Before we turn the page on another year and start the clock again afresh in 2017, I wanted to take a moment to remember some of the hiking friends that I lost this year. While my memories of them still remain fresh and vivid, they will be missed by those who walked with them in the hills.
If you’d like to mention a hiking friend you’ve lost this year, please leave a remembrance in a comment below.
I first met Jane outside of Fort Augustus in Scotland as we searched for the start of the track over the Corrieyairack Pass. She lent me some gas that night to cook a beef stew at the bothy. She was a hard charging, gruff, suffer no fools kind of person, but she had a soft spot if you spent some time getting to know her. She could cuss like a sailor and drink like one too, but was a dependable companion in fair weather and foul.
Rick was a bushwhacko, one my off-trail hiking companions in New Hampshire. A quiet man, he was a skilled outdoorsman and navigator, with a wry sense of humor that would peak out when you were least expecting it. When Rick was along, you always knew he had your back…the best kind of hiking companion.
Graham was another dear friend I met hiking in Scotland on the 2010 TGO and we kept in touch by email afterwards. We first met in the mist on the way to Lochnagar and walked a few days together on the way to the coast.
I can remember standing in ankle-deep ice-melt marveling at the fact that all his gear was from REI, despite the fact that he lived in the UK. Graham was very keen on practicing his pacing navigation skills when we met, dragging me around the gullies of Tarfside looking for the bothy. We met again on the 2013 Challenge when he crossed with his partner Tina. I feel his loss deeply still. He understood my desire to learn new things, something which cemented our bond as friends.