USAKeller and TalusMonkey

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
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Postby Brad » Fri May 11, 2007 3:25 pm

I too would like to share my appreciation for your sharing with us; this event has moved me more than I ever would have imagined and I never had the fortune of meeting David.
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Postby stevepack » Sat May 12, 2007 10:19 am

Last edited by stevepack on Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby telehead » Sun May 13, 2007 6:39 am

I just wanted to take the time to express my condolences for the family and friends of David.

Never personally met him, but I've been on this site for years and could tell he was a kindred spirit.

Peace be with you David.
"Going where the wind don't blow so strange, maybe off on some high cold mountain chain"
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Postby stonepile » Sun May 13, 2007 9:24 am

I have been a visitor of this site for over 2 years. I have enjoyed reading everything that David had to say. Learning of this tragedy has made me finally register and express my sorrow. I never met David, but he was inspiration to me. I wish I could say more, but expressing myself is not something that I do.
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Postby jdsiro » Sun May 13, 2007 10:32 am

I am having trouble putting words to thoughts, but here goes:

I haven't been a member of this site very long, and I rarely post anything, but I read almost every new post and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about Talus Monkey's exploits. I've had a few problems with my pc lately, so I'm sorry to say that it was only this morning when I picked up the Denver Post and saw Talus Monkey and USAKeller's picture on the front page that I learned of what had happened. Had I known sooner, I'd have run off to the mountains to help fetch him down. I'd have done it with bare feet, if need be. I might not have known him personally, but since I'm a fellow climber and outdoorsman, that made him my brother. Caroline, I'll be keeping you in my prayers, as well as David's family. Thank you for sharing, and if there's anything I can do to help, please e-mail or call me.

"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.' In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong." ~ Job 1:20-22(ESV)
"Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." ~Isaiah 40:30-31 (ESV)
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Postby fabriziotarara » Sun May 13, 2007 10:41 am

After reading about this story today it is truly touching! The support that is shown in this community is heart warming. I wish all the friends and family of David's my condolences. heart and prayers go out to you in this time of need, thanks for sharing these memories.

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Postby Bullwinkle » Sun May 13, 2007 8:44 pm

My wife and I were planting trees with Humboldt and the Crestones in view as the final sequence of events played out with David. Our prayers went out and continue to go out for the two of you.

Exactly one year ago on our annual tree planting at our little ranch in Custer County I got a call that my father had suddenly and unexpectedly died while on a bike trip with friends. After the funeral, while organizing his affairs as executor, I found this clipping from Joseph Epstein with his belongings.

We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, or the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time or conditions of our death. But within all this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we shall live: courageously or in cowardice; honorably or dishonorably; with purpose or adrift. We decide what is important and what is trivial in life. We decide that what makes us significant is either what we do or what we refuse to do. But no matter how indifferent the universe may be to our choices and decisions, those decisions are ours to make. We decide. We choose. And as we decide and choose, so our lives are formed.

David lived a passionate and courageous life, and he imparted that to others. And so his life was formed.
As a mountain more fully reveals itself to a man, so the true nature of the man will be more fully revealed
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Postby kshiker » Mon May 14, 2007 6:34 am

USA Keller --

Even though I've never had the opportunity to meet either you or Talus Monkey, I always thoroughly enjoyed reading the trip reports you posted on your various climbs.

Since I live in Kansas and I'm not able to make the trip as often as I would like, I have yet to climb my first 14er. The main reason I have become so interested in experiencing the 14ers was the enthusiasm conveyed in your trip reports. I would always watch the Trip Reports section of to check and see when you both would post your next trip report.

Even though I never met him, I think I can speak for everyone on this site, it feels like I already knew him and always hoped I would bump into him one day on the mountain to tell him how much I enjoyed his posts on this website. Very sorry for your loss and please know that his family and you are in my prayers.
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Postby DSP » Mon May 14, 2007 8:01 am

It’s taken awhile to collect my thoughts on the loss of David, but here goes...

Growing up in Western PA, I was fortunate to spend a fair amount of time in the Rockies thanks to the fact that my dad was a school teacher, my mom was a traditional 1950s-style stay at home wife/mother and we took lengthy road trips every few years. Although I imagined I would live in Colorado when I grew up, I answered another calling and so have spent the past 25 years involved in the sport of auto racing (and only recently re-connected with my affinity for the mountains). Racing is a sport that has much in common with mountaineering in that it is highly individualistic, carries considerable risk and is widely misunderstood by outsiders.

Over the past 25 years, it’s been my privilege to know and work with some of the most fascinating, fiercely motivated people on the planet. But not without paying a terrible price. The names Scott Brayton, Jeff Krosnoff, Jovy Marcello, Greg Moore and Tony Renna may not resonate with many on this web site but, trust me, they do in my daily life and, at times, my dreams. Whenever a race driver dies, those he or she leaves behind struggle to come to grips -- much as regulars have since David’s accident -- with the loss of such a vital life-force. And to offer words and thoughts of comfort to their loved ones and, ultimately, themselves. Perhaps the most commonly expressed sentiment is “he died doing what he loved.” Noble enough, that misses the mark somewhat, in my opinion. More to the point, David LIVED doing what he loved. Think of how many people go through life on zombie-like cruise control, never finding -- let alone pursuing -- a consuming passion, one that gives meaning, and so value, to their lives.

The object of this exercise, it seems to me, is to live as fully and to do as much good as we can with whatever amount of time God or the fates allot us. Our heroes, after all, are not those who have merely lived long lives but those who have lived full lives, and have done much in whatever time they had whether, like Winston Churchill or Grandma Moses, they lived into their 90s, or like Martin Luther King, Pat Tillman or Greg Moore, they never saw their 40th birthday.

To David’s friends, family and to Caroline I offer my condolences and ask, gently, that they remind themselves David lived more in his 38 years than all too many would in 38 lifetimes.
Gray's Peak, Mt. Elbert, Quandary Peak
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Postby Brad Snider » Mon May 14, 2007 6:17 pm

Wow, after all this it seems that I could hardly add anything of value. This was truly a heart-wrenching story. My condolences and prayers go out to Caroline and to David's family.

It is hard to be a member of and not have read some of TalusMonkey's antics and stories. He truly is legend and I know he will not soon be forgotten, even by the hoards of us who never met him but "knew him virtually." He will always remain an inspiration! RIP TalusMonkey!
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Postby gsliva » Tue May 15, 2007 6:16 am

I read the trip report. Dam; he slipped healing into the slope. Could happen to anybody.
Live for the Climb and the search for commitment.
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Postby tragal » Tue May 15, 2007 6:47 am

That was exactly what I thought when I read the newspaper article. I have slipped, quite gracefully, into a glissade on snow, so I know how easily and quickly it can happen.

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