Randy Udall Memorial “Live solidly in your challenge zone”

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | July 15, 2013      

Memorial event was held this past Saturday for Randy Udall, well known environmentalist, pioneer distance skier, all-around mountain guy. Location was the Outward Bound basecamp facility near Marble, Colorado.

Randy had a long history with Outward Bound. He was field staff for a decade, and caretaker of the Marble camp for a few years. Several hundred people showed up so it was necessary to coordinate car shuttles up the narrow 4×4 road to the camp. Beautiful to see the Outward Bound tradition of service has so inculcated Randy’s network, as volunteer family and friends did everything from clearing loose rocks from the road to cleaning up the morning after. The Randy stories of course flew fast and furious.

Udall memorial was held at Outward Bound basecamp, Marble, Colorado, with Whitehouse Mountain looking on.

Udall memorial was held at Outward Bound basecamp, Marble, Colorado, with Whitehouse Mountain looking on. Click images to enlarge.

I listened wide eyed as one of Randy’s ski partners described exiting the California Sierra during a 12-day mega storm and gigantic avalanche cycle, only to have a mining operation hurling dynamite charges above their heads as they skied the last bit to safety. “We were shouting our heads off — finally they heard us and quit shooting the Avalauncher…”

During the formal portion of the event, Randy’s daughter Tarn shared about how the burly mountain man schooled them in the hills and on the rivers. “During our backpacking trips,” Tarn related, “Randy would get way ahead of us then stop and get all comfortable waiting for us, making tea and eating tortillas while we struggled up the trail. Of course, as soon as we showed he’d pack up and start moving again, leaving us with the choice: tortillas like Dad, or just keep moving and trying to keep up!” Classic Outward Bound instructor behavior…but in Randy’s case most certainly done with a chuckle and a smile as he watched his kids learning to make their own way in the wild.

Tarn also related a few of Randy’s choice philosophical slogans for a successful life. My favorites: “Live solidly in your challenge zone,” and more in the backcountry specific genre, “Stay dry, stay fed, and feed the moral meter.” What a man.

Another view of memorial, I was imagining how much Randy probably liked looking up at Whitehouse Mountain from this same spot.

Another view of memorial, I was imagining how much Randy probably liked looking up at Whitehouse Mountain from this same spot.



2 Responses to “Randy Udall Memorial “Live solidly in your challenge zone””

  1. Lisa Dawson July 15th, 2013 9:23 am

    It was a lovely event. I especially liked Paul Andersen’s sing-a-long, “Randy, King of the Wild Frontier.” Heartfelt thanks to all who made it happen.

  2. Andre July 16th, 2013 1:37 am

    Thanks a lot for relating the event. I got to know Randy 18 years ago, sharing a few adventures and great time with him, benefiting from his advice on other trips as well. Reading your and other’s tributes helps me a lot overcoming my sadness. Thank you!
    Andre – Switzerland

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