Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Good Bye Dear Friend

One of the first, if not the first, friend we made in Nelson passed away yesterday – too young and with too much still to achieve in life. Kim was a tireless mountaineer and environmentalist. He had climbed more mountains in the Kootenays than anyone else I know (or can think of), had been up more valleys and explored more ridge-lines. No mountain was too big, too small, too inconsequential or too far. 

Along with his love of mountains came a love of wild places. For almost 20 years Kim was at the forefront of the Save Jumbo fight. Many other people would have been worn down by the two decades fighting big business in a struggle reminiscent of David and Goliath, but not Kim. After 20 years, he still spoke passionately for keeping Jumbo Wild and was involved in the Jumbo Wild movement right until the end.

Kim and Janice on Keystone Mountain

One of the most extraordinary things about Kim was his prolific and complete notes on all the mountain trips he had done including road access details, route details, weather, times, companions and more. His recall of his trips, which must have numbered in the thousands as Kim was out most days, was incredible. He could literally recite mountain heights and route details from memory and only occasionally had to check his extensive route notes. We used to joke that Kim could remember every detail about every mountain he had climbed but not where he put the car keys.

His passing leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his family, his many friends, and the community as a whole. When you remember Kim, as surely everyone who was privileged to know him must, remember him in his beloved West Kootenays, wandering along an alpine ridge with the world spread at his feet on his way to yet another glorious summit.

Climb on, dear friend. 

Kim taking a break in meadows near Ben Hur Lake
after climbing Caribou Ridge 

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