I was not there when the accident happened. I only saw the picture of you moments before; guns blazing, wild smile, and an aura of a man completely in his element. I was there an hour later, waiting with the SAR team, helicopter blades thundering - sky turning dark... hope gone.
I watched the stars. I watched my friends. I watched the inside of my head. Complete loss for words or action. The night was calm and cold as I laid in the dirt, shivering and crying. It was still a beautiful night out, owls were calling and wind sang through the trees of Wyoming. After the SAR team left the canyon was quiet again. We combined at the camping spot and drank tequila until we puked, we told stories, we cried, we laughed, we praised you and tore you apart- we loved you.
Kevin, this letter is for you. You don't have to explain anything to me, I know - understand. The pull of the wild places and the vehicle of climbing to get us there is the substrate of our existence. I don't expect anything more or less. We have had close calls in Alaska, yet we continued to venture into the unknown- to us it was a part of living - and a part of transition from this life to the next. You don't need to explain - I get it. The hard part is picking up the pieces afterwards, trying to teach High School science with out breaking down. Trying to look at our friends in the eyes, trying to look at those who do not understand at all - just trying - trying pretty damn hard.
Kevin I love you, always will. We have had some formative times together, both in the hills and in the bars. We have shared so much of ourselves with each other. Know that you are loved, by many, many, many good people. You were a brilliant climber, a wonderful friend, a loving husband, a son to be proud of, a good man. I'll think of you every time I put my harness on, chalk my hands up, or stare at the rising sun in the early morning hours in the mountains - just like the morning when you passed on - guns blazing, wild smile, and an aura of a man completely in his element.
K-Bone we love you, best of luck,