I knew George for thirty years as a friend, a fellow engineer at Perkin Elmer and climbing companion. He attended M.I.T. and University of New Hampshire.
In climbing, George was conservative, careful and confident. He thought out climbing problems before attempting them. These were attributes which made him such a good partner. You could depend on him, and in mountaineering that is everything. He understood and accepted that in spite of all precautions, careful planning and training there were objective dangers. He accepted that, as did his family.
Most people wonder why perfectly sensible individuals will risk their lives to climb a mountain. For those of us who climb, the beauty found in the mountains is not matched anywhere. The acceptance of a challenge, the meeting of a self-set goal, the reliance on one’s strength and knowledge and on the complete support of one’s companions combine to make climbing unique in a world where most of us carry out someone else’s dictates. The body’s movement is always in harmony with its environment, shifting the weight to adapt to changing needs, while the rope serves as the life line tying you to your companions. As one climbs, little is disturbed; there is almost no trace of one’s passage. The mountains were there long before us. For us the memories of sharing and understanding the unique beauty with George will last a lifetime.
George made major climbs in Europe, Canada, Mexico and this country. He was a member of the American Alpine Club, the Alpine Club of Canada and the Appalchian Mountain Club. The last mountain I climbed with him was one of the classic climbs in the Swiss Alps—the Biancograt, the white route, on the Piz Bernina. George, Bill Smith and I climbed the long, steep, knife-edged snow ridge on a blue-sky day. It was the perfect climb and that is how I will always remember George, climbing that snow ridge into the deep blue sky.
George E. Evans of Ridgefield, Connecticut was killed in an accident on the east ridge of Mount Whitney, California on July 14, 1982.