Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hi All -
I am new to blogging, so hopefully set this up correctly. If anyone knows of something that should be enabled/disabled on the admin end, please let me know. To post a comment, click on "Comments" (even if it says 0) or the time of a post. It will take you to a separate page where you can post a comment, photo, etc. Why that comment box can't be on the homepage, I don't know...

My guess is that Chris probably hated blogs and blogging, but they do serve a purpose every now and then. I am not feeling very eloquent today, but was struck by a quote a friend of Chris' sent to Colin:

"I never have held death in contempt, though in the course of my explorations I have oftentimes felt that to meet one's fate on a noble mountain, or in the heart of a glacier, would be blessed as compared with death from disease, or from some shabby lowland accident. But the best death, quick and crystal-pure, set so glaringly open before us, is hard enough to face, even though we feel gratefully sure that we have already had happiness enough for a dozen lives."

— John Muir

7 comments:

  1. I immediately connected with Chris the first time I met him skiing Gash Point with Colin and Don. There was an energy in the air that day we skied fine snow and first started to get to know each other. Since then Chris and I shared numerous mountain adventures, and I was always impressed with his style: calm, deliberate, fun, and powerful. Conversation with Chris stole the miles away and we made long trips up Blodgett canyon, Borah Peak, Mill Point, Downing Mountain and others. I could not have asked for a steadier ski partner, egoless but eager, deep and impassioned. I looked forward to every trip together and the last one was amazing skiing Mount Borah together with Colin. We basked in the glow of that day for weeks, and its memory will shine forever for me.
    I felt near him last night as I lay awake in bed, saddened and feeling low. He told me to get on with my life and that he was okay. His spirit will stay with me, his style I will emulate, his smile so infectious and warm. He was a true friend and an amazing force, and I will miss growing older with him. The times I got to spend with Chris were among the best in my life. Camaraderie with mountain men like him made our lives so vibrant, intense and joyful. I was so glad to have met him and shared time with him doing what we loved doing together, skiing the mountains of the Northern Rockies.
    We had another common interest in chickens and found ourselves discussing the nuances of raising them and watching them and we enjoyed talking about their funny characters and quirky personalities. Chris loved being out in the country and when he first visited my place in Hamilton joked that he wanted to be my kid and come live there. He made me fell good no matter where we were or what we were doing.
    Skiing Lolo Peak was one of his favorite places to go. We all love it there and the view from the summit is truly grand. Lolo Peak dominates the southern viewshed from Missoula and will hold a sacred place in my heart. As I drive route 12 over to ski from Lolo Pass or kayak the Lochsa, I will look up at the Lantern Lake couloir and think of Chris. I will visit his final ski line next spring and remember him well. Without him life must go on, but it will not be the same.

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  2. Kimberly MaxwellJune 23, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    I just heard a song today from "Drag the River" the one verse simply said:
    "I want no one to shed a tear for me. I've lived life to the fullest and now I'm glory bound and in the morning I'll be gone"..... I like to think of Cal and Chris as angels, but really, there is no earthly word to describe who they are...kiss the skies..... now you can fly...I like to think of you as all around in the sun and stars, in the mountain air...in the next snow fall. Who would have thought you could touch so many people all at once...thanks for the fun and laughter and adventures and friendship...Lolo Peak...it holds a new meaning - what a beautiful place ...the first Chapter of the Lochsa Story is titled: "Over the hill, That's God's country...how appropriate! Love to Suzy, Rick, Mike and all who share a bond with the beutiful and blessed. I too look forward to my next trip to God's coutntry where angels get their wings

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  3. Kimberly MaxwellJune 23, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    I just heard a song today from "Drag the River" the one verse simply said:
    "I want no one to shed a tear for me. I've lived life to the fullest and now I'm glory bound and in the morning I'll be gone"..... I like to think of Cal and Chris as angels, but really, there is no earthly word to describe who they are...kiss the skies..... now you can fly...I like to think of you as all around in the sun and stars, in the mountain air...in the next snow fall. Who would have thought you could touch so many people all at once...thanks for the fun and laughter and adventures and friendship...Lolo Peak...it holds a new meaning - what a beautiful place ...the first Chapter of the Lochsa Story is titled: "Over the hill, That's God's country...how appropriate! Love to Suzy, Rick, Mike and all who share a bond with the beautiful and blessed. I too look forward to my next trip to God's country where angels get their wings

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  4. I depart as air I shake my white locks at the run away sun.

