 2008 by Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine.

Dean is bare-chested, wears jeans hacked off below the knees and nervously rubs chalk up his arms, down his legs and over his feet. Stray white blotches fleck his face and chest, ghostly war paint glowing in the pre-dawn gloom. I compulsively sip water, pee, sip more water, and pee again. The intensity builds.

For going on twenty years, Dean has bested fear and conceptual boundaries, aiming his powerful energy stream onto bold, even superhuman feats. His near infinite focus and patience are easily felt this morning as he settles into a silent, jedi-like trance. Meanwhile I blab incessantly until Dean tells me in his big deep voice to concentrate on the Nose. My scattered thoughts slowly subside and my focus narrows to the granite wall soaring overhead. Breaking the speed record might be the upshot, but our motivation runs far deeper than competing with Yuji and Hans.

Mutual needs for friendship and intense physical trials have aimed us at El Capitan. We both are recovering from shattering losses, Dean from a recent divorce, me from losing my best friend in a car accident. Time has passed, but the energy and commitment we once enjoyed has returned slowly, often in fits and starts. Now, we both crave the experience of pushing our bodies and minds and collapsing time into a couple hours of perfection that has so far eluded us on the Nose. Our best shot at an emotional reset, at striking a new beginning, lies on this big grey rock.

Today is our fifth time climbing the route together. We know by heart most every handjam, foothold, and gear placement. As we wait, twitching in the twilight, we discuss our plan pitch by pitch and move for move. We’ve pared the rack down to within an inch of our lives, carrying nothing bigger than one inch – just enough to hopefully keep one or two pieces of protection clipped between us as we simul-climb The world’s most famous rock climb, bottom to top. Since we’ll mostly climb at maximum velocity, solid gear placements are critical.

During an earlier burn, Dean was seconding when he pulled on a poorly set cam. It ripped out and he plunged twenty feet to a tiny ledge. Adrenaline exploded through me as he windmilled his arms, toppling backward for a gigantic whipper that would likely have peeled us both off the rock and into terrifying freefall. I instinctively death-gripped the cord, fighting the pump, and somehow held Dean’s body weight. Dean scratched back into the crack and we pulled ourselves to the top. But we both were shaken by the close call, which drove home the seriousness of simul-climbing the Nose at record pace. A lot can happen in thirty-one pitches. Even in top shape with the route well- rehearsed, the record would never be certain till we both stood safely on the summit.

Finally we can see footholds and handholds. The route stretches above us in stunning golden glory. I’m poised, chalked and ready to launch off. Dean counts down the seconds on our stopwatch: 3,2,1, Go! And I’m off, scrabbling up the first slippery 5.10 pitch, climbing fast and as efficiently as possible. Ten minutes later I mantle onto Sickle ledge, five hundred feet off the deck.

Dean arrives in a few minutes and already I have burned off another one hundred and fifty feet. Fifteen minutes into this adventure, Dean is below me, ready to swing into pitch seven. As he weights the rope and starts to pendulum I frantically unclip the remaining rack from my harness and zip-line it down the cord. He quickly racks the gear, blasts off and I follow, effectively swappingleads. Now it’s Dean’s turn to detonate.

For the next half hour we dash up the flawless, straight-in splitter called The Stovelegs. Communication is critical. Dean shouts every time he clips decent gear. I tell him he’s on a good belay whenever he looks sketchy. Knowing we’re both protected and somewhat secure keeps the good energy flowing and helps us maintain speed as we throw hands and fists and kick our slippers into the crack, levering our way skyward.

Fifty-six minutes after leaving the ground, Dean nears the top of Boot Flake as I prepare for the King Swing, one of the famous maneuvers on the Nose. This marks our second change of gear and leader. The King Swing involves a running pendulum from right to left, gaining another crack system roughly eighty feet distant, which leads into the nebulous flinty diorite of the Grey Bands, up and out the Great Roof, then straight on through the upper dihedrals to the summit.

