Reflection on Tragedy – Death on Mt. Washington

by Randy Pierce

I wanted to share a personal reflection on an article I read in the news yesterday. The article talks about the tragic death of Christopher Baillie. This young and healthy 24-year old was dedicated to several philanthropic efforts, had already battled cancer successfully, and by all accounts in the many tributes on his Facebook page, was simply a wonderful person. As he pursued his personal dreams, he explored the wonders of the wilderness, and it was in this pursuit that he fell to his death on Mt. Washington’s Tuckerman’s Ravine Trail.

Life is fragile, and as we try to live in manner that is rewarding to us, we should remember that each appreciation is a precious gift. I did not know Christopher personally, but I understand a bit of the spirit with which he lived. I was particularly touched when I read a tribute left by one friend, Sean Harkins, “You already made the summit and went far past, overcoming everything life threw your way.” It speaks volumes of not only Christopher’s character, but also of his ability to appreciate his journey, albeit a journey brought to an end too suddenly.

We all experience risks and challenges, whether we’re on Mt. Washington or elsewhere. I hope most of us can remember to appreciate each step along our own personal summits.


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