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Re: Tribute to Steve Gladbach

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:06 am
by wildlobo71
Brian Thomas wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:48 am
Unselfish is how I'll always best remember Steve.

After the Spring 2010 14ers gathering on Sherman (only my 3rd 14er) at Pizza Hut in Fairplay, I knew nobody there. But Steve pulled out a chair for me, and invited me to join him on Elbert the following day. Even after warning him I was slow and inexperienced, he told me he'd help me make that summit. That's who Steve was and how I'll always remember him.
Man, I still recollect and retell that day, too, at the Pizza Hut. He was working the room like a wedding party, getting to know everyone and offering and equally listening to all stories. It's where I first got to chat with him and understand why he was so revered. That followed up with another Spring Gathering in 2011 at the big site below Missouri Gulch - hiking with him and his kids up Belford to Oxford and watching them glissade down from Belford. Pure joy in all their experience. I simply couldn't join as it wasn't my ride, so to speak - although I know he would have asked us to share his line without hesitation.

Thanks for sharing, Brian (and Brian.)

Re: Tribute to Steve Gladbach

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:42 am
by Jon Frohlich
I only met Steve in person once. Two friends and I started hiking up Crestone Peak and about a mile into the hike a group caught up to us. Steve was leading a few people up Crestone Peak. I don't remember who they were but it reinforces what Steve was willing to do for others.

For one friend with me this was a very emotional day because her boyfriend lost his life on the traverse a few years prior. She hadn't been back to the Crestones since it happened and came with me because it was one of my last few 14ers and she was ready to go back. It turns out that Steve had been involved in the SAR mission in some fashion (I can't remember the details) and knew what had happened. They shared a conversation about it as we hiked and I think it helped her to process her emotions. As we hiked past the area where they found him it got very real for her and I think having Steve there was a comforting presence. We eventually got ahead of them and summitted before his group did but chatted with them on the way down.

When I finally climbed Thunder myself it was hard not to think about Steve that whole day. I didn't know him well except his online presence but it still felt very real being on that mountain after his accident. He was an incredible influence on many people on this site including me.

Re: Tribute to Steve Gladbach

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:07 am
by Wentzl
I never met Steve, but this has been one of my favorite trip reports:

https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=5531#

So thanks, Steve, for inspiring me to go after El Diente West Ridge.

Did anyone ever find his broken snowshoes at the bottom of that hole?

Re: Tribute to Steve Gladbach

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:57 pm
by d_baker
It's been nice to read the personal accounts from others in this thread, and as sad as it is that Steve is gone, it still brings a smile to my face to hear these stories.
I'm not sure if I've written about this next story on the site before, but I'll tell it anyway.

In late Dec of 2011, Steve and I were driving back from our trip of Pigeon & Turret. Somewhere between Blanca and Fort Garland that night, we came upon a car accident where a truck had gone off the road, and appeared to have rolled at least once. It was sitting perpendicular to the road, but off the side of the road and other cars were stopped on the scene, but no police or first responders yet. The driver had fallen asleep and veered off the road then over-corrected or something is what was figured later on.
Steve was driving and he pulled over and we went to see if there was anything we could do. (I personally probably would not have stopped since others were on the scene. :oops: )

Steve went up to the driver's smashed window and spoke with the female driver as she was still sitting in there. I think her door might have been damaged and possibly couldn't open. She was scared, and had an arm injury and was feeling cold. Steve immediately went to the passenger side and tried to open the door but it wouldn't open (and found it later it was locked) so he climbed through the broken window so he could sit next to her to comfort her! He then asked me to go to the car and get our down coats to place on her to help keep her warm.
He sat with her and held her hand until first responders arrived, which is when it was discovered the passenger door could open!

Steve spoke with the police as well. As did others onsite, who witnessed the accident.
After a long day we had, hiking down the tracks from Needleton to the Cascade Wye to catch the train, and then to start our late drive back to Pueblo West to Steve's house, this extended our day, but Steve would have it no other way! I had always admired Steve for so many things, and this was just one more of his attributes as a beautiful human....very real down to Earth caring and compassionate moments that were so much a part of who he was, as many here had witnessed over time as well.

I miss you Steve, but I'm glad I knew you and had moments like that to think back on and smile. I wish I were half the man he was.

