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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Close to It

Posted by admin | February 9th, 2007 | Filed under Outdoor Sport, Personal Reflection


As far as working in the outdoor industry goes, I’m a novice. But I’ve spent my life playing outdoors, with friends and family I love. Like others who have followed this same path, I’ve lost people I cared about to the passions they pursued. Dying while doing something you love is still death. It leaves a hole in the world of your loved ones, and a host of questions and painful emotions. To be sure, there are far more dangerous fields of work than this. But to work in this industry is to grow close to those who play hard in places where even small mistakes can be deadly.

Last week the industry lost another family member, when Black Diamond Equipment employee Chris Hunnicutt fell to his death while ice climbing. I met Chris once, the night before he died, at the Outdoor Retailer show, where we talked about Nau a little. He had not heard of us, and was immediately excited about what we were doing. His genuine enthusiasm was clear, and I was disappointed I was not joining him and his co-workers for dinner. And that was it.

The next morning I got up and flew home. Chris got up, packed his gear and headed out for a morning of climbing. I cannot claim to miss him as a friend, but I mourn his loss just the same, as I do every time someone does not come home from the mountains, rivers, or oceans where my greater family seeks its challenges and adventures, as well as solace and escape. May all the rock be solid where he is, the ice blue and thick, and the pro all bomber.

3 Responses to “Close to It”

  • February 12, 2007 at 1:40 pm | libby says

    beautiful words otis…

  • February 13, 2007 at 5:25 am | robert hunnicutt says

    I am Chris’ dad and just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful comments about Chris. We miss him terribly and still cannot believe that it is true that he is gone. Reading words like yours are a comfort to us. thanks.

  • February 13, 2007 at 11:30 am | Otis says


    Thank you for your kind comments, and for taking a moment to post them. I’m so glad that you were able to see this, and that it might offer a small bit of solace in the midst of great sadness. One thing is clear: Chris’ spirit will be carried by many into the wild and sacred places we love.

    With care,


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