Mike Strassman... bad news


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Justin Black

Mountain climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 4, 2007 - 02:20am PT
Mike Strassman was found dead in his trailer in Lone Pine a couple of days ago. The cause of death is unknown or hasn't been released at this point. I heard that his dog was found dead with him, which suggests something like carbon monoxide poisoning, but who knows. May he rest in peace.

chico ca
Jul 4, 2007 - 02:25am PT
Bad news....Sad news..

Blava nie, ty kokot!
Jul 4, 2007 - 02:55am PT
Shít! :-(
Standing Strong

Trad climber
don't u worry 'bout a thang, baby
Jul 4, 2007 - 02:56am PT
oh my god.
Standing Strong

Trad climber
don't u worry 'bout a thang, baby
Jul 4, 2007 - 03:00am PT
oh my god. i feel terrible. we had talked on the phone a few times.

he told me i was "wise beyond my years".

i was going to climb with him but i felt uncomfortable going all the way to bishop to climb with an older single man by myself; he was having lots of troubles. i never did go climb w/him. i could have just been a friend. i feel awful.

mike, i'm sorry. i hope you feel better now.

Las Vegas
Jul 4, 2007 - 03:07am PT
How very sad RIP

Trad climber
Durango, CO
Jul 4, 2007 - 04:21am PT
That sucks! May he RIP.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 4, 2007 - 07:50am PT
So sorry to hear this;.I met Mike in Zion years ago, and I have done many of his routes on the East side.....Rest in peace, Mike.

Truckee, CA
Jul 4, 2007 - 08:57am PT
Oh No. This totally sucks. He was well loved by many.
I got to know him 20 years ago when he filmed my then 4 yr. old son for "Moving Over Stone" one of the first ever climbing videos. Often saw him on the East Side, working on his numerous new routes in the Owens Gorge, or at his Range of Light studio in Crowley. Just last month he gave us some of his original music for our student "Life or Meth" film project. It is going to be sad and poignant to be touring schools with this film next semester and hearing his voice singing the song "sorry ass tweaker" a kind of dirge/rap dark and humorous and very effective with the scary message of the film.

I cannot remember a time I encountered him when he was not high energy, driven, with a big smile and contagious humor.

RIP my friend, may your spirit soar up those new routes you were always seeking.


Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jul 4, 2007 - 09:31am PT
Peter, you never answered my email asking about Mike last month. I used 3 photos of him in the short show I gave at climbfest.
Since getting the news about Greg Smith 22 months ago life has been virtually little more than a series of disasterous reports about partners from back in the day. Its enough to make one dread to pick up the mail or read the taco.
Mike still had family as I recall. So sad for them.

I'll see if I can manage to post a photo.

Truckee, CA
Jul 4, 2007 - 09:56am PT
I'm with you Ron. I found this forum a year ago when Jeff Schoen left us. Amongst some good humor and connectedness, over this past thirteen months ST has all too often served as the instant hotline for desseminating and engaging an overabundance of sad news about old friends.

Hey everyone, check your knot, use good gear, and keep your mind and heart aimed toward the light.

Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jul 4, 2007 - 10:26am PT
I didn't know him (I may have met him years ago), but RIP.
Mike Strassman's Sister

Jul 4, 2007 - 10:36am PT
Hi all,

I am Mike's sister, Debra Cowan. Thanks to Blinny for alerting me to the forum.

Thank you all for your wonderful, kind words about my brother. He was an amazing man and also one of the most creative and talented I have ever known. It's a huge comfort to us that he was so well-regarded by the climbing community. I will miss him terribly.

We don't know the details about Mike's death, but Drake, his dog is alive and will be living in Crowley Lake with Mike's ex-wife, Jackie. My brothers and I will probably be coming to Lone Pine in August to go through Mike's possessions.

We have not made any plans as of yet, but if we decide to set up a memorial fund or anything like that we'll let you know. If anyone wants to get in touch with the Strassman family, you can go to my website at www.DebraCowan.com and contact me through that.

Thanks to you all that knew Mike and for being his brothers and sisters up on the rocks. He certainly was happiest when he was hanging on by the ropes, fingers and toes.

Debra Cowan

Boulder climber
Bishop, CA
Jul 4, 2007 - 11:20am PT
Oh Man. WTF?

I hadn't seen Mike for years till last week. He gave me a big hug, told me he had moved to Rovana and was working at the local cable company. Said he was putting together a new editing bay, and seemed in pretty good spirits.

I worked with Mike off and on for years as an editor for his production company. Mike was one-of-a-kind. He was extremely creative and intelligent, and more motivated than anyone I know when it came to putting up routes. I'm sure he's pioneered thousands of lines in the Owens and the Sierra alone, not to mention loads of stuff in Arizona. Mike was passionate about climbing and adventures.

He was also a legendary entertainer. A Strassman party was not something to miss. Anyone who's attended one of these events will know what I mean.


chico ca
Jul 4, 2007 - 11:28am PT
Deb, Are you the Debra Cowan, that used to live in Chico?
Either way, I'm so sorry to here about your brother dying. ;-(

Trad climber
the blighted lands of hatu
Jul 4, 2007 - 11:36am PT
My deepest condolences to the family and friends - I wish I could offer more then just words. This is very sad.


"Hey everyone, check your knot, use good gear, and keep your mind and heart aimed toward the light."

Yes indeed. Many Thanks, and You Too.

Jul 4, 2007 - 12:27pm PT
Wow, what a bummer, he was a way cool dude. A climber to the core, at home in the Sierra.
Mike Strassman's Sister

Jul 4, 2007 - 12:31pm PT
Hi Nita,

Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I am the Debra Cowan that used to live in Chico.


Trad climber
Hell A
Jul 4, 2007 - 12:39pm PT
My condolences to Debra, and Mike's other relatives, and friends.
sorry to hear this.

The Eye of the Snail
Jul 4, 2007 - 12:45pm PT
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