AAC Tribute to Jonny, Micah and Wade
It wasn’t too long ago that Jonny and Micah showed up with Peter Mortimer to film in our library, as part of the NatGeo First Ascent episode on their then-upcoming trip, which was partially funded by a Spitzer grant. Our librarians regard the camera the way Superman regards kryponite, so I played that role instead. We rifled through stacks of books and maps looking for pictures and topos to add to their knowledge of the area, trying not to crack up on camera. I treasure that afternoon in my mind, as I’m sure you all treasure your own memories with them.
Jonny and Micah were longtime, generous supporters of the AAC: doing benefit slide shows, manning the club’s booth at Outdoor Retailer and other events, and donating many photos and stories to the American Alpine Journal and other AAC publications. In fact, Jonny and Micah’s first ascent of the Shafat Fortress in India was featured in the 2008 AAJ. Jonny served on the committee that bestows the AAC’s David A. Sowles Memorial Award, reserved for mountaineers who have gone to the assistance of fellow climbers at personal risk or the cost of their own objectives. And Micah had recently volunteered to serve on our Mountain Fellowship Grant Committee, having been a prior recipient of that grant. Most recently, they were among eight climbers who authored an AAC membership-drive letter, which mailed just a few days before they were known to be missing (I mention that partly as an apology to those that received the letter after the bad news came in). Wade too was a member of the AAC, and had been helpful to the club by filming at our last Annual Dinner. In the slideshow there’s a good shot of him and Jonny catching up at the event.
The AAC is extremely grateful to the Chinese Mountaineering Association, the Sichuan Mountaineering Association, and Chinese officials for their help in the search operation, along with climbers and donors from around the world who are helping out. It’s my understanding that as soon as the Chinese authorities became aware that Jonny, Micah and Wade were overdue, the newly elected Vice President of the CMA, Mr. Wang, flew to Chengdu from Beijing to personally supervise the rescue/recovery effort. And we’ve been told by our colleagues at the CMA that hundreds of soldiers have been mobilized in the search effort. (Thank you Eliza for fostering this partnership!)
Jonny, Micah and Wade – you are sorely missed.