I don't think I'll ever forget my first climb with you and GHAS. Remember
Memorial weekend of 1981 out to climb Distal Phalanx and Styloid. I enjoyed
my first ever Tyrolean traverse as we crossed Thunder Creek. As I recall you
crossed a small wet log jammed in the chasm about 12 feet above the roaring
creek and we belayed you, though it seemed more like fishing with live bait.
The hike up through the "burn" up and over downed trees with full
packs was glorious only in retrospect. At the time I was sure I would die
of exhaustion and only wished death would come soon. I recall your giving
me some words of wisdom and comfort for my weary body when we finally arrived
at our campsite that night. Always the eastern mystic, you asked me to visualize
my wife sucking my toes and all would be better.
In all seriousness, exploring the Cascades with you has been one of the great
joys of my life. Your fantastic knowledge of the terrain and history together
with the humor and camaraderie that we have shared up in the mountains is
something that I will never forget. I need to join you again soon for a trip.
Best wishes on your 60th. Hope you lose just a little of your endurance so
I can keep up.
Copyright 2004, John W. Roper.
All Rights Reserved.