This is the view looking down from @jimwmorrison to myself just below the Cowboy Arete on our first day of three days spent climbing the Cassin ridge.
I’m hosting a chat on my IG Live today at 5:30MST with @chantel.astorga to hear first hand what her recent 14 HOUR solo ascent was like on the Cassin. Look at this photo- take away the rope and the partner attached to it and then climb continuously nearly 9000 feet in one push. Hot damn. Incredible achievement Chantel. Cant wait to hear about it
#shemovesmountains #neverstopexploring @thenorthface #sufferfest ... See MoreSee Less
Back in the San Juan’s with kiddos and family. Heat wave has broken and skies are ☁️, 🌊 are choppy and 🌅 are beautiful. I love this annual trip home.
#hesitation2 #sji #wilsonthedog ... See MoreSee Less
What is the breed of your doggo?
Welcome Back! On my 2nd luckiest day … I’ll meet you in some rando parking lot! Some day…
I love it there. 😊Enjoy.
Chason Patrick Russell
Adventurous souls are often admirable or unique, even inspiring. But few, if any, can be all three while rousing a call to shed self and focus on others. Chason Patrick Russell lived as such. He managed to squeeze the inner most drops of a life well lived in the mountains and give back more than he ever took.
Chason was born in Montrose, Colorado March 10th 1980, to parents Salli and Jim. Their home and community roots stretched deep into the earth surrounding nearby Telluride, Colorado. This landscape shaped them as they carved out a place to live. A few years later, the family Russell took full bloom with the birth of brother Garrett.
Salli and Jim raised their boys on a mountainous foundation. Through communal labor and cooperation, this grew into the construction of the Alta Lakes Observatory. The Russell family ethos placed great value on raw life experiences and a plentiful community of friends. Vibrations of the mighty San Juan mountains and rugged canyons of the Colorado river drainage adorned daily life.
From the get go, our standard three dimensional world struggled to contain Chason Russell. He was inspired by the winding paths of Telluride legends who organically became his mentors. Through the course of his life, Chason mastered the martial arts of ski mountaineering, kayaking and climbing. As the backyard landscape became a window to the world, expeditions to the lofty summits and bank full rivers of our planet soon followed. The Rocky Mountain West and walls of Grand Canyon grew chapters of adventure in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, India, Nepal, Scotland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Mongolia, Japan, British Columbia and the giants of Alaska.
As he circled the globe, Chason used photography as a journal to share his view of the human experience. This creativity took shape as a degree in fine arts and photography from Montana State University in Bozeman. Chason had the uncanny perspicacity to capture the visceral energy of high adventure, balanced with the sublime and cosmic immensity of mother nature, in a single frame.
In turn, Chason opened the door as a mentor for aspiring mountain groms and local families in the Telluride and Roaring Fork Valley communities. He put his outdoor skills and passion to work in developing a career as an adventure coordinator for the Soffer-Robbins family of Aspen. After years of wild and wonderful experiences, these relationships grew from clients and colleagues to dear friends and partners.
He also dedicated much of his time to the; Telluride Big Mountain Team, Telluride Academy, San Juan Kayaking School, Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, Roaring Fork Kayak Club and Mountain Rescue Aspen. The list of young mountain athletes turned Jedi, under the steady mentorship of Chason Russell, is stout and proud.
It sure makes sense that he was drawn to the far reaching portals of existence. Chason explored his backyard and travelled the world. A seeker with a wild heart, balanced by a peaceful soul. Chason was legit. Anyone who crossed paths with him had the immense fortune to know a true friend. A man of strength, creativity and an insatiable fire to experience life and love at its authentic core, eroded of pretense and facade.
A perfect picture of Chason’s impact on his community unfolded from the day after his passing. It became evident that the effort to recover his body would involve a great deal of complexity, risk management and resources. A call went out for help. Within a few hours a large team of friends from the region and around the west, with several decades of river and mountain rescue experience, mobilized. What transpired became a tribute of dedication and love. A river shaped funeral with a concerto of rope rigging cooperation, a benediction of weeping rain from the heavens and the physical form of Chason Russell, in peaceful repose, returned to his family to be committed back to the earth.
Chason rode a wonderous wave of joy and positivity as he ‘shuffled off this mortal coil’ into the deep and ever surrounding natural mystic. Honeymoon river trip photos with his love Jessica and these words were left on his work desk:
I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire
I choose to inhabit my days
To allow my living to open me
To make me less afraid, more accessible
To loosen my heart
Until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise
I choose to risk my insignificance
So that which came to me as seed
Goes to the next as blossom
And that which came to me as blossom
Goes on as fruit
By Dawna Markova
Chason was and is a quantum blast of brilliance. As a result, our loss and gut wrenching grief will never be tidy and neat. Closure is not really desired or even possible with a force of nature like him. Instead, we will accept the pain, in light of the knowing that his ‘Onda’ is all around us. His wave of energy rests inside each drop of rain, crystal of snow and sparkle of chossy stone that we call home.
