30 May 2009

Sig Papp - Enjoying new mountain ranges in heaven

Today was Sig's memorial service. Sig was 67. He was the first to show me there's more than climbing crags and technical routes in the peaks. He died suddenly of a heart attack.

Sig introduced me to 14'eers and the Utah desert. From Castle Peak to the traverse of the Maroon Bells (including a biviouac) to my first trip to Canyonlands National Park. We did the Notch Couloir on Long's Peak and there were the weekly after work climbing days with the Rocky Flats Mountaineering club. We did a an incredible week of backpacking in the Sangre de Cristo Range .. and a winter camp below St. Mary's glacier - Lot of drinking & chess on that trip.

We ski toured well before wide skiis and plastic boots. It might have been a day trip to Indian Peaks, the Commando Run or a few days at the Tagert hut (before the 10th Mountain hut system) above Aspen.

Usually there were no lack of people on these trips .. and no lack of laughter and beer back at camp. Sig was an explorer. He'd always get out and see something he'd never seen before .. shared with good friends.

It was bittersweet to go the the memorial service and reception afterwards. It was good to see his wife, Ellen & his "kids", Mike and Kathy. It was good to see many colleagues and comrades from our prior work - Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapon facility. Many of these people had been on this trips and I haven't seen many of them for at least 14 years. I'm making plans with some of them for a fall trip to Utah. Sig would like that.

Well Sig, bye for now and thanks for the great times ...

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