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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:43 pm
Posts: 311
Location: Mill Creek, WA
I met Wade at the first Mt. Baker Splitfest and we talked till 3:00 in the morning about how to set up a Splitfest. I had a couple of contacts with him afterwards but I really felt like we redefined the meaning of a Splitfest that night. He went on to create the Chunnuck Splitfest and it was a huge success. So much so that the Mt. Baker Splitfest had to step up its game to try and keep pace, it was a friendly rivalry.

The Splitboard community lost a good friend when Treepilot passed. His impact on the sport will not be forgotten.

In heaven it's always powder day so Treepilot is in the white room forever.

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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
Posts: 819
Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
This news is hitting me super hard....

Wade marks the 8th person in 2 years that I have personally known to lose their life to an avalanche. Something about losing Tree Pilot just brings an incredible amount of saddness....

I remember talking with him about his mission to do fifty 5,000 foot days in a season, and that he was closing in and only a few days away from the goal. He had an amazingly warm, and soft spirit.

Words can't describe how much this sucks...

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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:04 am
Posts: 34
russman wrote:

I remember talking with him about his mission to do fifty 5,000 foot days in a season, and that he was closing in and only a few days away from the goal. He had an amazingly warm, and soft spirit.



Oh man, I remember when he was doing that. We would get back from some tour and he'd be 150 ft. short of his daily "quota" and so be doing laps on the banks in the parking lots while the rest of us watched and laughed. He made it though, and really changed how we all thought about what a "good day" was in the mountains. 5000 ft. is now the measuring stick for most of us I think. Anything less is just sort of being lazy, lol.

That said, Wade went on to do much bigger days than that - topping 10,000, 11,000, ... 15,000 ft. Greg Hill's million feet in a season really inspired Wade to push his own boundaries. He eventually went on to ride with Greg a few times during Greg's 2 million foot year, and even got him to give a presentation at splitfest about it. In fact, I'm pretty sure Greg rode Video peak on a splitboard that day.

Even once he got over trying to one up himself all the time, he still always seemed to have another gear. He'd have 6 days in while the rest of us would have 30 and he'd still be the one pushing us.

Funny though, the thing I remember most vividly about Wade is how he used to bathe himself in the sauna on hut trips. We'd all be in there drinking a beer and sweating out a long day, and he'd come in in his underwear and start dumping water all over himself by the firelight... hair draped halfway down his back. Then he'd laugh and look all confused when we all quickly filed out of there. Haha, that was Wade.

Then there was the time he had to duck into a cave 3/4 of the way up a 45-degree couloir to "lighten the load." We called it the "poop chute" after that.

We were leaving for a week-long trip to Boulder hut March 2nd and then to Chamonix for two weeks on March 19th. It's going to be hard to go without him, but it's what he would have wanted. I'm sad that he's gone, but I'm glad to have known him. He was a good friend.


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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:06 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Kings Beach, Ca
damn, huge loss for our community. I never had the privilege of meeting treepilot, but always got excited when I saw a new trip report from him. I pictured him as a beast of a guy who could break a pair of bindings just by looking at them, and skin up 2k ft. of vert in 2 strides. His massive vert days are forever inspiring to me...RIP treepilot


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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 11:08 am
Posts: 95
Location: Calgary
Matt a.d. wrote:
russman wrote:

I remember talking with him about his mission to do fifty 5,000 foot days in a season, and that he was closing in and only a few days away from the goal. He had an amazingly warm, and soft spirit.



Oh man, I remember when he was doing that. We would get back from some tour and he'd be 150 ft. short of his daily "quota" and so be doing laps on the banks in the parking lots while the rest of us watched and laughed. He made it though, and really changed how we all thought about what a "good day" was in the mountains. 5000 ft. is now the measuring stick for most of us I think. Anything less is just sort of being lazy, lol.

That said, Wade went on to do much bigger days than that - topping 10,000, 11,000, ... 15,000 ft. Greg Hill's million feet in a season really inspired Wade to push his own boundaries. He eventually went on to ride with Greg a few times during Greg's 2 million foot year, and even got him to give a presentation at splitfest about it. In fact, I'm pretty sure Greg rode Video peak on a splitboard that day.

