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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Tragedy on Lewis Peak
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Dave Creeden
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Joined: 04 Sep 2007
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:24 am   
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Members of the Bradshaw family reviewed this report prior to me posting it.

It is with deep pain and sorrow that I share information about the tragic death of Franklin Bradshaw on a climb of Lewis Peak (5,608 feet) on Saturday, January 18th.

We had reached the summit of the peak a little after 12 PM, doing a variation of the NW ridge route.

The east side of Lewis Peak is very steep and there were some small cornices along the ridge line, despite the low snowpack this winter.

It was a glorious day and we reveled in identifying the surrounding peaks. After taking photos, I descended 50 or 60 feet to the west side of the crest to a spot next to a couple of small trees in order to reduce being buffeted by a westerly wind.  I opened up my backpack to put on more clothing and to get out some food and fluids. As I was doing this, Franklin descended next to me. He remarked that he needed to get out of the wind. I vaguely noticed Franklin moving off to my right, as I continued to fuss with getting more clothing on.

Next I heard a sharp crack and quickly looked up to my right towards the south ridge line of Lewis Peak and to my horror Franklin had disappeared. I immediately screamed his name, but heard no reply. I could see his boot prints leading up and rightward to the ridge line. I cautiously moved as closely to the crest as I dared and screamed his name several times. Next I backed away to a safe distance, then moved 100 feet or so southward to a position where I could safely see up to the section of the ridge where Franklin disappeared.  I yelled his name several times from this location.

I climbed back up to Franklinís boot prints, then laid down on my stomach and probed with my ice axe as I inched out towards the crest. When I could see over the crest, I saw a small chunk of flat snow about a foot beneath the crest, with a boot print on it and then incredible exposure. Boulders were visible in the basin beneath me, so I couldnít see him among all the dark shapes.

I continued to call his name in vain for 15 to 20 minutes.  I then began the agonizing descent, trying to keep my emotions in check.

I got to Silverton a little after 5 PM, and was able to contact the sheriff thanks to a local resident. SAR was able to get their hasty team up to Barlow Pass late Saturday night. They located Franklinís body at around 1:30 AM, aided by his avalanche beacon being turned on.

His body was recovered by SAR ground teams Sunday afternoon.

First I would like to thank Norm and Bill from Silverton for their acts of kindness to me during my despair Saturday night.

Next I want to compliment SAR personnel for their quick location and recovery of Franklin, especially the hasty team and Yana who played a key leadership role.

Franklinís infectious spirit and enthusiasm for life will be profoundly missed by his wide group of friends in the climbing and skiing communities.
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Dayhike Mike
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Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 10997 | TRs | Pics
Location: Going to Tukwila
Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:34 am   
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Thank you, Dave. Franklin will be sorely missed.

Rest in peace, fwb.

--------------
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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ragman and rodman
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:40 am   
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I didn't know Franklin... however, from reading his trip reports and admiring his photography... it was obvious that he lived his life doing what he loved.

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Always remember that you are unique.  Just like everybody else.
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iron
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Joined: 10 Aug 2008
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:43 am   
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dave,
i am so sorry.
it has been immensely sad since first learning of this incident.

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"the trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's hard to determine whether or not they're genuine." - abraham lincoln
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Rainie Too!
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:45 am   
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Thank you Dave, those words must have been as hard to write as they were to read.
There are a lot of heavy hearts, since Franklin shared so many adventures with so many of us.
May we remember him in the mountains, as it was the place he was most comfortable.
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RichP
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:45 am   
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Thanks for posting this, Dave.
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Jim Dockery
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:56 am   
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Thanks Dave, my heart goes out to you too. Reading that was hard, as I'm sure was the writing, but all part of the grieving process. I'm glad he didn't suffer.

Special thanks to Yana and her crew; heartbreaking to find him, but necessary to take care of a fallen comrade and loved one.

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jimdockery.com Panoramio
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Putz-in-Boots
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Joined: 07 Jul 2003
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:07 am   
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Thank you Dave for being there with Franklin that day...

Heavy hearts abound...

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http://www.putz-in-boots.com/

FRIENDS can stay in touch by contacting me via email.
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Layback
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:24 am   
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I'm sorry to learn of your experience Dave. I hope you're doing well. Thoughts and prayers to Franklins family and friends. RIP.
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suziq999
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:29 am   
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I'm so sorry for your tragedy, and glad you descended safely.
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Shred
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Joined: 05 May 2009
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:40 am   
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Thanks for posting this, Dave.
My condolences to Franklin's family and friends.
Thanks to all that recovered Frank, as I could only imagine how difficult that would be, as many of you were his close friends.
Thanks Franklin for your infectious spirit... you will never be forgotten.
Shred on
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Tom
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:53 am   
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Thank you for sharing Dave.  How heart wrenching it must have been, but glad you were able to make it down safely.  Prayers and thoughts to all with heavy hearts at this time.
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nordique
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:59 am   
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What a terrible tragedy, and such a terrific climber, skier, and friend to many.  It was nearly at this time of year in 2011 that the mountain community lost Monika Johnson, to a cornice on the summit of Red Mt.  There are two sets of postings about Franklin in Trail Talk as well.
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Stefan
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:06 pm   
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Thank you Dave.

I am sorry this occurred to you.

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Art is an adventure.
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jboealps
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Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:08 pm   
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Very, very sorry.
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