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Michael Reardon missing in Ireland
Submitted By: John McNamee on Jul 13, 2007

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A major search operation for an American man who fell 70 feet into the sea off the Kerry coast is winding down for the night and due to resume at first light The missing man is 32 year old Michael Reardon, from Connecticut... one of the world's leading Free Soloists...that is... rock climbers who climb without the aid of any safety equpment. He and a friend had just climbed the scenic spot Wireless Point, on the north side of Valentia Island, when Mr Reardon slipped into the water... a plunge of 70 feet. Mr Reardon is also a well known filmmaker and writer in the US.





Let's hope he is found soon!

Comments on Michael Reardon missing in Ireland Add Comment
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 1, 2007
By John McNamee
From: Littleton, CO
Jul 14, 2007
Search has resumed this morning...

By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 14, 2007
This is so sad. Michael had a life force that exhausted me when he was around. I hope he's just having a wet bivy somewhere. Here's a bit dfferent spin on how he fell in. Don't know which is correct.

By Julian Smith
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 14, 2007
For anyone who is intersted, here is a link to Micheal's website.


Gosh I hope this can somehow have a happy ending. Keep your mojo on dude!
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Jul 14, 2007
Pulling in a lot of Mountain God favors and putting out the vibe for you Michael - I sincerely hope it works out.

UKClimbing thread is here:

By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 14, 2007
I LOVE the thought of MR holed up on some stinking Russian fishing boat, drunk on nasty vodka, regaling drunk Russian sailors with his exploits. Even better, them not speaking a word of English and MR completely illiterate in Russian but completely understanding each other. I want to see that on YouTube...

Michael, hang in there.

By Marc Arnold
From: boulder, co
Jul 14, 2007
I met Michael for a brief moment in Eldorado!! super super nice guy! I will send a pray to the higher source for safe returns!
By John J. Glime
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 15, 2007

Condolences to friends and family.
By John McNamee
From: Littleton, CO
Jul 15, 2007
As the hours now stretch into days I'm hoping some sort of miracle occurs soon.

Climbing Mag Media Release
By Giulio
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jul 15, 2007
Sad this happened hope they find him soon.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jul 15, 2007
This photo was taken the day Michael was swept away by the wave. Tragic.

From climbing.com
By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 16, 2007
Man, I don't want to believe any of this... What a wonderful free spirit and inspiration Mike Reardon has been to our community. My prayers are with you, Mike.
By Jimn Seiler
From: North Platte, NE
Jul 16, 2007
I was just notified by a acquaintance in England that the news channels have reported that there will be a memorial service held at the ocean side crag tomorrow.

I am just relaying information from a seemingly reliable source and have not seen or heard any of this first hand.

He also told me that the water temperature in the ocean is 50 degrees F and that is not good.
By Cunning Linguist
Jul 17, 2007
Michael shook up this little sewing circle of ours and made us question our basics again. Here's hoping that he's going to make it back to his family and have a rollicking good tale to tell.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 17, 2007
Mark and I were doing some "finger training" in Eldo on the evening Michael was tearing up the place. He saw us at work and took a short detour on his way out of the canyon just to chat it up with some climbers he had never met. No spray. No ego. Just a very decent guy doing what he loved. I had to pump him just to learn that he had climbed close to a mile of Eldo, no rope, one day. What is so tragic and frustrating is that it was not soloing that claimed his life - just the hand of god reaching out to snuff out a truly precious human being.
By Buff Johnson
Jul 17, 2007
Met him briefly at a Hera event that benefited women climbers,

"No spray. No ego. Just a very decent guy doing what he loved."

That was him, just a great climbing spirit & person.

(ps - I'm not the Mark that Richard is referring, didn't mean to seem like I was if you all read the flow of these posts)
By micah stocker
Jul 17, 2007
I never met Michael, but when I was living in Southern Alabama bumming my ass off because the closest crag was 4-hours away, I would watch his videos and get so charged on his ropeless exploits. All my friends would come over and although none of theme even knew what rock climbing was they always wanted to see Michael Reardon dude. The guy just seems like he was full of energy with an amazing heart and had the ability to project that on all around him. He will be in my prayers.
By John McNamee
From: Littleton, CO
Jul 18, 2007
From Today's Irish Independent

Renowned climber is praised on fatal cliff-top

By Anne Lucey
Wednesday July 18 2007

ROCK climber Michael Reardon pushed himself to the limit of his abilities, but ships were never meant to remain in harbours.

Tribute was paid to the fearless way the solo climber lived his life, at a moving ceremony on the cliff-top overlooking his last dramatic climb on Valentia Island, Co Kerry yesterday.

Up to 150 people gathered in sunshine to pay their respects to the 35-year-old American who was washed out to sea on Friday, after scaling the cliff-face twice.

A hundred feet below, Navy and Garda sub-aqua teams scoured the sea-bed for any trace of the man renowned among climbers and mountaineers for his daring exploits without ropes or safety equipment.

A traditional lament on harp and tin whistle opened the ceremony attended by the missing man's wife Marci, their 13-year-old daughter Nicki, close friends, members of the rescue services, the gardai, local people and well-known figures from the sporting and climbing worlds.

