I'm sure you would have given anything, to not have to written this. But it is a great tribute.
...that I never have to write something like this myself but that if I do, I do the person the same justice you have done to Brutus.
So raw from the heart, and a wonderful snapshot of your relationship with Bruce and Em. Peace to your soul, Dingus.
I know so little about my fellow climbers here on SP, their great adventures and of the friendships they develop along the way. Your story of your friendship with Brutus was a great tribute to one of our climbing brothers. Very heart-felt.
What a wonderful article and how beautifully you describe the man. Thank you Dingus. Bruce was one of the best we had among ourselves, both as a climber and a person. We all lost a bit of our youth with his passing, those incredible months and years of Sierra pursuits. What a loving tribute to the man. Thank you.
heartfelt words of those who had a closer association with Mister Brutus. I don't really care about losing my youth, because there's not a damn thing I can do about the passing of
time. Summitpost is like a window (in time) for me.
And, right now I'm tearing up, and the window is becoming foggy. Because, we're missing someone.
Fly high above thy cathedrals, Mister Brutus!
And ..... ENNjoy The Silence.
Thanks Dingus. Bruce will never be forgotten.
Ding, very wonderfully thought out tribute with perfect pictures to accompany. In addition to Bruce’s Family, I am sure all of us here on SP that live through the trip reports and pictures of the real climbers are as saddened as the rest of you. You brought this story of your relationship (and tears) into our homes through this site. I am so truly sorry for the loss of your companion, friend and climbing brother (EM, Dingus, Chief and the rest)
Thanks for this Dingus. You've inspired me to post here for the first time. I just returned from a 2 week road trip a few days ago to hear this sad news.
The nod - yes, the nod...
Bruce was a friend and I was privileged to have climbed with him just a bit.
A few memories..
I first met him in 1991 or 92. I was having an evening slideshow/BBQ at my place in Oakland after having done my first Wall - the Regular route on Half dome. I lived in a pretty sketchy neighborhood and Bruce showed up in front of my house asking "is this where the show is?" I said yeah and pointed to the backyard. He said something like "nice neighborhood" and I mentioned that it wasn't too bad as long as you're not bothered by the sound of gun play outside at night. He gave me that crazed - wild- animal look and opened up his coat to reveal large knife. I thought " who is this guy?" Is he a climber?
Well, over the next few years I came to realize just what I climber he was as I got to know him at the old City Rock gym in Berkeley, through rec.climbing and as we both became active with the Rock Rendezvous club.
We finally climbed together in the winter of '96. He had recently been getting into climbing ice and I was one of the few others in our group doing the same. We laid plans to do some ice together and as luck would have it the ephemeral Eeyore's Fantasy at Lover's Leap formed that year. (the steep ice/mixed version of the rock route Eeyore's ecstasy - " One sick donkey " as Bruce later referred to it ).
It was an excellent adventure for a couple of budding ice climbers and we had a great weekend climbing both on that route and on some short routes in the Eagle Lake cliffs area. Em was there too and while their relationship was in its very early stages it was obvious to me then that they were a great partnership.
Well - I moved off to Vermont and then Montana for my medical training and did not see them until 2003 when we reconnected on a Thanksgiving Red Rocks group outing. Soon after he and Em invited me along for an Alaska adventure - skiing and climbing in the Ruth Gorge. Like you, I did not feel worthy. As usual Bruce had all the logistics worked out and after an early spring weekend skiing ,drinking, eating, and organizing at their Tahoe place we headed off for our 2 week adventure in May.
My memories of that trip are a blur now. Lots of tent time. Gourmet meals -Brutus style - and lots of beer, amaretto and port wine in the megamid base camp tent as the snow fell. The conditions for climbing were poor but we did do a ski circumnavigation of Mt. Dickey - a beautiful trip in itself. I took that photo of him there in your post -with him in his yellow gortex suite at 747 pass- arms raised- a climbing diety ready to ascend into the alpine heavens of Mt Dickey. It's my favorite photo from that trip.
He and Em's remarkable relationship was so obvious on that trip that it made me miss my soon-to- be wife terribly. My biggest regret was the less than perfect (ok- at times, foul) mood I developed towards the end of the trip - I think partly from the lack of any "real climbing" but probably more from that ache of my woman's absence that was brought out by seeing the bond between him and Em. Bruce, as was his way, put up with my funk - with no fuss- smiling and being, well - just Bruce.
I last saw him when he and Em came up to here to Washington to attend my wedding that next fall.
I've done far too little climbing these past few years - now with a wife and 2 young children - it's easy to find reasons for this. But reading yours and others memories of Brutus here and of on Supertopo has made me think hard again about the place climbing and my climbing friends should have in my life - I need to make more time for them. That's a good thing- and one last gift from Bruce.
So thanks again Dingus. I've no doubt that Brutus is looking down on you and giving the nod.