Guy Lacelle Killed In Montana

Friday, 11 December 2009

A lot of famous climbers have died in 2009: John Bachar, Tomaz Humar, Riccardo Cassin and the two Italian stars from K2, Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni. The name of Guy Lacelle is perhaps not as well known, but to those serious about their ice climbing Guy was a colossal figure, as influential as he was modest. His death in an avalanche in Montana is a terrible loss. Never one to publicise his own genius, the writing he left behind was matter-of-fact and reluctantly done, but he did contribute an essay to a volume published to coincide with an extraordinary gathering of climbers at Banff at the start of the millennium, when Guy was forty-four. It's full of his self-deprecating, no-nonsense approach to climbing, along with his deep passion for the sport. This paragraph sums him up:

"I started to think of all the areas I had been in the last twenty years, and all the possibilities for mixed routes. I felt like life was too short and I would run out of time. I was envious of the young climbers with so many new adventures ahead of them. Then I thought, 'What is wrong with you? You're not too old for this stuff!' I might not be able to climb everything, but it's going to be a hell of a party trying."

Posted by Ed Douglas at 8.35 PM