In case you haven't heard the news, Andrew Barnes from Ft. Colins was found dead in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison a few days ago. I never met him, but perhaps those of you that did would like to share some good stories about him here.
I went to school with Andrew at Colorado State University. We took quite a few classes together in the college of natural resources, Andrew was a great guy. Always climbing and excited about the next adventure. I remember climbing at Rotary Park, getting ready to leave and seeing him just arriving, riding up the A trail on his bike, what a badass. Rest in peace Andrew.
Andrew was a great guy. I got the opportunity to work a summer with him at Kmac climbing, sending hard and living the life. He was always so passionate about climbing. He feared nothing always climbing hard routes sometimes good gear sometimes his old Kpac cams as he called them either way it was always an epic with him! He always was in good spirits no matter the circumstance. One of the best stories i have of him is when he climbed CSU's library during mid day classes probably still on youtube. Andrew will be missed! My thoughts go out to his family!
Thanks Stich for your recognition of Andrew even though you did not know him personally. Andrew was a great human being. I met him in high school when he moved to Colorado Springs from Billings, Montana and later lived with him and a few other friends in Fort Collins when we moved into our first college house during our sophomore year. He was in my wife and I's wedding two years ago when we became the first out of our circle of friends to tie the knot. He gave us a painting on canvas that he was given as a gift in Africa a few months before. It has hanged in our bedroom wall since and always felt like the most genuine gift that we could have been given. Way better than the tuppaware of a silverware we received. He was at my bachelor party the week before our wedding. We went to a casino in Black Hawk and ended up spending the night hanging out in the woods next to the casino. The next night we ditched the casino atmosphere all together and camped. Andrew found a tennis ball and stick and we proceeded to play baseball for hours. We are not baseball players but Andrew had the ability to create a good time out of nothing. He was wise beyond his years and I learned so much from him in the ten(ish) years that I knew him. I talked to him about a month ago on the phone. i was feeling a little weird/down after having a bad day when I first talked to him and hung up feeling happy and refreshed. He had a unique ability to leave a positive mark on everybody he talked to. This is a mini eulogy that I wrote on Facebook about him: "Andrew Barnes was one of the best people I have ever had the honor of knowing. He was incredibly kind and lived thoughtfully and fearlessly. Anybody who ever knew him well can attest to the fact that his character was admirable. I learned more from Andrew about life in the ten years that I knew him than just about any other single person. He was an artist, athlete and comedian who always saw the good in people and only wanted the best for them as well. He was aware of the dangers that came along with what he loved to do but did not let them stop him at living his life how he chose. It was always a treat to run into him on any given day and he impacted many people in the most positive of ways. He will continue to bring smiles to this world through the memories he helped others form. Love."
Thanks again for creating a forum giving people the opportunity to speak about him. I hope to run into you one day. - Ted Mitchell
I have been asked to put together a video commemorating Andrew. If anybody has an video or photo's can you please contact me so I can include them? We have been in contact with his parents and are in the process of organizing a celebration of his life in Fort Collins. From what I know, an actual service will be held in Montana after this celebration. I need to get this done in the next few days, so please contact me and/or pass this on to anybody that may have some footage or pics of AB. Thanks everybody for all the support and kind words toward Barno. I know his parents and all those who were even closer to him than I are gonna have a rocky road in front of them so I really want to make this tasteful and meaningful. Talk with everyone soon. Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call @ 719-640-2636. Have a great weekend!
I, too, was good friends with Andrew in high school and had the pleasure of seeing him on and off over the last 5 years. He was an amazing person, always surrounded with positive energy. Like Teddy said, it was always a pleasure to run into Barno, and that's usually how seeing him had to happen. If you hung out with him you always felt like you were in the right place at the right time. He will definitely be missed, but he will always be celebrated. He died doing what he loved and lived life full force to the end.
I was very close to Andrew. All of us at KMAC in Estes Park lost one of our closest of family. Barnes was one of the most pure people I ever knew, always kind, generous, and warm. He was there during many of the big moments in my life. I am sure that is true with most people that he met. Andrew was a true dirt-bag. A proper climber going up and finding the edge. He was a true free spirit too. He was hard to track down because of how much he loved to travel and climb in new areas. Then he would pop up just when you needed to see him and bring a smile to everyone's face. His sense of humor was unique and playful. The guy was just on another wavelength, truly one of a kind. I always looked up to him because I thought of him as a true warrior. Not aggressive, but a warrior in the sense of having impeccable awareness, always sacrificing for the greater good. I think a lot would feel the same as me in that Andrew was really one of my favorite people I had ever met. I can't say enough about him. I am having a difficult time just writing this but I felt that I needed to give him all the props I could.
