Saturday, June 13, 2009
Remembering "Brutus of Wyde"
"They seek those moments when time stands still.
The catalysts are as varied as the individuals who pursue this path: a meteor shower; a night sky so star-filled that it snatches your breath; another rise of the sun over distant mountains vast and untouchable; dodging a rock careening crazily down a gully; a desperate icy struggle through whiteout and ground blizzard down to the safety of camp after an unsuccessful summit attempt; standing atop a mountain with a friend, the whole world at your feet, a blinding sun blazing out of a flawless sky, taking the time to watch that sun dip below the horizon even though camp is still many miles and many thousands of feet distant; stumbling over boulders and through brush in the darkness; watching the starlight and the storm wrest for possession of the night sky, seated on a narrow ledge beside your rope-mate with only the clothes on your back for shelter, shivering the night away, knowing that, sometime in a distant place you cannot now touch, the world will once again grow bright, the sun will rise, and you will look out on the infant day with new eyes."
These words were written by Bruce Bidner, a dedicated Sierra climber, friend, and brother through bond of the rope. He was an eloquent writer, capable of touching the very heart of any experience, who inspired a generation of climbers. I had the fortune to photograph him on El Capitan a few years ago. Bruce was killed in his car last night, en-route to another fine adventure. My words utterly fail to express the sadness.
Rest in peace my friend.