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Edward A. Lane, 1935-1969

EDWARD A. LANE 1935-1969

The Logan Expedition was a dream come true for Ed Lane. It meant the completion of three peaks, the most difficult, high and largest mountain massif in North America. His Logan Traverse would have covered the entire Logan Massif from Canada to Alaska.

Those that knew Ed Lane remembered him as a individual who loved the mountains with his whole being. For the people who were privileged to hike with him, his leadership and ability were highly respected. Fellow climbers could always depend upon his good judgement and skill. In mountaineering, I knew of no man who better exemplified this spirit to the fullest. He loved a mountain for what it truly was, with the personal satisfaction of having enjoyed it and yet not having to tell the world about it. When on summits, Ed always seemed to be recording data from old registers or placing new ones.

No man should be remembered only for the peaks he has climbed, but for the person that he was. However, Ed Lane’s record as a climber would rank high in any book. A deep love for the mountains that is truly experienced by only a few was often evidenced by his silence upon a summit. Ed especially enjoyed traversing ridges, the more bumps on them, the better. He was not a “peakbagger” in any sense, never boasting of his climbs or displaying emblems of any sort. He told me once that the only emblems he collected were the memories of each climb and that was all that he needed to remind him. These memories he could never losebecause no one could ever take them from him. Ed lived from one weekend to the next and then from summer to summer, and as long as the mountains were there, he was ready to go to them.

He always enjoyed the company of fellow climbers with most of them either consulting him on some interesting route or recruiting him for another trip. Living at Big Pine, California, in the foothills of the eastern Sierra, offered Ed a simple life but with an unending array of mountains to climb. Between Norman Clyde and Ed, there was not anyone whose life was so beautifully simple and yet so vast in experiences which showed his ever growing love of the mountains.

Ed once said that when he had to go, he’d rather be in the country he loved so much. The McArthur Ridge in the St. Elias Range was such a country. His accident could have happened to any good climber. It was one of those elements of nature that no one can predict, and yet one is very much aware of the danger when one accepts the challenge of a mountain. Ed Lane’s challenge was the magnetism of any peak and for this I pray that he may climb and climb through eternity in the mountains he loved.

Richard Beach