Saturday, August 23, 2008

So long bud...

Yesterday my close friend Hannes died whilst climbing on Mont Blanc in the Alps.

His last mail a week back was “next week i am off with Mark Johnston to climb something big and alpine and so and so for 3 or 4 days...grim life! ciao H”

Here is a pic of Hannes (left) and I on the summit Mount Kenya almost three years ago to the day in happier times!

Hannes loved the Lord, amidst the questions and wrestles we all have as we face the confusion and difficulty of life. The sadness is losing him when he was at the highest point. It seemed that everything had finally come together and he had recieved answer to prayers prayed over many years. He had just relocated to Switzerland to be with his girlfriend Angelika and he was happier than he had been for a long time, they where planning to come back in a couple of months and already we'd begun to speak of what we'd climb.
There are so many moments that we shared roped together, sometimes just the two of us, other times with Ty another close friend. We shared laughter and fear, we had moments of silliness and other moments where we reflected deeply on life. There is a kinship of the mountains that can never be explained to those who have not shared it, a brotherhood of the rope - a bond that runs deep. There is something amazingly surreal about sitting on a ledge hundreds of meters above the scree slopes, arms buzzing after an epic pitch of Cape Town sandstone, your mind in a place so free, feet dangling barefoot over the void, a gentle breeze and the African sun warming your back - moments when it almost feel like you're touching heaven in God's creation - it is those moments with Hannes that I will remember forever.
Hannes died doing what he loved most, perhaps in heaven we get to do those things we love most again - I sure hope so and Hannes my prayer is that you're busy cranking the crux on some epic heavenly route!
Cheers bud, we’re gonna miss ya!

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