This was one of his proudest moments
I am truly heartbroken... Gonna miss you Barnacles!
By PatrickV From Albuquerque, New Mexico Jul 13, 2013
Never got to climb with Andrew, but remember him from hanging out in Estes over the last few years. He always had a huge toothy smile on his face, definitely a one of a kind person. So sad. My condolences to all who knew him.
Spot on, folks! Andrew Barnes (Barny-boo) was the man. I climbed with him on several excellent adventurous occasions in various places, and one particularly EPIC adventure I will never forget, that was amazingly good, and that was all Barnes' doing. I had the pleasure of hanging and climbing with him along the Front Range as well as at Indian Creek and Devil's Tower.
As others mention, he was a talented artist, and just this morning I was looking at one of his great paintings of The Black Canyon in a friend's house. He was passionate about the Black, and climbing, and his love for others flowed effortlessly, something we should all want.
He would roll into camp with a smile on his face, rack and rope, bivy sack, a bag of moldy potatoes, and not much else. Because he didn't need it. His method of cooking was simple. He'd make some "bombs" he called them, just a tin foil ball filled with whatever was at hand, whatever he'd scrounged up, and we'd just throw 'em in the fire for a while. No utensils, no stove, no gear show. Just eat, curl up in the dirt (or sand) for a night's rest, and the next day he'd drag my ass up gnarly amazing pitches and patiently and positively belay me on the "easy stuff".
The first time I met Andrew was at a party in Longtucky (yes, there are parties in Longmont sometimes) circa 2009 and he had his characteristic wild hair: This time it was not a badass rattail but a bright orange full-on mohawk. We talked about Eldo a lot that night. And despite not having yet experienced what a great climbing partner he was, I did immediately sense in him the spirit. You know, the spirit of kindness and love and giving and grace and friendship. That universal human spirit is represented in this man more than in most. Certainly more than I'll ever know. He taught me things by his example, I wanted to change myself to be more like him, and I'm still learning from him, even now. Thanks, Barnes.
I'd like to write more. Maybe later, after some other folks chime in.
Thanks for starting the thread and thanks for bumping it and thanks for contributing. To all the other folks who are grieving please accept my sincere condolences.
Now, it's time to hunt for all the Barnes pics I got...there was this great one recently of him on Rosy Crux I just gotta find because he's smiling and you can see it from a mile away...Hope to hear some more from folks.
By Ryan Williams Administrator From London (sort of) Jul 13, 2013
Sounds like the world has lost an amazing person. Andrew seems like one of those people that just makes you proud to be human and happy to be alive. There aren't many people in the world like that. Thoughts and prayers for everyone he's touched.
I found out a hour ago and I am heartbroken. I would call myself a good acquaintance of Barnes'. We were fellow NR students on campus. We showed up at the same parties. We worked together for a bit. The man was always in high spirits. I'd instantly be caught up in a smile every time I saw him. Halloween of '08 is the time I remember best with him. We were at one of Tyson Wormus' legendary bashes, he as Bill the Butcher and I as Borat. Both so dedicated to our characters. We never broke our roles the whole night. My abs were bruised from laughter the next day. I used to climb but had neither the balls nor the heart to pursue it. I admired and envied his passion for the sport. He completely dedicated himself to something he loves. Not many can say that. You will be missed Barnes!
Andrew Barnes, center, sending a flawless Bill the Butcher
It is with a heavy heart to write on here about Barnes. I had the pleasure of living with Barnes in New Zealand and taking on epic adventures, including boot packing it up Mt. Arthur since we decided to forgo crampons.. All the many climbing trips to Castle Hill and epic week participating in the Uni Ski games, Surfing, and when Andrew took off on his own biking around the South Island, pitching a tent, living life.. Andrew lived life to the fullest! After we returned from New Zealand I lived with Andrew and Jon and we continued to visit breweries, and climb hard. Always planning the next adventure. The Library stunt was a killer and so are many of Barnes feats. He loved to show people his scars from when he broke his hip as well as his collar bone. One of his craziest life stories was the bus accident in Chile, a story only Andrew can pull off. He was afraid of what life would bring and knew precisely what he was doing at all times. Living life without fear while making people laugh and loving every minute of it. Artist, climber, comedian and friend to manny, sums it up perfectly. The only time I've ever trad climbed was with Barnes a few summers back, and he's about the only person I'd ever trust to climb trad with. You will be missed Andrew Barnes, but you touched enough people to last a lifetime! Cheers, Chad
I had the great pleasure of hanging out with Andrew in New Zealand while at Lincoln University. He was an absolutely delightful person, full of energy and joy. We attended the university winter games together, took in a few concerts, learned to ride a nut-cracker and made the most of our short time together. Andrew was that kind of guy, The one who would bring everyone's spirit up to its highest level. Remembering him will make us all better people. A sad day indeed. Condolences to his family and friends for this devestating loss.
