Pete Absolon killed in Wind River accident

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divad

Trad climber
wmass
Mar 30, 2010 - 07:53am PT
All the best to Pete's family and friends on his birthday.

Dave
Dick Danger

Trad climber
Lakewood, Colorado
Mar 30, 2010 - 09:06am PT
We miss you Pete. Happy birthday.

TW
Mary Absolon

climber
Edina, Minnesota
Aug 11, 2010 - 03:56am PT
Our Pete is in our hearts. We remember this day ~ August 11, 2007 as it is branded into our hearts forever.

We are well.

On July 4, 2010, we celebrated the wonderful wedding of Molly Absolon and Allen O'Bannon. Our families~The Armbrechts, O'Bannons and Absolons came
together as our intertwined lives melded together as none of us could have
ever imagined several years ago. We are so blessed that our Molly and Avery have Allen in their lives as are we. Two wonderful marriages!!! :-)

And the beat goes on....our Molly Herber through a NOLS alumni course
successfully summited Mt. Rainier this summer. Need I say more...

My Mom turns 80 this year and we have relished in the legacy of my Dad
at East Carolina School of Medicine's Historical Medical Library Karel Absolon collection-it is quite a wonderful contribution to our society.

I have read that unless we have pain in our lives we have not lived. We have all lived a ton and through those we love and care about, we are able to move on. We thank you for everything and for all days ahead.

Stay in touch as it warms our hearts!

Love and Friendship Always,

Mary Absolon
Pete's sister

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 11, 2010 - 04:27am PT
All my best to you all. I'm glad to see you were all able to heal and move on.I know from personal experience that is not easy to do.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 11, 2010 - 11:03am PT

Again, my condolences to Mary, Molly, and the rest of
Pete's family and friends. A sad day to remember.
david.k.dixon

Boulder climber
Greenville, SC
Sep 8, 2010 - 02:05pm PT
Dear Molly,

This forum post about Pete showed up in a search engine results when I was doing a Google search for my sister, Christine Dixon Vallevona, so I just learned about Pete's tragic accident three years ago.

Please know that you and your daughter are in my prayers. I am also happy for you that you are married again.

Christine had fond wonderful memories of the expedition you all took back in 1995 to Canada. I remember meeting you on at least two occasions, one in your rock climbing gym when Christine and I came by to visit in the summer of 1996. It seems that I met Pete as well on one of my visits to Lander, WY.

Bless you and your family and may you find comfort from all the outpouring of support from friends and family here.

All the best to you!

David Dixon


justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Nov 2, 2010 - 08:15am PT
Abby= Pathetic as#@&%e Spammer^^^

Disregard.
daendil

Sport climber
Indianapolis, IN
Nov 2, 2010 - 10:40am PT
Saw this bump, and though it's disppointing that a spammer hit the thread, I'm thankful to be reminded of Pete.

RIP, and all the best to Molly, Avery, and Pete's family.

Billy D
Molly A

Social climber
Lander
Nov 10, 2010 - 01:03pm PT
The weather is changing, winter is finally coming, and Avery is so tall and grown up. Life continues to move forward and away from the past. We are happy but miss Pete every day. Thanks for those who continue to hold a little bit of him in your hearts.

Molly Absolon
dirt claud

Sport climber
san diego,ca
Nov 10, 2010 - 02:23pm PT
Didn't know Pete, but he sounds like he was a great person. So sorry for your loss and glad to know that you are moving on in life and are happy. I'm sure if there is anything he would have wanted, it would be for you guys to continue living a happy life. God Bless.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 10, 2010 - 04:28pm PT
hey there say, molly.... me(after hearing of such family-losses)and just being a mom, i always pray for pete's daughter, though i never knew any of you... thank you for posting an update...

youth, is the seed that carrries on...
god bless to her future...
and your job of being her mentor, mom, and friend...

god bless...
Nate Furman

climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 10, 2010 - 04:44pm PT
Hi all,