    I bequeath myself to the dirt, to grow from the grass I love; If you want me again, look for me under your boot soles.

    You will hardly know who I am or what I mean; But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,

    Missing me one place, search another; I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

    But until we meet again...
    Dance as if know one was watching,
    Sing as if no one were listening'
    And live every day as if it were your last.

    God Bless you Chris.

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  5. I knew Chris in passing I worked for a time @ St Pats saw him there, he always had a smile for me. I knew him best through his mother who spoke of him so lovingly, she was so proud of her boys and talked of them when ever she could. I share a locker with Susie and today like many days I looked @ my locker and saw photos of her and the boys and she had such a smile. I can not understand such tragedy, I only hope that I can provide the love and support that Susie and her family need. Chris has touched my life even though we did not really know each other. Thank you for the stories for wonderful trips that only the brave take.

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  6. To all of Chris's friends and family,

    Thank you for creating this community conversation. I find it is especially helpful as I write here in foggy San Francisco, far from my former Missoula home and kinship. Today I am appreciating all of the memories of Chris that have come flooding back to me over the past week.

    I have found that writing about Chris has been very therapeutic process. On the day of his memorial, I wanted to begin my message by sharing these words by Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918) from the Cannon of St. Paul's Cathedral, which I once read at my father's funeral service:

    Death is nothing at all.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    I am I and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other,
    that we still are.

    Call me by my old familiar name.
    Speak to me in the easy way
    which you always used.
    Put no difference in your tone.
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

    Laugh as we always laughed
    at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word
    that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without affect,
    without the trace of a shadow on it.

    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same that it ever was.
    There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind
    because I am out of sight?

    I am waiting for you,
    for an interval,
    somewhere very near,
    just around the corner.

    All is well.

    ---

    I have fond memories of laughing with Chris until my stomach was in knots. He had an infectious smile, as many of you have noted, and such a sweet, sweet soul. I skied with Chris and Colin on Lolo Peak during one of the first powdery snowfalls of the season in the fall of 2005. I will always be grateful for that day and for knowing a man who so genuinely walked his talk. I think I met Chris while trail running in the Rattlesnake. This initiated an uncanny pattern of running into one another all over Missoula’s network of trails. I was working on a documentary on the subject of roadkill at the time and he spoke passionately about peak oil. He walked everywhere, quietly and deliberately. Chris introduced me to the prolific music of Ryan Adams, chocolate cake baked with ruby red beets, the peace and solitude of walking to town along the trails that edge the banks of the Clark Fork River. He indeed smiled often and his was a genuine smile born of modest confidence and hopeful outlook, despite a sophisticated awareness of the
    challenges we face as a species. He was a wonderful listener too.

    Chris was as bright as a winter moon on a clear night, and as energetic as a long summer solstice day, yet he moved with humility and not a shred of pretense. I hope that Chris’s passing will inspire more of us to walk through this world the same way.

    Much love,
    Margot

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  7. There is a Zulu saying, umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu: ”A person is a person because of people.”  This phrase was explained to me as: we are who we are because of our relations with people. Perhaps this is never as obvious as when we lose someone who has made us who we are.

    When I think of Chris I am flooded with memories. I am also so angry and sad that it's hard to make the words come. Chris lived in quiet pursuit of the most real and true parts of life he could find. And he found them everywhere. Often in the mountains— running, biking, walking, skiing, hunting. But also gardening, cooking, listening to good music, engaging friends, and being so conscientious in caring for his patients at the hospital. Chris loved the Snowies and Judiths, Missions and Rattlesnake, all the mountains of Montana and many in British Columbia. My last message from Chris was about exploring the Sierras and the Lost River Range of Idaho. Chris would climb Jumbo by moonlight and walk through the North Hills for hours.
     
    Chris’ approach to life was attentive and unhurried. Fixing bikes, making pies, canning tomatoes, watering the garden, ascending a ridge. He did these with simple grace. He also appreciated putting back beers and playing pool at a Lewistown bar just as much as drinking tea and reading philosophy on the back porch.
     
    Meeting Chris, it is impossible not to be taken by him. You’d wonder what he was up to and think that it was probably something pretty damn good. And it usually was. We’re all lucky to have been a part of it.
     
    And now, losing him. The first hunting season after Cal’s death, Chris said that when he got an elk, he felt that Cal was with him. I hope that the ways Chris shaped all of us stay strong even though he’s not here. And that when we need him, he will find us. I miss you Chris.

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