Celebrating the life of Dean Potter
"Be where it's beautiful and where you are inspired. Life is a balance"
It was about 2:15pm when I found out that one of my heroes had died tragically in a BASE jumping accident in Yosemite. Fighting a breakdown I called up a friend and said let's cruise to Malibu Creek with nothing but shoes and a chalk bag and climb around. Minutes later we were on the way.
We didn't really have a plan as far as where in the park to climb or what, I personally just wanted to get out in nature where Dean loved to be. On the approach hike to the canyon where the creek runs through, you can see a giant 700 to 800 foot peak that makes up the entire north wall of the canyon. I have been coming here for two years now and every time I see it I wonder if it's possible to scramble/climb to the top. It's often a discussion of when are we gonna do it.
On this day with a heavy heart, I thought about Dean's willingness to challenge himself with nothing but shoes and chalk on big mountains and I looked at Pat and said "Today we're going up it". Two hours later we were standing on the summit watching a beautiful sunset, listening to B.B. King, and talking about life and death.
I realized what a great impact Dean has had on so many lives with his outlook and perspective of challenge and his true purpose. It was very humbling to know that even in something so tragic as death, he can inspire two people to charge into the unknown and come out better versions of themselves - and if he can inspire us then we can inspire others because that is the power of nature and the outdoors.
So I am not sad about this great loss. I am grateful, for through his adventures I've gained an invaluable gift: belief in myself and my calling. With this gift if I can inspire even just one person to push themselves out of their comfort zone and to find out who they really are, then his death is not in vain.
Fly Free Dean Potter.
"My greatest fears in life are hurting the people around me, and not being true to my calling. The combination of these two aspects of being seems to offer challenges. We should think carefully about this." - Dean S. Potter
Written by thisworldexists adventure ambassador, Christian Lanley