“Go, go, go! We’re at record pace!” Dean shouts as I finish the King Swing and pull onto a small ledge. One hour has passed and we feel hopeful so long as we can keep our momentum and nothing weird happens. A fall, small or large, dropped gear, a stuck rope, or anything short of flawless execution will cost us precious seconds and any shot at the record. This is both the challenge and allure of speed climbing. We seek the perfect lap, the most efficient blend of strategy, fitness, execution and luck. So far we’re doing well.

Breathing in controlled bursts, I pant up the Great Roof with tiring arms. Dean follows, still simul-climbing, till I pull up the slack and short fix at the two bolt anchor. He lowers out and jumars at speed as I launch up the spectacular Pancake Flake, an outrageously positioned, flapjack thin lieback with two thousand feet of High Sierra air plunging below. Luckily this pitch is relatively secure. I feel heroic and run out the entire lead, the slack in the rope arcing down and away in a giant loop, and I keep on chugging till the loop comes tight. Seconds later, Dean arrives at the belay and once again we’re off.

To capture the record we need to average five minutes per pitch, a torrid pace to hold for thirty-one-hundred vertical feet. Up here on the Big Stone, endurance trumps brute strength: no single move is harder than 5.11. Anything requiring more difficult free climbing we aid past, pulling through on gear. But now, after a couple thousand feet at quarter horse pace, 5.11 feels downright stout. To keep punching through the vertical jams and laybacks just above, after already sprinting for twenty some pitches, never pausing to rest, requires robust cardiovascular endurance. We breathe like typhoons the entire time. In our quest to shed needless weight, we have done away with extra clothing, food, even water, carrying only one packet of Gu apiece, which we never find time to squeeze down.

We switch leads a final time just above Camp 5, eight-hundred feet below the summit overhangs. Dean grabs the rack and casts off with a vengeance. Our form has gotten ragged since the Great Roof and we feel the seconds slipping away. So Dean turns on the afterburners and gasses up the final pitches, laybacking with giant reachy strides. I huff along behind, trying like mad to catch him. Climbing second, I will be last to top out, and we can’t stop the clock until I do. The quicker I follow, the more likely we are to set a new record.

We are close. I can feel it. “Five minutes!” Dean screams down, as I begin the second to last pitch, three-hundred feet below the summit. My limbs quiver. My lungs are on fire. A small voice deep says, “You’ll never make it. And so close. Maybe next time. Maybe not.”

I have to climb faster than two and a half minutes per pitch to break the record, and already I’m maxed, with cramping arms and Jello legs. For a split second I feel my focus ebb and my body relax in defeat, victim to that annoying voice telling me this is, in fact, just one more training lap. But we’re so close, and I want it so badly. I hate that little voice and channel the anger into a renewed frenzy. Breathing in great groaning half-screams, I karate chop hand jams into the crack as I paddle my feet hastily up the glassy wall. I no longer care about falling. And there’s no time for fear. With an ape-like grunt, I lunge through the last few free moves and swing up onto the final bolt ladder.

The last pitch of the Nose is a stunning headwall, leaning out over 3,000 breathtaking feet of space. The route spills into the void, vert upper corners arcing smoothly into the lower slab that sweeps out toward the forest and meadow below, appearing from this great height like the world’s scariest toboggan ride.

A line of bolts tackles this final bulge, originally ¼” Star Drives fitted with homemade hangers, hand drilled by Warren Harding in his legendary overnight summit lead on November 15, 1958. Today, November, 2010, bombproof ½’ stainless steel bolts have replaced the antique Star Drives. With the security of modern tackle, Dean and I aid our way through the bolts with nothing clipped between us except our daisy chains. Once again the rope hangs in a giant arcing loop as we dyno bolt to bolt up the slanting ladder.

I’m barely halfway through the pitch when Dean crests the summit.

The huge, free-hanging loop of rope between us starts furiously whizzing upward at ten feet per second as Dean scrambles over easy terrain to the top of the Nose. Fifty feet below I push through the fatigue despite my cramping arms and legs and sprint with all my might.

