John honored my family with an invitation to join him on his 2,000th
summit. It was a great experience. We all enjoyed the hike and the mini-celebration.
It wasn't exactly K2, but it did afford some awesome views of Enumclaw.
I also had the unique opportunity to climb Mt Ararat and Copper Mt with
him. Being new to this whole deal, I sort of cut my own path and
got ahead of him at one point on Copper. Unfortunately, I grabbed a few
that I thought were well anchored, only to find that they were set loose
top soil. While I was fortunate enough to latch onto some roots and branches
to halt my fall, the rocks I disturbed tumbled down the slope
at a high rate of speed, bouncing unpredictably, but nonetheless
straight for John. I was so stunned at the image of the rocks speeding
toward my partner that I was almost speechless. At about the time he discovered
the impending danger, I squeaked out "FOUR" (I did not
know the official terminology), and then "I'm sorry!" John moved with
the speed and agility of a mountain goat to avoid the deadly objects. As
always, he reacted with grace and good humor. No harm, no foul. But, then
again, that was the last invitation I received to climb with him--his survival
instinct is strong, I suppose.
Copyright 2004, John W. Roper.
All Rights Reserved.