I think about Pete often, and about Molly and Avery and all the community who misses him greatly. A year or so ago I journaled a bit about a climbing trip that Josh Beckner and I did in the Winds a year after his death. This seems like a good place to post it. Here it goes:

Josh Beckner and I cruised into the Winds on Saturday evening for 3 days of climbing. It was one of the best little climbing missions I've done. So damn hot! We climbed the NE Buttress of Pingora (IV, 5.9) on Sunday, Black Elk on Warbonnet (IV, 5.11a) on Monday, and the North Face, Left of Mt. Mitchell (III, 5.8) on Tuesday. Then we hiked out. Mucho tired.

The climb of Black Elk was especially significant. It was Pete Absolon's favorite climb in the Wind Rivers, one that he had done dozens of times. For Pete it was a walk in the park. He was a master of gettin' vertical, and although the Elk was a testpiece for many he could run laps on it. His death was one of the saddest moments I can remember. I found out after working a NOLS course in Idaho, and the moment is crystallized in my memory. Pete gone? That's all I could think about...Pete gone? No...

Pete's passing at NOLS left many with a hole in their life. For Josh and I, Pete filled the mentor role; not just a friend or someone to climb with up in Sinks, but an inspiration and role model. Josh and I were both climbing and mountaineering instructors at NOLS, and Pete represented the archetype that we wished we could be. In my eyes, he was one of the few that made the transition from "hard man" to "family man" without a problem. He incorporated the two different lifestyles into one seamless, beautiful poem.

The day we climbed Black Elk was the one-year anniversary of his death. We awoke to threatening weather; the clouds raced over our camp with great haste, and the previous night's storm was fresh on our mind. Getting out of the tent at 4:45 a.m., Josh and I stewed about in silence, going through the motions of getting ready for a climb, but only halfheartedly, as it seemed like an exercise in futility. We ate a little breakfast and had rounds of coffee. Our intended alpine start was clearly not going to happen, and put us at risk of climbing in the late afternoon, when the possibility of getting throttled by p.m. thunderstorms, high on the face of Warbonnet, seemed likely and incredibly not fun. In addition, we only had one rope, so rapping the face would be spendy and slow.

Prior to our trip into the Winds, Gary Cukjati, one of Pete's good friends and the Director of NOLS Rocky Mountain, asked if we could retrieve the gear cache that Pete had stashed under a large boulder near the base of Black Elk. We had vague directions, but when we saw the tremendous talus field that guards the approach to Warbonnet, it seemed like there were a million boulders where the cache could be located.

After stewing about until 7:30 in the morning, Beckner and I asked "What would Pete do?". The answer was simple. There wouldn't be a question in his mind. He would flash a mischievous grin and say "Get after it, buddy!".

We decided that we would search for the cache and hope that there was a rope in it. We racked, hiked up the talus and started the unlikely search for the needle in the haystack. It only took 5 minutes. Amazingly, the needle was deep under the second boulder we looked under.

There indeed was a rope. And some personal items; a jacket, climbing gear, a balaclava, some gloves, and well-worn climbing gear. We rummaged through it, savoring the sensation that we had found a bit of quicksilver, and imagined that this was part of the essence of Pete. This was Pete's stuff; looking though it felt like touching some part of him. It was melancholy; it was sad and inspiring; it left us speechless and wistful. We made eye contact and stared at each other in silence, each processing the mixture of emotions pouring into us.

We took the rope and finished the approach to the base. It was the only thing left to do, and Pete's spirit was clearly with us. As we tied in at the first belay, the sky conceded to high pressure and the clouds vanished. The climb went the same way that all great climbs do; it was challenging and spectacular. Cracks came and went, transitioning from size to size and from move to move. We thrutched and screamed up the off-width, Elvis-ed up the slabby sections with machine-gun leg, and flowed through the hands and fingers. The whole time, Josh and I relished the sensation of climbing as a threesome, Pete was with us the whole time.