The route ends at a lone and scraggly pine where the technical climbing abruptly flattens to walking on the north rim. Until I tag the tree, precious seconds will tick away on the stopwatch. Breathing in spasmodic gasps, I yard past the final bolts on the 110 degree wall, claw onto the summit slab and half stumble, half run till l dive at the tree and collapse in a heaving tangle of rope and gear, ruined. “Time?” I wheeze.

Dean doesn’t answer for a few moments. I’m not sure if we have broken the record, but I am sure we’ve had our best lap so far. Finally, Dean gives me our time: 2:36:45. “We broke the record, but barely,” he says.

We have just climbed the Nose faster than any team in history, but we both feel strangely subdued. The perfect lap, that finely tuned medley of fitness, strategy, partnership and luck, still eludes us, although we trust that the flawless ascent we seek shimmers off in our future. We own the record, but the Nose is not done with us just yet.

As we kick down the East Ledges descent, we go over our mistakes and consider possible tactical adjustments for the next burn. Perfection is near, and as it approaches we find our energy and strength rekindled, slowly recovering our former selves, ever pulling through to new ground.

Like many before and the countless who should follow, we seek healing through the immense challenge found on the granite walls of Yosemite, moving at top speed toward the quiet stillness abiding in the heart of this amazing stone playground.
10b4me

Sport climber
www.tenbeephotography.com
Mar 28, 2014 - 07:03pm PT
thanks Will, and John.
WTF

climber
Mar 28, 2014 - 09:32pm PT
James that is one of the most powerful photos ever posted here. Intense beyond words.

Thanks for the shares folks.

Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Mar 28, 2014 - 09:51pm PT
Thanks for posting that, John....simply amazing.

May peace be found among the unfathomable grief....
karen roseme

Mountain climber
san diego
Mar 29, 2014 - 12:39am PT
Back in 2002 a bunch of friends and I decided to go to The Needles on an extended climbing trip. On the drive, Annie (Sean's girlfriend at the time) said that she was meeting a friend there and was going to climb with them the next day. Sean turned to me and asked "Karen do you want to climb tomorrow?" I said "Hell Yes!" even though I was secretly anxious about being able to keep up. I had been to The Needles before and it was pretty intimidating, it has the reputation of being a particularly wild and scary place.

In the morning we hiked in and started on Thin Ice an awesome three pitch route. It has a little of everything including a strenuous flaring V-slot. Then we headed over to The Don Juan Wall, a classic that is normally done in five pitches. Incredibly Sean did it in two! Next up was Atlantis, another area classic and a stout climb which he also did in two pitches. I think I took out 4 pieces of gear following the route.

.
While Sean was hiking these routes and I was doing my best to keep up, some of our friends were still arriving or climbing in the main gully. Everyone was hooting and yelling to each other across the gully as they watched Sean literally run up these very difficult routes. This just reinforced how exceptional a climber Sean was and how lucky I was to be sharing that day with him.

.
As if that wasn't a big enough day already, Sean then headed over to Scirocco, an unbelievable 5.12 on a spectacular arête. Go Stanley! Scirocco is mega 150 ft pitch. The bottom is strenuous and the upper arête is technical with very bold run outs between bolts... a very scary lead. I was psyched that Sean got the rope up there. By this time I was pretty cooked, I fell at the bottom but managed to do the spectacular voodoo moves on the arete while marveling at Sean's composure on the run out sections.



After Scirocco he still wasn't done. We headed over to Davy Jones' Locker, an amazing overhanging splitter hand crack to crimpy overhanging edges protected by a single small stopper. There was no chalk on the route at the time which made the crux section seem even more improbable. Sean launched into the final challenge. Our friend Micah was on a ledge with a great view of the climb shouting words of encouragement. Sean was doing a great job sticking with it, but it was really hard to tell which holds were good. All of a sudden he took a mighty whipper on the little stopper. Without hesitation he shook off the fall and went back up and easily finished the route. I had a hard time at the top but the rest of the route was amazing! Sean never failed to be encouraging. I felt like he wanted me to make it even more than I did. I can't remember a more fun day climbing and one where I was more inspired. Thinking back, I am amused realizing this was just a warm up day for him.