-Darin

Re: Tribute to Steve Gladbach

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:11 pm
by Jay521
d_baker wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:57 pm
... I wish I were half the man he was.
Darin took the words right out of my head. I only met Steve on one occasion. I had read on the forum that he was doing his winter finisher on Mount Evans from Echo lake and had asked about the route as he hadn't been up Evans from that side. There was a lot of snow in the trees that year and I decided I'd go break a shortcut trail up above treeline for him. I went as far as Mt. Warren so I could get some pictures of the remaining route from Summit Lake. I met him at his motel room in Idaho Springs later that day to give him an idea of where I had put in a trench and what conditions were like. He graciously invited me to go with him the next day but I declined knowing that I would be pretty beat and would just slow him down. He said that wouldn't be a problem and while I was certainly tempted to go with him, I really didn't want to be the person that held him up. I did meet him the next afternoon at Beau Jo's in Idaho springs and listened to the story of the hike. As seemed to be typical for Steve, he gave most of the credit to his hiking partners.

Steve wrote a lot of excellent trip reports but my favorite is his Winter finisher - perhaps because I was a small - VERY small - part of it.

https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=9674

Rest in peace, Steve.

Re: Tribute to Steve Gladbach

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:44 pm
by LoneStar
Well, I just got a chill ...

I have spent a lot less time in these beautiful mountains that most everybody on this thread, I am sure. Still, it was nine years ago today that I met Steve, on the trail to Humboldt. (I know it was exactly nine years ago because I just looked up my trail report.) I was there taking a young friend from Texas up into the mountains because he wanted to summit a 14er before shoving off on an extended Merchant Marines tour the next week. Steve, to the surprise of no one here, was guiding a young friend on what I believe was the young man's first 14er attempt, too.

Like many of you, I had closely monitored the story of Cooper, the dog separated from his party in white-out conditions up in the Sangres. I remembered the joy of seeing that reunion photo - a smiling guy and his dog crammed into the back of a car for their journey home - together after several days of separation and despair. Then, a little more than a month later, as I said in my trip report,

... we were catching our breath on the hike in Friday at the intersection where the Humboldt/Upper SCL trail veers off the main South Colony Lake trail when a dog comes running up to us. He was followed shortly by a party of four, with whom we chatted briefly. Then one in the party said, "Come on, Cooper." "That's not the famous Cooper, is it?" I asked. Yes, the man confirmed, it was. "Then, you are the famous Steve?" Yes, another in his party confirmed, he was. We talked a little about Cooper's remarkable Saga in the Sangres a short five weeks earlier.

That was nine years ago. A couple years later, I remember being just empty, drained - in the strangest way - when I read word of Steve's passing. Thank you, Brian, for your very moving tribute. God bless.

Re: Tribute to Steve Gladbach

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:17 am
by Dan_Suitor
I was fortunate to have climbed with Steve, as well as be one of the 5 who climbed Thunder. It was impossible to climb that mountain without thinking of him. The memorial was very touching. As Eric mentioned, during the memorial, with virtually no clouds in the sky, a small one formed directly over us blocking out the sun. As the memorial was concluding it dissipated. Chalk it up to whatever you may, but it was surreal at the time.


dubsho3000 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:36 am
I was lucky enough to climb one peak with sgladbach - Shavano in early December, I believe....
dubsho3000, Is this the climb?
WP_000567-2.jpg
WP_000567-2.jpg (101.34 KiB) Viewed 1120 times

Re: Tribute to Steve Gladbach

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:26 pm
by dubsho3000
Dan_Suitor wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:17 am
I was fortunate to have climbed with Steve, as well as be one of the 5 who climbed Thunder. It was impossible to climb that mountain without thinking of him. The memorial was very touching. As Eric mentioned, during the memorial, with virtually no clouds in the sky, a small one formed directly over us blocking out the sun. As the memorial was concluding it dissipated. Chalk it up to whatever you may, but it was surreal at the time.


dubsho3000 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:36 am
I was lucky enough to climb one peak with sgladbach - Shavano in early December, I believe....
dubsho3000, Is this the climb?
WP_000567-2.jpg
No, I guess not. I don't see myself in that pic. Unless maybe I took it... But no, the stylings look too modern.