Her name was Kathryn. She was born two days before Christmas, 1981. She died in a 700-foot fall on Three-Fingered Jack in July 2005. She was only 23. She was a brilliant graduate student and excellent climber who put a foot down in the wrong place on loose gravel. That's all it took.
On a big boulder in this area of South Sister, someone has glued a 3-inch copper disc engraved with her name and the dates of her life. And these words: "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
Perhaps her family scattered her ashes here. Perhaps fellow climbers and friends simply placed the marker to have a private place to mourn and grieve. Perhaps South Sister is where the young Kathryn first climbed a mountain and learned to love walking in the sky. It's a beautiful spot from which to see both what lies above and below.
And if we never attain more wisdom than this in life, we shall have done well:
Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.
Words to live by.