That night we hung out around the camp fire swapping stories with Micah, Amelia, Justin, Alan, Zach, Maria, Jose, Russ and Annie. We drank wine and ate food cooked in the coals by our crazy friend Heavy Duty who danced the night away to tunes coming out of Micah and Amelia's Techno-bago. In the morning there was a foot deep hole in the dirt made by his dancing feet.
I can still see all the happy faces around the fire. I am so sad that some of them are not with us anymore except in our hearts and our memories. We miss you Sean, Micah, and Jose.

I think this time in all of our lives was pretty amazing. Thank you Sean for an incredible day that I will always remember!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 29, 2014 - 01:10am PT
If we all could be so fortunate to have the love, respect, and admiration of so many.
These stories are a beautiful testament to an amazing life lived to the max.
Peace and solace to all those grieving this loss.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Mar 29, 2014 - 01:51am PT
Beautiful & well told story Karen, a great tribute to honor your friend.

Thanks to your great writing I felt like I was there, even though I've never been anywhere near the needles & I never was fortunate enough to meet Sean.

I have seen Hevy dance up a storm though, I actually see him all the time. I'll tell him u said hi :-)



Inspiring stuff.

Thanks.
karen roseme

Mountain climber
san diego
Mar 29, 2014 - 11:59am PT
Hi Ryan,
Please do say hi to Hevy for me! We had some great times. Also, please say hi to Justin for me too if he still lives there!
Thanks Karen
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 29, 2014 - 06:42pm PT
bump for more stories...
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Mar 30, 2014 - 02:29pm PT
There's a very well written tribute to Stanley, right now on the homepage of the LA Times.

http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-sean-leary-20140330,0,5124548,full.story
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 30, 2014 - 06:35pm PT
keep it among the most recent
10b4me

Sport climber
www.tenbeephotography.com
Mar 30, 2014 - 08:48pm PT
bump
ryankelly

Trad climber
el portal
Mar 30, 2014 - 09:37pm PT
Sean Leary - thank you for the inspiration, the laughing smile, and the incredible path you followed through this life. I will think of you often; when the wind flies over the Valley walls, when the birds rise into the perfect sky. When the climbing is so good that all life's distractions fade when held up to the exquisite beauty of moving among these granite walls. Your spirit sails on...
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Mar 30, 2014 - 09:45pm PT
hear here ryankelly.

there is that much good in a man,
and there are infinite, and more blessings
at our disposal among mountains.

but how do we pace our appetite for such amazing rituals
that entice into their terrifying, though warm embrace?

especially when competing for their's attention
are the hollow strides that entangle our wandering feet!

i love this about my mountain mates:
they encourage me to shut the f*#k up
and act out my life.

Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Mar 30, 2014 - 10:00pm PT
Stanley
The Big Wall Hammer
Gets the Job Done Right
At Home

-Coiler
What's the rest B.K?
Gobie

Trad climber
Northern, Ca.
Mar 31, 2014 - 11:51am PT
This is the first I have heard of this. My heart is broken. I first met Stanley (as we knew him) in the 90's when he and his brother (who later died in The High Sierra backcountry) came into my climbing store in Jackson, CA. Neither one of them had any really experience but both picked up on it quickly. So quickly in fact it wasnt long after that his mom came in and told me he was climbing on Baffin Island. I was both excited and jealous for him. It was a joy to watch him progress through the years and surpass anything I could ever have dreamed of him achieving. My thoughts are with his mother and family/friends who have to relive this tragedy in their household once again. He will selfishly be missed for what he had to offer all of us.
Ron Felton
Leo Gokovski

climber
AZ
Mar 31, 2014 - 01:34pm PT
Some time ago, I had frequented the valley every year, spending my entire summer there. For most of that time, it seemed that one could not help but hear about Stanley: "Stanley's fearless..." some dude mutters at the bridge, as Stanley and Potter run up the nose for the record. A few years later, Stanley and Honnold are climbing half dome... I hike with a friend who was dog sitting Sean's dog (if memory serves) in a thunder storm to get a closer look. They are high up as the thunder storm thickens, brewing above them.