May Pete live on in the memory of his loved ones.

Nate

neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 10, 2010 - 04:50pm PT
hey there say, nate.... oh my... as i said, i never knew pete, and this happened near about the time i first joined up here...

but--i have many dear buddies that i love... seeing you post this, broke my heart again, for you-all... and touched my heart, as to the few buddies that i have lost:

This was Pete's stuff; looking though it felt like touching some part of him. It was melancholy; it was sad and inspiring; it left us speechless and wistful. We made eye contact and stared at each other in silence, each processing the mixture of emotions pouring into us.

thanks for sharing this...
here's a salute to those that are gone from us, but never forgotten...
and here's to the surprise "traces" of them, that surface later, to
heal bathe the wounds...

god bless...
daendil

Sport climber
Indianapolis, IN
Nov 11, 2010 - 07:27am PT
Damn Nate...now I have tears in my eyes at my desk at work! Thanks so much for sharing that story. Simply beautiful.

~Billy D
Mary Absolon

climber
Edina, Minnesota
Feb 7, 2011 - 04:48pm PT
Hi Everyone~

Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience of my brother.

I miss him so much I could scream and laugh and just live my life to the fullest.

He lived life so wonderfully. It is his continued presence
with me and all of us that have made this possible.

Love always to my dear brother Pete,

Mary

Mary Absolon

climber
Edina, Minnesota
Mar 30, 2011 - 05:28am PT
Today would have been Pete's 51st birthday.

I am thinking of Pete....

I am glad Molly set up the NOLS Fund in Pete's honor.

I give to this fund today as so many others have knowing that
the NOLS instructors this fund supports will give to NOLS students
what my dear brother also gave to NOLS students.

With Love,

Mary
Sister of Pete Absolon

Social climber
Edina, Minnesota
Aug 10, 2011 - 05:34pm PT
Hi Climbers~

What would Pete do or say if he was saddled with living the loss of such
a dear brother, friend, Dad and husband....

Get on with it...live your life....and so we do...with gusto!

Avery turns 11 in September.

Molly and Allen just celebrated their first wedding anniversary.

Pete has been our angel for 4 years...

And for this sister....well..."See ya later"...

In Peace and Love,

Mary
August 11, 2011
Thinking of Pete on this 4th anniversary...
daendil

Sport climber
Indianapolis, IN
Aug 11, 2011 - 10:11am PT
Thank you for the reminder - I think of Pete often and I always say a prayer for the family whenever I visit Sinks Canyon. It's good to hear that you all continue to live life with passion while preserving Pete's memory!
Liz Tuohy

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Aug 30, 2011 - 10:34pm PT
I haven't read this in years. Pete, I love you buddy. You still are part of us. So grateful.

Crap.

And a smile.

Liz
Sister of Pete Absolon

Social climber
Edina, Minnesota
Nov 25, 2011 - 08:09pm PT
Hi Everyone~

It is Thanksgiving season...the holidays remind me of family and friends so naturally I think of my brother Pete.

I thought of his smile and the twinkle in his eye.

I thought of his funny grin...

I thought of him doing pull ups at home as a high schooler in the garage on a swing he made up-one his nephew Lucas is now using to develop his 15 year old muscles.

I thought of the deep sadness I feel with his loss...I don't like being that sad..I know you all know what I'm talking about.

I thought of the deep joy when Avery said to me this past summer,
"Pete is my Dad, Allen is MY Allen, he is my Allen." How lucky can a daughter be to have both a "Pete and an Allen" in their lives!

I thought of the adventures that lay ahead and our lives and how we live each day and how I hear clearer the hearts of those around me because of the ache my heart experiences with such a loss.

I thought how satisfied I am with just where things are at and how thankful
we have such love, laughter and caring in our world.

And we are thankful that our Mom will be 81 this November ...she is a rock....she is a Mom...she loved our Pete so much....

So with this message in Thanksgiving to those who should read this blog....

Much Love,

Mary

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