RIP Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff

RIP Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff

I’ve been sort of following this story for the last couple of weeks, and today comes the sad news that they found Charlie Fowler’s body on a peak in China. I didn’t know Charlie well, but for a couple of years, he was my next door neighbor in Telluride. He was a kind, softspoken guy who was a little older than we were and who had climbed a whole bunch of impressive peaks in Asia and South America. I lived next to this big blue house full of climber guys — it was an ever-changing group. This was before Telluride got so fancy, when there still were big blue frame houses, leaning a little to one side, that a bunch of raggedy climber guys could rent. When I was in grad school, one of my friends went to Mexico to climb over Christmas and came back gobsmacked that he’d met someone at a high camp who knew me. It was one of the guys from the big blue house. It sounds like Charlie had found a great partner in Christine Boskoff, and while it’s a cliché, there has to be some consolation that they died on the mountain, together, doing what they loved — exploring a new peak, way out in the backcountry, in the gorgeous Himalayas. Like I said, I never knew him well, but he was a good neighbor, a sweet softspoken guy, and someone who lived for what he loved. He was a real climber — when I knew him I don’t think he owned much more than his climbing gear — he was only bunking in the Big Blue House between trips — the kind of guy who lived for the next adventure. I hope whatever this one is, it’s a good one.

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