I had never met Sean face to face, only observed his wake as he passed through. I find myself in mourning none the less.

My deepest condolences to family, friends, and members of the climbing and BASE community. We lost a truly remarkable human being.
Niels

climber
Denmark, formerly Sacramento
Mar 31, 2014 - 02:42pm PT
I worked with Sean during his first summer in Yosemite, in 1994. He wasn't Stanley yet. We worked in the bookstore next the the Visitors' Center. He was 19 and had just finished his first year at Humboldt.

I remember doing the Nutcracker with him. He got pissed at me for climbing too slow and for getting a nut stuck. About a week later, we were talking in the bookstore and he mentioned that he had gone back and soloed it. It was already kind of unreal how good he was. And he was very driven.

I haven't been in touch with him for a long time, but I've followed his career and really enjoyed the film of him and Dean Potter doing the speed ascent of the Nose. I was kind of surprised that he flew under the radar for so long because he was so good so early. But I suppose that's a credit to him, as others have noted here.

F*#k, BASE jumping is dangerous! The videos are beautiful, but....man, I'm sorry he's gone.
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 1, 2014 - 04:54pm PT
For those who havent' seen it, nice piece on Sean from the Los Angeles Times.

http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-sean-leary-20140330,0,6981230.story#axzz2xfXFyqdw
karen roseme

Mountain climber
san diego
Apr 1, 2014 - 08:45pm PT
There is a memorial account set up for Mieka and the baby now.

Mountain America Credit Union
Sean "Stanley" Leary Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 9001
West Jordan, UT 84084
(801) 280-1525
whitemeat

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Apr 2, 2014 - 06:53pm PT
I only got to meet him once... he was a very very cool guy and very nice to me and jaysen as we were freaking out over the fact that it was him.

well I am posting because I stumbled upon a great video of him called "patagonia promise"

enjoy...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd0tuOZPdzY#t=1417

steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Apr 2, 2014 - 07:06pm PT
I never knew him, but certainly heard of him over the years. From reading these post, he left his mark on many and will be missed. This is already a very tough year. A number of notable climbers/individuals have gone over to the other side. Sean Leary was obviously a very special human being.
bixquite

Social climber
humboldt nation
Apr 4, 2014 - 12:43am PT
Brother Sean,
climbing and camping with you and Reberta at the aretes was such a sweet time. All
the stars that shine across this vast universe lead me to believe in a path of brightness
and intension of good nature that is born and undying unyielding to darkness embers
set ablaze through the wind of time guiding those seeking solace in vast unknown. The embers
burn on Brother

Love to the Family
You are all beautiful
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Apr 4, 2014 - 01:38am PT
Sean, I've been avoiding all of this... it's been too emotional, too f*#ked up, man. I sure wish you would have taken me up on the Titan offer. It might have changed the outcome, maybe not, that one is messed up too. I've had some of the best times of my life with you. I helped persuade you to take up jumping/flying after Roberta died because I knew it would help your urge to take your own life. You were the most talented and humble friend I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and sharing adventure's with. I'll try and dig some photos and vids out to celebrate your life... right now it's still just too painful. F*#K!! BASE is the most amazing sport I've ever been a part of but hate it when it takes my friends. You were one of a kind bro! We all looked up to you in so many ways... that's it for now, brotha. It just hurts too much right now. We love you and what you represented. Big hugs bro!!
sac

Trad climber
Sun Coast B.C.
Apr 4, 2014 - 02:03am PT
The river still flows.

Much respect to all who knew Sean.

And for your/our loss.

I lost a good friend.

