It’s not often the untimely death that sometimes finds those that use the mountains as their playground hits home in the rock climbing community, but unfortunately that is exactly what has happened with the recent passing of Micah Dash, Jonny Copp and Wade Johnson. As you have no doubt heard, the trio were likely killed by an avalanche while attempting a climb on Mt. Edgar in the Western Siuchan Province, China. The Adventure Film Festival blog has been a great resource for news and touching stories throughout this entire ordeal and I highly recommend checking it out for the full story.
While I never met Jonny Copp or Wade Johnson, I did have the good fortune of meeting Micah Dash on a couple of occasions. My first introduction to Micah was at the local climbing gym when he came in early 2008 to give a slide show about his recent ascent of the Shafat Fortress with Jonny Copp.
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As you can read in my report at the time, I was immediately taken by his enthusiasm and charisma.
I ran into Micah again this past February when we were in Boulder for ABS Nationals, and he reiterated his desire to come visit our gym again to share stories about his upcoming trip to China. Both Mrs. Narc and I were looking forward to seeing Micah again and the fact that this will never happen has touched both of us despite only meeting him briefly. As you read all the stories on this unfortunate accident from around the internet I think you will find that these three guys have touched countless people in a similar way.
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Our thoughts are with the friends and families as they deal with this incredibly tough time.
I’ll leave you with this essay I found while paging through one of my mountaineering books the other day:
Mountaineers climb because they love the mountains, yes; but they climb too because climbing prepares them boldly and tenaciously for death, then guides them faithfully to the edge of another world, a world I now recognize as the world of the dead, and there allows them to dance, mountain after mountain, year after year, as close to death as it is possible to dance; which is to say, within a single step.
“The Mountain of Love and Death” from Mountains of the Great Blue Dream by Robert Leonard Reid
I helped LaSportiva and Micah promote the slide show tour where you met Micah. We worked together for a few weeks and you are absolutely correct – his love for life and charisma helped make everyone happier. He will be sorely missed. Jeremy Collins said it better than anyone. Here’s his letter:
beautiful essay and beautiful post.
my thoughts are with all who have been touched by these inspiring men.
I just found out from my mother about 20 minutes ago about Micah. Micah Dash was my next door neighbor in Tarzana, California until he was about 10 or 11 years old.
He used to play with my little brother and the neighborhood kids on the cal de-sac. Micah and his father and my brother and father would go camping in the Sierras. He was an adorable kid with a lot of spirit. This is what I remember.
Then he moved with his family to Lancaster. We attended his bar mitvah. My father especially was very close over the years with Micah’s father Eric. This is very devastating news. And we send our prayers to his father and mother, Anita. We are thinking of you at this difficult time.
Thanks for stopping by to share your story about Micah. I really appreciate it.
Wade Johnson, local Minnesotan:
Speaking for myself as Jonny’s uncle I would like to thank all for the support and love that has been extended to his family. This is a time of great loss for all of us. Jonny loved what he did and always was on the lookout for the next big one, he was also positive all the time and full of love for all.
God bless you all for the kind words.
Rest in peace brothers.. see you in the next life..