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Kesler L. Teter, 1933-1975



Kes Teter, my friend and oft-times climbing buddy, is still climbing. An astonishing statement? Not really. For those who were fortunate enough to know Kes and to have climbed with this irrepressible dynamo, he will always be on the move, though no longer physically with us, having died on Noshaq on July 29.

I met Kes six years ago, professionally, and our first outing venture was a desert climb in southern California. Kes was awake at the first light of dawn and made certain we were up and as eager to move as he was. The same scenario recurred on all our climbs, accompanied by the exhortation, “Come on; let’s go. Time’s a’wasting.”

This personified Kes in his approach to climbing. He moved quickly, precisely and confidently. Life for him was a perpetual, rapidly evolving sequence of movement; he enjoyed it in every fiber of his being. His enthusiasm could not be quenched or denied and he imbued his companions with the same esprit.

Is it a wonder now that those who knew him cannot for a moment doubt that he is effervescing, darting about and perhaps impelling the Devil himself to bestir, for there was not a moment to lose?

Yes, we will miss his temporal presence, but a transient closure of one’s eyes brings him back, eyes sparkling, ever smiling. For myself, and I think I echo the sentiments of others, Kes made life worth living, worth enjoying and worth knowing him.

Andrew J. Smatko, M.D.