The river will still flow.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Apr 4, 2014 - 09:41am PT
this memorial, like all others
should have music,

Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Apr 4, 2014 - 01:36pm PT
Wow, that video that whitemeat posted on the previous page was beautiful. Very cool.

Ammon, very moving post. I wish there was something I could say, I am so sorry.

Per Norwegian's music idea:
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Apr 4, 2014 - 03:07pm PT
Praying for the lovers in the Valley of the Gun.
saa

climber
Bleau, cham, pink granite coast
Apr 10, 2014 - 01:17pm PT
Dear all,

Not sure i'm allowed to post here, considering the
greatness of those who have posted before.

But well, ... bump!


I met or perhaps saw Sean only once.
It was the spring after the NSR (Nose Speed Record 2010).
Sean and Dean sat with Dean (F- Bullwinckle) in front of the lodge.
(The yosemite lodge.)

Sean sort of glared at my tattoo,
walked back to the bench where we all sat.
Someone said "barbecue tonight". I gasped cause i could not make it to the bbq that evening.


Dean asked for the time and said "we still have time for Royal Arches."
"The barbecue yes, but after dark".
Obviously, this meant Dean and Sean were coming down from Royal Arches the fast way. The way of the still air, the way when the wind is none, the way
when you drop,live, and then open.

I never saw Sean in flight. But I saw Dean a few times - an experience that
will always remain close to my heart.

Bottom line-
Sean, way to go!
We are not meant to die of years of cancer,
we are not meant to do stupid jobs for money;
or teach math to pre-pubescent idiots.
We are meant to live the fullest.


And yes occasionally, we die.


So what?!?



hoooooooooooooooooooooot.


I hope the day I go will be like your day,
at full speed. I envy you Sean. No slowing down!

Love.

Sabine a. airieau.

ECF

Big Wall climber
The Frayed End of Insanity
Apr 10, 2014 - 04:51pm PT
Stanley was the finest human I ever met.
I never heard a single negative word cross his lips, ever.

Helpful and encouraging, and generous with his time.
A best supporting actor in the game.

He found glory in the mountains, and left it there, for others to enjoy. No need to harvest it.


There is much I am inclined to say,
words of anguish and pain.
To honor his memory, I shall refrain,
Be a better person, I shall start today.

Heisenberg

Trad climber
RV, middle of Nowehere
Apr 11, 2014 - 09:35pm PT
Any word on a celebration of life for Stanley?
Aaron Stireman

Gym climber
Siege tactics
Apr 12, 2014 - 02:36am PT
Humble words but the presence of a Master.
QITNL

climber
Apr 14, 2014 - 03:55am PT
Met a friend of Sean Leary on Sierra Point last weekend.





Nice to meet you.
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Apr 14, 2014 - 10:19am PT
I wish that I was in El Portal this weekend helping raise the yurt and a few toasts to Stanley. Cheers.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Apr 17, 2014 - 09:21pm PT
there was a beautiful memorial, on a beach, by the river, for sean last sunday. a stack of tears was shed there, as many people spoke eloquently about sean and their impressions. a lot of el portal natives shared stories, as well as some of his jumper friends. brian ketron led the charge on building a yurt that weekend that sean had bought a year or two earlier. complete with pergo floor. jimmy hayden anchored the memorial, and i admire his courage for doing that. it was clear from what was said there that sean leary was a magnificent and humble man who befriended many.

i said a few words about my fiftieth birthday party, where sean was the only person to meet me at red bud for a flood raging may 31st run on the merced. i got stuffed in a hole in the right side on nightmare island, but got flushed out soon enough and rolled. great adventures with stanly. we get to the south fork of the merced and my brother jay and his daughter, andrea hop on in there two person rubber ducky. we get to ned's, and it's flowing 7000 cfs now, and, upon scouting, andrea proclaims that it doesn't look to bad besides my urging to portage. we all make it through clean, except stanley, who has to do the bigtime roll in the huge waves of ned's gulch. so, were going to briceburg i think, and jay and andrea soon tip over and sean and i go after two persons, one boat, and two paddles, and we rescue everybody ok, this time. a mile later, they tip again and jay takes a long cold swim and i have to abandon the boat i am saving because jay cannot get to shore. finally i get him up, sean keeps an eye on andrea who swims to shore...and i am so thankful that i have sean to help me rescue my family from the torrent. and sean is as psyched as i to push for briceburg, but my hypothermic brother plays commons sense and we cross the river just downstream. thanks sean, for that adventure, and all the others we had. you were the awesomest, sincerely, steve schneider
ryankelly