These included the mountain-running champion John Lenihan and Kerry football great and island native Mick O'Connell.

Father Kevin McNamara, a curate attached to Killarney parish, led the prayers. Michael Reardon "wouldn't hurt a rock by putting a claw into it", in order to preserve it for future generations, he said.

He had left a mark that would never be forgotten. He had pushed things to the limit. A ship was safe when in harbour, but that was not what ships were for, the priest said.

West Kerry GP and poet Micheal Fanning read two of his poems: 'I run with the winds and moods', which he dedicated to Mr Reardon's daughter, and 'Odysseus', a poem about daring people and those waiting for them, dedicated to Marci Reardon.


Among many contributors, Mr Reardon's friend and mountaineer Con Moriarty, with whom he stayed while in Kerry, said people had gathered to honour "a beautiful man" and a "truly extraordinary" climber. "I saw him as an artist," he added.

Towards the end of the ceremony, Nicki, tearful throughout the hour-long ceremony, spoke briefly of her father who was "louder" than most people and larger than life.

Flowers were brought to the scene along with a plaque made of local Valentia slate. A haunting rendition on the bagpipes of the Blasket island elegy 'Port na bPucai', an air said to echo the journey of the departing soul, ended the ceremony.

Those on the cliff waved to the divers on the boats below.

Mr Moriarty asked for prayers that the ongoing search would bring closure for Mr Reardon's friends and family.

Anne Lucey
By Jay Young
Jul 18, 2007
I'm still utterly in shock over this. Michael and I weren't close friends by any stretch of the imagination, but we were friends. My heart goes out to his wife and daughter.
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Jul 18, 2007
"From the City of Constellations
to the wanderer
and a Place of Rains
he journeys on..."

Water Shows the Hidden Heart - Enya
By Peter Franzen
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jul 18, 2007
From the "for what it's worth" department...

My girlfriend grew up just a few miles from these cliffs, and according to her it's not uncommon at all for people to get caught by sneaker waves there. Every summer there would be at least one case of someone getting swept out to sea and drowning.
By Joey Wolfe
Jul 18, 2007
The best climber is the one having the most fun, and from what little I know it seemed like Michael Reardon was having a lot of fun. He will be missed by even those who never met him.
By ttriche
From: Altadena, CA
Jul 19, 2007
Mike, for all his bluster, was one of the most positive people I have ever met. I last spoke with him at Josh a few months ago and he seemed to be as relaxed as I've ever seen him, casually hiking some 11's on Tumbling Rainbow, and utterly at ease with a world full of possibility. It seems terribly wrong for the saga to end like this, as if the narrator for the Universe read off the wrong card. Mike? Drowning? At sea? No, no, that can't be right. Mike is a monster swimmer! It can't be him. That's some other Reardon. No way it's Mike, that's just not how the story ends...

His positivity was all the more impressive in the face of the negativity and sniping with which many greeted his climbs. I would not call myself a close friend of Mike's, but he always treated me as if I were, and always inspired me to push myself a little harder than I thought I could. It seems like maybe a year or two since he took Nikki to Dome Rock for her first (roped) lead climb; far from living only for the moment, Mike clearly had things planned out, short, medium, and long-term, and a couple of times I recall him putting it like so: "Look, I'm 32. In a few years I won't be able to do this any more. My old injuries hurt already. Might as well live the life you want while you still can." And, unspoken: after that, you've got the rest of your life to spend with your wife and daughter, without regrets or thoughts of what might have been. Instead of the stereotypical soloist running away from an uncomfortable reality, Mike came across as someone who deliberately chose to live out his dreams while his body could accomodate them, with his family's encouragement.

To Marci and Nikki especially, I can only offer my sincerest condolences.

It's as if a little light has gone out in the world.
By Joe Singleton
Jul 19, 2007
Went to law school with Mike. We were the only degenerate longhairs in our class. Because of this and our penchant for calling out others on their bs we became friends. The world is a much less fun place today. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and daughter whom he loved and cared for very much.
By Adam Stackhouse
Jul 20, 2007

That was a very nice eulogy. Thanks for sharing it with us.
By Chandler
From: Asheville, NC
Jul 20, 2007
The man and the myth; a loving father, devoted husband, brilliant orator, and astonishing climber. He truly will be missed. I don't know about you guys, but watching our friends go (Boskoff, Fischer, Skinner, and now Reardon...among so many others) brings a sense of mortality to our lifestyle, while reminding us to hold those we love close. Mike did this, and from what I have heard and read, is loved and respected by so many people. This is a legacy he would be proud of, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and daughter.
Thanks everyone.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 22, 2007
What a bizarre accident when a free solo expert is killed by a rogue wave. If it was a movie plot, I'd dismiss it as preposterous. My condolences to his family.
By John McNamee
From: Littleton, CO
Jul 23, 2007
By chad umbel
Aug 1, 2007
What a tragic loss to everyone who knew this amazing man. Michael had a zest for life that will be sorely missed by anyone who was lucky enough to be in his prescence. Keep sending on the other side brother. -Chad

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