We've lost one of the greatest athletes of this or any generation. Much will be written about Dean Potter in the coming months and years. In the world of adventure sports, no one has left a bigger mark. I never had the honor of meeting him, and the world he lived in, the climbs and base jumps and slack lines that formed the center of his life will forever be outside my experience, but for all of us who climb, who risk, who strive in the wild places, his loss hits hard. He did not die climbing as featured in the photograph above (from the web), although the climb he ascends there is aptly named: Heaven. No, it was flying that finally took him from the world, a base jumping accident that also claimed his partner, Graham Hunt. We'll likely never know the exact cause. All that most of us can do is honor his great talent and achievements and wonder that such people sometimes walk among us. You made the world a more exciting place, Mr. Potter. You pushed the limits of the possible, and in so doing helped so many of us find that our own limits were not so close afterall. You will be missed. Rangers can't bust you for base jumping in Heaven. Fly!
Portrait from the web--Dean Potter:
Dean and his super hound, Whisper, in happier times: