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Kent Jameson, 1958-1991

KENT ALAN JAMESON

1958-1991

Kent Alan Jameson of Oxnard, California, was killed on July 7 in a rappelling accident while descending Thunderbird Peak in the Sierra Nevada. Kent’s loss will be deeply felt by many. He left behind a substantial climbing record, excelling equally at rock, ice and mountaineering. His love for the high peaks took him to the tops of Denali, Alpamayo and the Mexican volcanoes. His list of climbs in the Tetons was formidable and included ascents of the north face and north ridge of the Grand Teton, the south buttress of Moran, the Snaz and a winter ascent of the Black Ice Couloir. He was a leading figure of the climbing scene around Salt Lake City in the early 1980s as a part of a small group of climbers responsible for repeating hard routes and pioneering new ones.

Kent was a truly unique and outstanding character. Blessed as he was with a combination of intense drive, a volatile temper and a flare for the unusual, he gave color and texture to otherwise mundane climbing experiences. There were many times when I belayed him long after dark as he refused to give up on a lead, even several hundred feet up a frozen waterfall. Yes, he was a driven dude for sure. One of my last memories of Kent is of a changed person. With a different perspective derived from an enforced layoff from climbing and a change of jobs, it was a mellower Kent that met me at Joshua Tree. A small group of us listened as Kent spoke eloquently about problems of the world while we passed a long, cold New Year’s Eve stuffed in the back of a van. What a simple pleasure good friends, good conversation, good music and a fine Joshua Tree night added up to. Kent was one of us. Though he had been removed by distance for some years, his presence was felt. Our early years of climbing together were magical. Propelled by his drive, we pushed our personal limits and felt as if we were making our mark, however tiny it may have been. Much like John Long and the Stonemas- ters of the 1970s, we felt important, courageous and vital. Kent will be missed.

Ken Gygi