When we asked local climbing route developer Chris Hatzai to write a post for SmithRock.com on what’s been happening this past year in the Monument Area and the Marsupials, we had not realized it was the anniversary of Alex Reed’s fatal fall. Chris’s poignant piece elaborates on the route development question, expanding it into a story of evolution, both for him personally since the tragic accident, as well as an evolution for climbing at Smith.
Geoff Babb’s first ride in his wheelchair to the park back in 2006 was not pretty. He promptly did a face plant as the front wheels got stuck in a crack in the sidewalk. But while a near-fatal brain stem stroke left him with only limited use of one hand, he soon found his inflexible wheelchair to be the biggest obstacle to having fun in his beloved outdoors again. He set out to do something about it.
The climbing community was deeply touched by the loss of Alex Reed in a climbing accident this week. Stories surfaced in snippets on social media and then some expressed their experience of Alex in deeper prose.
We were particularly moved by words shared by Alex' friend Chris Hatzai at the memorial service yesterday, reprinted here with Chris' permission.