David Bridges: A good guy to do about anything with.
I wrote the following after learning that Dave and Alex are dead.
I'd like to have a year where none of my friends died. Yesterday David Bridges died, yet another friend. Thoughts of Dave fill my mind, climbing, talking, driving, flying, laughing. Yet again I have to wonder, "Why," yet again for a friend who made life better. It makes little difference to me that Dave died, "doing what he loved," he's dead and death's never very lovely. Dave and I had talked a fair amount about dying in the mountains over the years, and we both knew death was very possible for both of us. In some way Dave had made his peace with the prospect, and he fully understood the game he (and all of us) play. Dave had spent enough time in and above the mountains that he knew them well. Dave was also smart, with good judgement and strong physical skills. If Dave can die (in the company of Alex Lowe, another climber with strong skills), then anyone can. In the early years I used to look at mountain deaths and think the climbers/paddlers/pilots made mistakes I never would. Over the years this view changed; Dave and I talked about living in the mountains and agreed that we needed to accept our positions as relatively fragile humans in a world that grinds mountains into scree every day, and that no matter how much knowledge and understanding we gather, that we are still very small in the scheme of things. Unfortunately, the deaths of Dave and Alex are proof of this yet again. I worry that I'm becoming numb to the death of my friends, but perhaps death is a reminder to enjoy family and friends while they and you live. I enjoyed Dave's life and will try to hold part of it in me while I live too. I grieve that Dave is gone in my own way, and hope that his family and friends will find some way way to make sense of it.
"Wanna go suffer? It'll be fun!"
-David Bridges, extending a hiking invite.