Michael is a dear friend of mine. I’ve known him since Jorge (his dad) and I skied with him on our backs around the San Juans in his early years. That was his beginning and he’s carried on with great skill and style since his intro into the world of mountains so long ago. Michael’s account of his mountain experience doesn’t read as your typical chest thumping narrative but one with great humility, gratefulness and Buddhist loving kindness. Read with enthusiasm.
Jerry, thanks for sending on. Not only is he a great writer, but from what I hear a great skier. He took one of my grand sons on a day climb a couple years ago at Exum. We all watched him grow up at guides camp.
George’s son Michael really gets after it and like you said he remains humble and happy that he can do these great climbs on these Alaskan peaks. He is just like his parents and so at home in the mountains…
Seldom Seen Denny (Hogan)
Just finished Michael’s story. Beautiful piece of writing. Not sure what’s a bigger challenge, climbing a new route in AK or staring at a blank computer screen with a big, personal story to share. Where to begin, how to organize your thoughts about such conflicting and still emerging ideas? He’s got the creative gift and knows how to suffer. Two big advantages in life. He knows, like his Mom, Dad and ”extended family”- you better take a big bite out of life and let the juices run down your face.
“And then a head popped up from the backseat of the car. “No way, look at this storm! You can’t really learn these kind of skills in drivers’ ed.” My dad leaned forward awoken from an hours-long sleep in the backseat.”
“We don’t really need to be home tonight, do we?” he said. “What do you say we pull over and sleep in a snow cave or something?”
I can’t think of anything that better captures the wonderful, crazy, light hearted zaniness that was George Gardner. And Michael’s is the best piece of writing about friends and mountaineering I’ve read in decades. Bravo!!
Dr. Doug Rovira