A key word search through Lizard's on-line mountaineering journal reveals
only eight "Roper" entries between November 8, 1981 and January 13, 1991 ;
although I suspect there were a few more trips where the Bulgers and the former
Himelfartskommando crossed paths. Without a doubt, the most memorable "crossing" occurred
along the Chelan Crest in the spring of 1984 when an out of control snowshoeing
Rhino cut across the front of Lizard's skis, breaking the tip off his precious
Bushwackers. The terse journal entry hardly does justice to the trauma of
May 26-28, 1984 Chelan Crest Ski Tour, WNF: Get Gray, Tuckaway,
and Battle Mtns before exiting via Blue Grouse Basin .
Roper breaks my Bushwackers. RIP: March 9, 1974 - May
28, 1984 .
To John's credit, the Lizard did receive nominal payment for his fully depreciated
equipment - a small sum that hardly compensated for the emotional loss incurred.
Other entries include joint ascents of Mt Thompson, Loomis Mountain, Mt Margaret,
and a failed winter ascent of Prairie Mountain near Stampede Pass, where only
Rus Kroeker went on to the summit. That climb is best remembered for Rus's
rescue by a fleet of snowmobilers sent out to find our lost companion. As
I recall, Rus made the trip wearing his business suit!
I believe our last trip together was another "mixed mode" adventure where
everyone but John was on mountain bikes. Lizard was leading a winter bike
mountaineering trip to Taylor Mountain for the Boeing Alpine Club. John tagged
along on foot, interested in the new route I had recently discovered. Unfortunately
the trip went rather poorly. Lizard got lost enroute, and the weather turned
nasty - freezing rain and wind. Our escape route was via a long road that
left our plodding pedestrian at a great disadvantage. Interestingly, not one
of the dozen participants of that trip ever went on a repeat ride with the
Doctor John has enjoyed a long and prolific mountaineering career that puts
him at the forefront of North Cascade adventurers, along with Fred Beckey
and a few others. As a goal-oriented climber, fixated on climbing lists, he
is without peer. He also stands out as a fine writer with a knack for witty
and sometimes absurd names - but most importantly, John Roper is valued as
a good friend. May he and his family enjoy the mountains forever!
With Best Regards on your 60th Birthday,
John Lixvar, Lizard the Shockwave Rider
4 January 2004
Copyright 2004, John W. Roper.
All Rights Reserved.