Chason Russell’s spirit flows on, wild and free, in the hearts and souls of the innumerable lives that he touched.
A Celebration of the Life of Chason Russell will be held Thursday, July 1st 2021 at the Schmidt Ranch:
4553 County Rd. 63L
Telluride, CO 81435
-Parking is very limited, please use the shuttle service
-Shuttles will be provided from;
*Town of Telluride at the Carhenge free parking lot at 2:15pm and 2:45PM
*Lawson Hill Park and Ride free parking lot at 2:30PM and 3:00PM
-If driving to the venue, please carpool with 4-5 other people. Again, parking is very limited
-Please bring a camp chair and be prepared for mountain weather
For information on the Chason P Russell Memorial Fund and to make a donation, please visit:
Thank you to Chason's family and friends for the inspiring words. We love and miss you Chason! ... See MoreSee Less
This time last summer climbing the Third Pillar from the Dana Plateau.
It was pretty cool to do this climb after skiing the #thirdpillar the previous winter. Totally different perspective on exposure with skis versus climbing shoes!
#ilovepurple @thenorthface @thedropboardshop @blackdiamond_climb #multisporting @blizzardskis @tecnica_sports ... See MoreSee Less
You are incredible! Love the ❤️ hat
From Steph Davis. I couldn’t say it better so re-posting her words.Every day my heart gets heavier as the Lasals continue to burn. The fire is now covering 8,243 acres and is 6% contained. My favorite trails, aspen groves, and thousands of helpless animals have been burned. Instead of a lush respite from Moab summer, these mountains are now a blackened wasteland, and it’s still raging. It’s infuriating that this was started by an unattended campfire on a hundred degree day during high winds and a fire ban. Last week I wish I had realized it was the last time I’d see some of that ecosystem again. The fresh green young leaves were so beautiful. Another blow to this lovely place. The human-caused destruction just doesn’t seem to end. When are people going to wake up and realize that this natural paradise is what makes life worth living, and every goal we have should be based on caring for it? Hint: IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY. On a side note, this link is a story about a developer making plans to put in a “glamping” resort at Looking Glass Arch. www.moabsunnews.com/opinion/article_c46da72c-c98e-11eb-bb21-a7f47b136d50.html The article includes a link to a petition against it. ... See MoreSee Less
As a CSU Forestry grad and former Hotshot I feel I need to add some science to this. Sure the fire was started by carelessness, but the fires today are much bigger because the US has made the decision to suppress fires. That in turn causes severe buildup on the forest floor which leads to fires getting into the crowns much more often and burning much hotter. This isn’t as a result of global warming it’s a result of to much fuel in the forest. The ecosystem she is describing needs fire to reproduce period end of story. Aspen, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, redwood, and countless other ecosystems are fire dependent!! Fire isn’t the issue in fact it’s the cure in smaller doses but if we continue to suppress it bigger and bigger fires will occur. I’m sure someone will chime in and say this is all global warming please don’t just jump to conclusions. The largest one day fire in the US occurred in Minnesota in 1894 the Hinckley Fire, look it up had nothing to do with global warming. It may be a factor but it is surely a long way from being proven especially in relation to wildfire. I would add finally after areas that are fire dependent burn many return beautiful and rebirthed. Many of our forests need to burn regularly and the human error is we suppress them to oblivion making things worse....Sorry this post above needs context! Fire for to long has been looked at as the enemy we need to rethink that as a society!😃
Not surprised in the least. UC will be here soon also.
I said it before the only way to protect is to band people from going there, bottom line. Humans destroy everything. I have neighbors like theses dumb dumbs
Great info. I live in AZ and as of today we have 22 plus fire burning, my issue is why can the Native American land work their land, clean underbrush and remove dead old timber- basically fuel but our federal forest do not do this maintenance. I went to go fishing last week on the native land and it is closed do to fire hazard!! The state land is open and out of control fires right now- MAN MADE and this can be reduced with closing state land until we receive some rainfall.
When are you going to wake up??? No e of these fires are accidents there are people ano g us who want to destroy everything about America. Even us.
The commercialization of outdoor sports, of "adventuring", and of marketing products via athletes like yourselves, is a major contributer to situations like this. If you make a living by pushing the lifestyle to the general public you will lose those wild places, either through over use, or misuse. If you want those places to remain quiet and untrodden, stop talking about them, posting the pretty photos of them, and giving it all away. You're a sponsored spokesperson who regularly appears in material that encourages people to go to these places, who are you surprised that this might happen? I found some places 30-some-odd years ago and have just kept my damn mouth shut about them.