Wednesday, April 29, 2009

John Evans a Denali Diamond

Just heard this evening that John Evans from North Wales died in a slip yesterday while descending from a days cragging with friends. I didn't know John that well having only met him a couple of times out in Alaska but the brief time I spent with him is well remembered. John dedicated a large part of his life helping others through mountain rescue, here in the UK for Ogwen Mountain Recsue (he was a team member for 36 years) and for a large part of the last decade assisting the Denali national park rescue out in Alaska.

One little story which I think says a lot about the man was when Kenton Cool and I after a 5 day battle making the second ascent of the Denali Diamond staggered down towards the 14,000ft camp. It was past midnight and we had little expectation other than having being able to collapse into our frozen crisp packet sleeping bags inside our broken miniature tent. Instead we were met on the edge of the camp by this big bear of a man with a beaming grin. Who shepherded us into the Rangers camp where we were plied with food and drink and then shown to a tent with great 5 season down sleeping bags waiting for us. John mentioned that he had been tracking us through his telescope. For me in the exhausted state I was in at the time it was like being welcomed through the pearly gates to my personal fluffy cloud. Looking back it seems typical from what Ive read of John's professionalism, his generosity and also his joy at sharing in our adventure.

My condolences go out to his family and friends. There is an obituary on the Ogwen Mountain Rescue website


Sam Chewning said...

For the past 2 decades I have had the great honor of walking and working with John in the US, UK, and Europe. Only 10 days ago I was talking with him and now he is gone. There is a new hole in me, and I am sure for it is so for many others, that may never completely be healed. John, we will miss you. To your family, thank you for sharing him with us. May a prayer for peace be with you in these hours.

Sam Chewning- North Carolina, USA

Mark Handford said...

Johns death has hit those who knew him very hard. Its a tragic shock to lose a friend in such a way.
I will miss him.

Mark Handford

Anonymous said...

Today, May 7th 2009, we celebrate Johns life. To quote a fellow team member, Pauline, we release him back to the mountains he loved.
I Climbed, walked, drank and taught with John an it is a great los to many people.
Today will be a hard day in Wales.

Russ Hore - Ogwen Valley MRT