It’s been more than a week since I first heard the sad news about our dear friends Micah Dash, Jonny Copp and Wade Johnson.  It has taken some time to sink in.  The news felt surreal initially, like a fabrication and I think a part of me refused to believe it at first, until I heard they positively identified Jonny’s body.  That was a BIG hit to all of us.  And I say ‘us’ as in everyone these giant men touched during their adventure on earth.  Family, friends, fans, we are all grieving over this sad loss and I wish those the closest to them my most sincere condolences.  May each of these inspirational men rest in peace and may their lust for life live on for endless generations.   Legends never die.

The last time I saw Jonny was in Ventura California.  I had taken some photographs that I was quite pleased with, he gave me his approval, which meant the world to me considering his reputation as a leading outdoor photographer.  Not only did he give me encouragement, but he set aside his own project (with his adventure film festival) and taught me how to set up my photographs more ‘professionally’.  I felt I was being selfish, I knew he had work to do, but I couldn’t turn down his advice, besides he kept insisting to help.  In the end, he had me set up with a new FTP account, a new photo program and a new way of submitting them, he even gave me some of his contacts at various publications in case the opportunity ever arised.  The world is full of beautiful people, amazing kindness and selfless energy, but I don’t know how many people would have put in as much effort as Jonny did, I don’t know how many people would have gone the extra mile.  It was such a small favor, but it left a lasting impression on me, I feel it is the same with everyone who Jonny met…he constantly left behind the most sincere impressions.  He was not only a friend, and an ambassador of Patagonia, he was an ambassador of love and the human spirit.

I knew Micah better than I knew Jonny, only because I would see Micah more often, allowing us more time to talk, drink and be merry.  Micah was one of those cats who befriended EVERYONE because he was such an outgoing and charming character.  He had a very level head and he was easy to talk to under any circumstance.  He brought humor to every interaction, and constantly reminded us to leave “serious” at the front door.  From my perspective, Micah saw the world as an open playground, a silly playground, and he kept it that way, if ever people or situations got too serious he would be the first one to crack a joke and allow the people around him to relax and start having fun again.  He exuded funness and we love him for that always.  I saw Micah on video before I met him in person, he was climbing Rubys Cafe I believe in the Return to Sender Film by Peter Mortimer, I recall giggling to myself as he crushed the 5.13 without “getting pumped” as he said.  But when he pulled some Bruce Lee action on the camera after Timmy O’neil started poking his nipples, I thought, now this dude is someone I gotta go climbing with.   Although I did drink with him, party with him, discuss the vices and virtues of life with him, I am sad to say I never shared a rope with him,  that’s something I would have cherished, swapping leads with Micah Dash, he’s like the super hero his name suggests and he too carved permanent memories for all.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to know Wade Johnson, although from what I hear and read, he sounds as genuine and as solid as they make ’em these days.  I would have liked Wade, I just know it.  Everyone liked him.

Death is a fact of life, perhaps the only true fact there is, yet still, we just never expect our hero’s to fall so suddenly, so full of youth.  I am sad, there is no other way to say it, I am sad they passed, I am sad life takes away, but I am happy they had the courage to live their lives the way they did outloud and for real.  They have inspired thousands upon thousands of climbers, skiers, photographers and basically anyone who is trying to accomplish anything in this wild world of ours, you have shown us how to live the good life boys, and for that we salute you and celebrate you.  Our hearts are filled with memories!


  • Mike Sampson

    I hope Jonny, Micah, and Wade didn’t suffer too much when it happened.

    I recommend watching “Long Ways” in the Patagonia tin shed, to glimpse what Sonnie is saying about their personalities.

    Trevor Peterson, Alex Lowe, Dan Osman; it seems like there is a zone around 35-40 when these people start dying. I have wondered if they become too comfortable in gnarl terrain, or if it is more spiritual reason: they have lived so much freakin life in a third of the usual time, that the Universe figures they need to start again in another life, to create their magic in another part of the world, or another world altogether.

    Avalanches are sick. But let us not hate on mountains ever; for it is their timeless, powerful, manifestation that teaches those who explore their terrain, about the true nature of humans living on a planet, not humans living in the insanity of society.

  • Roger

    “Snap into a slim-jim we’re going for the summit right now!!!”

    Great inspirational climbers! Sorry to see them go.

    Thanks Sonnie for posting this.