Even once he got over trying to one up himself all the time, he still always seemed to have another gear. He'd have 6 days in while the rest of us would have 30 and he'd still be the one pushing us.

Funny though, the thing I remember most vividly about Wade is how he used to bathe himself in the sauna on hut trips. We'd all be in there drinking a beer and sweating out a long day, and he'd come in in his underwear and start dumping water all over himself by the firelight... hair draped halfway down his back. Then he'd laugh and look all confused when we all quickly filed out of there. Haha, that was Wade.

Then there was the time he had to duck into a cave 3/4 of the way up a 45-degree couloir to "lighten the load." We called it the "poop chute" after that.

We were leaving for a week-long trip to Boulder hut March 2nd and then to Chamonix for two weeks on March 19th. It's going to be hard to go without him, but it's what he would have wanted. I'm sad that he's gone, but I'm glad to have known him. He was a good friend.


What a great write up and fitting tribute.

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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 11:01 pm
Posts: 120
Location: June lk, CA
Amazing write up Matt a.d. So sorry for your loss. RIP Wade. Condolences to his his family & all his friends.

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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
Posts: 819
Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
Does anybody know Wade's family? I've been talking with Elizabeth at the IAN FUND, and we want to get in touch with his wife in order to do some fund raising for Wade's daughters.

If anybody has those contacts, can you PM me?

Here is the website for IAN:

www.ianfund.org/

The fund was started by Elizabeth after her husband Ian passed away in the Loveland Pass slide last spring. The foundation is focused on raising money for the children and families of avalanche victims.

Thanks everyone...

I think the loss of TreePilot is going to take a long time to set in...

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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:29 am
Posts: 580
Location: Oregon
RIP Wade. Condolences to family and friends. Just got back from a hut trip and am shocked to see this terrible news. Like others, I never met treepilot, but shared his stoke as a fellow splitter and always looked forward to his trip reports. This saddens me deeply. Happy splitting on the other side Wade.

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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:32 am
Posts: 558
Location: Rawesome, BC
The images and stories shared here are all really amazing and definitely show the infectious passion Wade had for splitboarding.

My first tour here in the Southern Rockies was a bluebird day of meadow skipping in Rowe bowl courtesy of Wade. Things changed that day as I was left sucking wind during my poor attempt to keep pace. This wasn't an adventure booting up past the chair with a couple of buds, we weren't snowshoeing out for a couple of slack country laps. This was serious, still lighthearted and fun, but so much more tangible. I wasn't going back. Why, when a whole new world of potential presents itself? I've probably only payed for half a dozen lift tickets since that tour. That was four or five years ago. I probably still wouldn't be able to keep up...

Regarding the Ian Fund, I think that is a fantastic avenue for the community to pursue in support of Wades family. Though I don't know them I can only imagine the purgatory they are currently in at the moment though. It has been a week since the accident and due to incredibly scary changes in snowpack and avalanche conditions, park staff and SAR have yet to get Wade out. When they do I'd like to offer my help for any legwork that needs to be done here locally.

Here's a link to the forecasters blog showing what the team out in Waterton are likely dealing with.

http://blogs.avalanche.ca/category/southrockies/


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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:05 am
Posts: 28
I got to know wade over the last few years through emails and chatting in the parking lot in waterton. I never got to ride with him sadly I regret that now. As a long time waterton rider it will be hard not to see his tacoma in the parking lot. RIP wade. you will be missed.


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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 7:44 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Japan
This is harsh. RIP Wade.

I can only imagine how devastating for his family this must be. I can't help but also think about his friend who did his best to save him and must be going though a tough time as well.

This is beyond tough, my deepest sympathies to the loved ones, families and friends left behind.


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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:19 pm
Posts: 5
Rest in Peace, Wade. Hope the great unknown is filled with endless powder days.


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 Post subject: Re: Treepilot Gone...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:19 am
Posts: 2
I gotta say, for someone who's new to splitboarding, it really scares the crap out of me when a seasoned backcountry enthusiast gets caught in a tragic incident. Hopefully this is something that the community can learn from.


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