Timb Argast – Vancouver, BC
Common Interests: BBQ, Mountain Sports, Running, Beer
For some reason Tom was always willing to go on some crazy adventure I had dreamed up… and often it was only me and him out there. Of course the camera always goes away when things get serious, so there are no pictures of the 3 pitches of thin ice climbing up a corner system on the north face of harvey in full Scottish conditions in which I only got one ice screw placement. But there are also no pictures of the sun setting behind us when we skied across Garibaldi Lake, which I think was perhaps the most spectacular sunset I have seen in my life.
In the past couple weeks what I have found hits me the hardest is when I remember some adventure and start to say “You remember that time when…” and then realize that now no one else does.
While there is a technical side to mountaineering, a confrontation with the raw power of the mountains, that came only be understood by those who venture into the hills, there is an essential element that everyone is familiar with, and that is the friendship you forge along the way. This is such a pivotal part of the experience, that alpinists have given it its own name: The Fellowship of the rope. Because at the end of the day, you may have made the summit, you might have had to turn around, but regardless of the outcome, you have spent an amazing day with a close friend.
Derrick Barber – London, Ont
Relationship: Childhood Buddy
Common Interests: Golf, Mountain Biking
Tom was a very important part of a core group of people who accepted me for who I was from a young age…. I could never match his intensity/110% attitude for things in life, yet he was always very warm and inviting for having me around, because I tried my best… he would OWN a bike trial or hockey game… but would try hard not to leave me behind because he knew that even though my 110% would never equal his… I was trying my best.
At a very young age I decided that Tom and two other people we hung out with were the kind of people I should remain loyal with forever…. And I certainly was.
One of the highlights for me was visiting his family (ESPECIALLY) his grandpa after Tom moved to BC… and I remember his grandpa saying how frustrated “Tommy” was that he couldn’t beat me at golf… I had to hold my giddy moment inside because I know he was so used to beating me at everything… it was fun to have something on him.
The other fun moment I can remember was Kirstie telling me this story about Tom showing off and losing control on his Bike… I Never met her before and knew little about his “Post London Ontario” life…. But we immediately connected because he did the exact same thing 10 years earlier… he was showing off how fast he could bike with no hand on a dirt road… sure enough, moments before convincing me he was a super hero, his handle bars turned sideways… and he flipped head over heels onto the gravel road…. I was worried at first, but as soon as I knew he was OK… there was something within me that chuckled at the fact he apparently wasn’t a super hero…. He made the same mistakes I would have… just in a more confident/larger than life fashion…
And that’s what I appreciate about Tom, and one of the things that apparently made him so likeable to a lot of people… he was a “Type A” / “larger than life” type of person, Yet he treated others the way they treated him… he included people like me, who felt like they were not included… my popularity didn’t mean S&%$T to him, but kindness, loyalty, respect, and giving the best I could did… these inner values and kindness is what made him special.
I am lucky enough to have that within other people in my life, but I miss how much he nailed that need on the button for me. I know a lot of people got to experience this, and I hope we all continue to respect and appreciate this for years to come.