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Bart Calkins

Original Post
Donna DuBois · · Westminster, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 5

When I read this poem, I thought the author, Dawna Markova, wrote it about Bart:

"The Gift"

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to be as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

For Bart Calkins (1947-2007)

skiing & climbing friend
donna dubois

Ron Olsen · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 11,415

Here's a shot of Bart on The Devil at Avalon in Boulder Canyon, wearing his ususal "stylish" climbing attire. I particularly liked the old dress shirts he wore climbing, left over from his days as CFO of a large corporation. Don't know where he got the baggy socks from.

He dressed a lot better when he climbed with you, Donna!

R.I.P, Bart.

Bart Calkins starting up the route.
Tzilla Rapdrilla · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 840

The Celebration of Bart's Life is on Sunday, July 13th, at 11:00 at CMC in Golden, Colorado. His Mother, Brothers, Sisters, Nieces and Nephews will be coming from all parts of the U.S. Hopefully many of you will come and share in the celebration with them the life of our good friend.

Please forward this e-mail or spread the word to anyone that you know touched Bart's life. I know that his family will be delighted to meet all of Bart's Colorado climbing, hiking, and skiing friends.

Bart's Family is planning to serve light refreshments following the Memorial Celebration on Sunday, July 13th. So that we can estimate how many people may be there, please either RSVP at the CMC website (link below) to RSVP.

david goldstein · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 2,533

Though the mismatched socks from the rag bin are a classic BC touch, for some reason in Ron's photo Bart is not wearing his trademark headware: ball cap under oversized and ancient Joe Brown helmet:

Bart Calkins at Shelf Road
After Bart and I did an ascent of Bonanza in the Ghost River Valley last summer, I noticed that a guidebook action photo of the route revealed that Bart was still wearing the same type of helmet as one of the first ascensionists had in 1976.
Buster Jesik · · Allenspark, CO · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 375
Photos of Bart in Tensleep
(climbing in a nice shirt, of course)
Jimmy Farrell · · Lexington, KY · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 125

Bart was one of my favorite climbing partners I've ever had. I just realized that the link to my photo gallery no longer works, so I'll just post it all here...

'Jimmy's Last Two Climbs With Bart'

In July of 2008, a group of Bart's family and friends gathered in Colorado to celebrate his life. On that weekend, we spread some of Bart's ashes in a few of his favorite spots in the mountains of CO. It was a beautiful weekend of recollecting the life of a very dearly missed friend and getting to know some of the people that were close to him. At one point, Bart's youngest brother, Mitch, presented me with a climbing chalkbag filled with Bart's ashes and asked me if I would take him up another climb with me. Since that day, I have put a lot of thought into what climb to choose, and I wanted to bring him somewhere that was incredibly meaningful to both of us. The more I thought about it, the more I felt I needed to take him up more than just one climb. I decided to bring Bart with me on two final climbs - one that I was never able to climb with him (but always wanted to), and another that I was able to do because of his encouragement.

I didn't start climbing until I moved to Colorado in 2000. Although I've climbed all over the country (and in Mexico) since then, Colorado does, and always will, hold a very special place in my heart. As a climber, one of the most awe-inspiring walls in Colorado is The Diamond - The East Face of Longs Peak, in Rocky Moutain National Park.

The Diamond

The base of The Diamond is at an elevation of 12,350 feet, and its summit is at 14,255 feet. The fact that it's at such a high altitude, on top of the 7 mile approach, makes it an extremely demanding and adventurous climb, regardless of which route you take up it. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to climb The Diamond with Bart, but we had talked about it often. I know that he climbed it a number of times, and loved that wall as much as I do. In 2005, I climbed The Diamond via The Casual Route (5.10a) with my friend, Matt, and took this amazing picture of the sun rising over the Eastern horizon...

Sunrise from Broadway Ledge

This picture only partially portrays one of the main reasons that I love to climb. Being on that wall, in that setting, with such a unique vantage point, is one of the most amazing things I can imagine. I know that Bart would be happy to have his ashes spread from the top of The Diamond. So, on August 27, 2008, I had the opportunity to climb The Diamond again, via the route, Pervertical Sanctuary (5.10c), with my friend, Tony. As with my first experience on The Diamond, this was truly one of the most physically demanding days of my life. I carried the chalkbag that Mitch had given me up the climb that day, and when we reached Table Ledge, I scattered some of Bart's ashes off the wall, over Chasm Lake below...

Spreading Bart's ashes from Table Ledge on The Diamond.

Spreading Bart's ashes from Table Ledge on The Diamond.

That day on The Diamond, I only scattered half of the ashes in the chalkbag. The other half was being saved for another truly amazing spot that I know Bart would want to be - Eldorado Canyon, just outside of Boulder, CO. Eldorado Canyon is one of the most incredible climbing areas in the world, and I will always consider it the area that really taught me to appreciate rock climbing. Bart definitely shared my love for the magic of Eldo. Among all of the amazing climbing in Eldo, there is one climb that truly stands out as one of the most beautiful climbs I have ever done - The Naked Edge (5.11a/b).

The Naked Edge

The Naked Edge basically follows the line where the sun and the shade meet in the above photo. Since I started rock climbing, I had dreamed of climbing The Naked Edge, but was too intimidated to try it. The first time I climbed it was with Bart, on October 3, 2005. Leading up to the climb, I was still extremely intimidated, but I was confident at the same time because Bart KNEW that I could climb it...and I believed him. He had done all of the dirty work by finding out all of the exact gear we would need to get up the climb safely. I think he emailed 10 different people and visited a couple of different websites to get all of the information he could on the climb! Anyways, we had an amazing day of climbing that day. Honestly, one of the most amazing days of my truly felt like a breakthrough day for me. Since then, I have climbed The Naked Edge four more times...and I would gladly do it a hundred more.

The Naked Edge is closed 6 months out of the year for seasonal raptor nesting. It's closed from February 1 - July 31 every year, so you need to have the combination of the right time of year, the right partner, and good weather to climb it. There was no doubt in my mind that this was the climb that I wanted to bring Bart's ashes up, but I wasn't able to find that combination until the very last day of the season, January 31, 2009. My girlfriend, Crystal, and I left the house at 7:00AM, and had another amazing day on The Naked Edge, with Bart's ashes along for the ride...

Crystal & I on The Naked Edge.

Looking up at the first pitch of The Naked Edge.

Crystal on P1 of The Naked Edge.

P2 of The Naked Edge.

Starting up P4 of The Naked Edge.

The Bombay Chimney on P4 of The Naked Edge.

Crystal getting in the Bombay Chimney on P4 of The Naked Edge.

Crystal in the Bombay Chimney on P4 of The Naked Edge.

This next picture isn't us climbing, but it's a really nice view of the very exposed last pitch of the climb...

Last pitch of The Naked Edge.

When we reached the top of The Redgarden Wall, I spread the last of Bart's ashes from atop The Naked Edge...

Spreading Bart's ashes from the top of The Naked Edge.

Spreading Bart's ashes from the top of The Naked Edge.

I miss you, Bart.
You were, and always will be, an inspiration.

John Bartlett (Bart) Calkins, Jr.
June 24, 1947 - October 8, 2007

Bart & I in the parking lot at Devil's Head.

Bart on P3 of Vertigo.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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