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Boyd N. Everett, Jr., 1933-1969


1933 - 1969

Boyd Everett lived for the mountains. He was happiest, most alive, and easiest when he was in them. During his thirty-five years he climbed the four highest peaks in North America and a wide range of other mountains, usually by new and difficult routes. Over the years he had developed expedition mountaineering to a fine art. His meticulous planning made it possible to field his last, thoroughly equipped, thoroughly competent expedition in only three weeks. He had been working on such an expedition for over two years and had intensively considered both personnel and equipment. His expedition to South America in 1968 was intended expressly as a training and testing expedition for a 1969 attempt on a major Himalayan peak.

Boyd was an eminently civilized man. He enjoyed a good game of bridge and loved and appreciated music. In fact the size of his record collection almost equalled the size of his slide collection. He was a wry, somewhat reserved man with a magnificent sense of humor and delighted in artfully contriving jokes for his expeditions. It took him years to get to the top of a mountain where he could do it, but he finally played the world’s highest bridge game on the top of Mount Logan at 19,850 feet. Among the other records he established was the world’s longest golf drive, over 10,500 feet off the side of Mount St. Elias.

Boyd was an expert in all he did. He was an extremely successful stock analyst for the Lehman Corporation and only an expert could have mounted the 1967 ascent of McKinley that put three separate parties on top, each by a different route. The logistics and planning that accomplished this feat were overshadowed only by the fact that the expedition had to weather a seventeen-day storm to get to the top. Boyd’s perfectionism showed in the slide shows he delighted in giving. He raised these to a new art form, using as many as four screens. He was so involved with his slide shows that he tried every conceivable combination of wind parkas and pants until he found one that he thought the most photogenic Slides were not enough to express his love for the mountains, and he turned to movie-making in an effort to tell how he felt about them. He spent money and energy in learning to make movies, and he shot a vast quantity of film. Even this was not enough, for he had plans to form a company to shoot the definitive film on mountain climbing.

Boyd was concerned with training and encouraging new climbers. He selflessly spent a great deal of time training young climbers in the Shawangunks and taking beginners ice-climbing on Mount Washington. Boyd wanted to see the satisfactions of climbing available to more and more people, and this concern led to his lecturing to church groups, Y groups, and social clubs in a personal effort to make mountain-climbing better understood and appreciated. He in fact established the American Alpine Club Climbing Fellowship to encourage climbing among young people.

Boyd so looked and acted the proper securities analyst that most people never guessed that he was a man who lived only in the mountains. The mountains made him warm, made him smile; and in recent years his pleasure in the mountains began to carry over into his life in the city. Boyd began climbing in 1957, and in twelve years accomplished what it takes most climbers far longer to do. Many of us live out our lives with no sense of satisfaction; but he found something that gave meaning to his life. Boyd is dead, but he had the satisfaction of accomplishment.

Michael S. Shor