I'll confess I've never been much of a climber but I stumbled upon this site after being told the news of Barnes' passing today. After reading through this thread I think it's really telling of his character just how many people on here all have the same uplifting, consistent things to say about their experiences with Andrew and what a great guy he was. I couldn't find any photos off hand but since all of your stories have helped me to cope with this a bit better I wanted to share a bit of something I posted to Facebook in remembrance of him that hopefully everyone can relate to:
"Received some sad and sobering news at work today, and I felt compelled to write out at least a little something here - I was told that just a couple days ago one of my friends and former coworker Andrew Barnes died in a climbing accident in the Black Canyon. I'm not going to write out a whole eulogy here or try to make him out to be something that he wasn't, but I can honestly say with utter sincerity that he was one of the most genuine, passionate, fun, and courageous people that I've ever had the privilege of knowing. He always had a smile on his face and a love for life that most of us only touch upon in our day to day routines, and if you had ever met him you'd know he had a way of putting people at ease as if he had always been an old friend. My favorite memory of him is when he came over to the old 812 house one day all excited about something he had just done but he said he couldn't tell us what just yet. I was puzzled as to what it could be, but the next day as I was walking out of spanish class I happened to glance down at a copy of the Collegian sitting on a desk and who is on the cover? None other than the great Andrew Barnes, decked out in a viking helmet and wearing an American flag for a cape, having just been apprehended by the CSUPD for free-climbing the face of the Lory Student Center and unfurling a giant 30-foot banner that read: "Guck the Fuverment." It makes me smile to this day just thinking about it, and how funny it was when he eventually told us all the story of how it all went down. Just one example of many of the spunky character of an amazing guy who always did what he loved to do, regardless of how hard it was or what anyone else thought of him for it. I don't know the details of the accident, but I know he died doing something that he loved, and it's safe to say the world lost a genuinely good person with his passing. He truly will be deeply missed by many people. I am told that there will be a memorial service in celebration of his life, and I plan on being there to remember and celebrate him with many of his other friends and family. Peace, love, passion, fun, and happiness... We'll miss you Andrew. Rest in peace, brother. <3"
Andrew Barnes was an older brother to me. He was one of my older brother Jess' best buds through high school. I learned how to stay positive and have a good time in any situation from Andrew. I learned how to be a better climber and a better person from his awesome energy. He has always been a voice of clarity and approval for me. He would slap me on the back encouragingly and say "there you go, lil mike" or "lil arnsteen, getting some hair on your chest, bud" would pretty much be the most high praise from the dude I am positive was the most badass person I have ever known.
Quick story: I went up to Barnos house in Foco with Brennan Hanley for the fat tire tour de fat a couple years ago. We spent the day playing bike polo spanking a lacrosse ball and a rock around town with beer in hand. Next morning I woke up in Barnes' living room to the Andrew cranking "Love and Happiness" from Al Green's Greatest Hits, dancing and cooking breakfast. Barnes said "Best cure for the hangover lil Mike! Al Green!"
Been Listening to Al Green ever since. Love you Barno. Miss you man. I will always look up to you, just as I have my entire life. You will always be my older brother.
I'm one of Andrew's NY uncles and I'm very very sorry to hear of his passing. Reading these posts reminds me of when I met him for the first time. He was around 5 years old and we had all gathered in Red Lodge for a faminly reunion. A bunch of the adults were all gathered in the space between three cabins; talking , drinking and enjoying ourselves when we heard a noise from above. In a tree over 60' above us was five year old Andrew.
Later on that evening he put a fake turd in the guest bathroom. My poor old Mom was the next too use that room. Thinking it was real she asked if there was a plunger. In the corner Andrew was laughing.