Trad climber
el portal
Apr 22, 2014 - 11:45am PT
Here is a video of Sean and Dean helping their buddy Tony climb the Eiger and fly off:

http://vimeo.com/49885018
wallruss

Trad climber
cali
May 9, 2014 - 01:21am PT
Miss you bro
Heisenberg

Trad climber
RV, middle of Nowehere
May 16, 2014 - 02:06pm PT
I've delayed my reply. Partly for the longest time I wanted to believe it wasn't true. Its been a long time since I cried.

Stanley was an amazing spiritual and human being.

Humble, kind, generous with an infectous amount of energy. I met him shortly after he did 3 El Cap routes in 24 hours. He never offered the info and I had to pry it out of him.

Stanley, I honestly had the time of my life jumping with you. You were hard to keep up with (he was a cardio machine) and on that one 5th class section thanx for pushing my ass up the sketchy part. God, I almost shat my pants more on that than the jump itself. I still laugh at that moment in time.

You were and will continue to inspire those who knew you and those you were suppose to meet. I miss you and was hoping to see you this year. I'm sorry I wasn't able to connect with you before your last jump.

Thank you for the memories and kindess. You are one of a kind Stanley.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
May 19, 2014 - 11:57pm PT
A new climbing friend shared this with me today, and it reminded me of what so many have expressed here...

Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 20, 2014 - 03:27am PT
Thank you Lila.
James

climber
My twin brother's laundry room
Jun 5, 2014 - 08:37pm PT
Finn Stanley Leary entered the world at 2:55 am this morning, June 5th. Mieka and the baby are healthy and happy.

newborn Finn
newborn Finn
Credit: James
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, or In What Time Zone Am I?
Jun 5, 2014 - 08:40pm PT
Been waiting for this post.
BEAUTIFUL baby....
Life moves forward...

Susan
grover

climber
Northern Mexico
Jun 5, 2014 - 09:40pm PT

Thanks for the great news.

Welcome young Finn.

Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jun 5, 2014 - 10:01pm PT
Welcome Little One.
sullly

Gym climber
Jun 5, 2014 - 10:12pm PT
My son (now 18) has the same name. Here's the legend that goes with Finn/Fionn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fionn_mac_Cumhaill
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
Jun 5, 2014 - 10:16pm PT
Welcome to the world, Finn. Blessings all around you from your community.
dan wisey

Mountain climber
England
Jun 6, 2014 - 12:03pm PT
Welcome Finn, the world is yours to enjoy now.
fluffy

Trad climber
Colorado
Jun 6, 2014 - 01:43pm PT
Beautiful kid...what a bittersweet moment.

We're all here for you Jr.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jun 6, 2014 - 02:27pm PT
Welcome Finn, a beautiful reminder to always be in the present. Life moves so damn fast.
Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Jun 6, 2014 - 03:20pm PT
So cool!!! Hello Finn.
And I love that his middle name is Stanley. Yeah!

Thanks for posting this James.
Gene

climber
Jun 6, 2014 - 04:26pm PT
What a beautiful child!

Welcome, young one.

g
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 6, 2014 - 05:25pm PT
Thanks for that incredible post James.

Holy man-0-mighty.
Truthdweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA (stuck in Jersey)
Jul 6, 2014 - 12:36pm PT
Incredible video of Sean, et al, on The Last Great Climb. Glory to God for his death:

"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." - 1 Thessalonians 4:14.

"And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" - John 11:26.
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