For Chris

Sometimes the adventure of life comes to an unexpected end. Yesterday, a friend and kindred spirit embarked on the final adventure of life. An unexpected incident brought about an unexpected end while hiking.

Photo by Indy

Those of us that love and seek out the beauty of this wonderful universe know in our hearts that there is both risk and reward when we set out on the adventures that fulfill us. My friend Chris was no novice when it came to adventure. Over the years, he and I would discuss and exchange photos and stories from our adventures. Chris and I both loved solo hiking. We also loved introducing people to new experiences and locations. Often, that meant that he and I would spend more time saying "Ooo! Try this one!" or "Check this out!" than trying to wedge ourselves into a shared undertaking. Even so, we had planned on sharing in our more difficult challenges together. Chris was going to partner with me on some of the more difficult Colorado peaks for which he and I would both benefit from our combined experience, perspective, enthusiasm, and encouragement.

Life doesn't always go the way we expect. Sometimes that unpredictability can add a dose of fun and challenge. Other times it can amplify risk beyond control and skill. There's very little that I've written about regarding fear, risk and survival which Chris didn't already know. I remember his eagerness and interest in our discussions surrounding my articles of "Experience the Challenge" and "Panic, Luck, and Control". On the days where I'd be standing in my office, longing for an outdoor adventure, Chris would provide all of us with wonderful views of his adventures. Last weekend, Chris and I both happened to be sitting in our own solitude on two different peaks; miles apart, but still unified via technology in our appreciation of adventure.

A few days later, I sent Chris this article comparing Altitude and Latitude. I didn't know it would be our last exchange, but I'm glad it could be surrounding our mutual love and fascination with the mountains. I will never be able to share a journey with Chris, but I will remember his enthusiasm and thirst for adventure. I will strive to use that memory as kindling to keep that fire burning... for Chris.

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