Saturday, 3 August 2013

Chris Jillett The mountaineer and the man

Below: Chris Jillett on top of Mt. McFettrick, Westland National Park. Photo: Bob McKerrow

The recent tragedy of Marty and Denali Schmidt has brought the potential dangers of the mountains into the news.  There have been several such news stories over the years.  As a blizzard struck Mount Everest on 10-11 May 1996, tragedy was imminent.  The event was to claim the lives of eight people and attract worldwide attention and discussion.  Among the victims were New Zealanders Rob Hall and Andy Harris.  The rescue party attending the incident included fellow kiwi, and respected mountain guide, Chris Jillett; little did he know that fate would tragically bring him full circle before too long.


A ‘Normal’ Guy from New Zealand

Chris was a kid from New Zealand who studied law, played guitar, and loved mountains; outwardly normal, but extraordinary in his zest for life and influence on others.  He began his guiding career in 1985 at Fox Glacier, where he impressed everyone with his charm as well as his obvious guiding ability. The legacy of Chris, and his fellow guides over the years, can still be felt at Fox Guides which prides itself on a family like environment that is down to earth and friendly as well as professional and expert.  Following in the footsteps of guides like Chris are those who participate in the tours available such as ‘Fox it Up: Heli Ice Climbing Adventure’.  This eight to nine hour experience presents the adventurous with an introduction to the sport of ice climbing in the exhilarating atmosphere of the upper part of the Fox Glacier.  Guides are expertly trained to ensure that they in turn provide impeccable tuition.


The Dangers of Nature
There can have been few guides more expert than Chris Jillett; with his skills he was instrumental in creating a Glacier Guides credential through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association.  The Association was established in 1974 to create a consistent training program for those entering the professional mountain guiding field.   Of course not everyone who loves the mountains takes them into their professional lives; climbing holds a fascination for many who participate as a recreational activity.  Whatever the status of a climber, negotiating a climb is a serious enterprise; the unpredictability of mountains was shown in the 1996 Everest tragedy.  The unexpected can always happen, and the outcome is sometimes in the hands of Mother Nature alone, but being prepared and well informed helps to tip the odds in a climber’s favour; as does being accompanied by a guide with as much experience and talent as Chris. 


A Mountainous Career
Both the talent and the experience were put to good use throughout Chris’s career.  He continued in his connection with the Fox Glacier as well as going on to work as a member of the ski-field patrol team at Treble Cone which today is the largest ski resort on New Zealand’s South Island with a longest run of four kilometres which also has a vertical drop of seven hundred metres.  In the mid-1990s Chris worked at Harris Mountains Heli-skiing in New Zealand’s Southern Alps  as a safety office where he put all his expertise into ensuring the safety of the heli-skiing experience. 



Chris Jillet leads Mike browne from Alpine Guides Westland, towards the summit of Mt. McFettrick in 1991. Photo: Bob McKerrow



Gone too Soon
Not long after joining Harris Mountains Heli-skiing Chris witnessed the terrible power of nature first hand with the 1996 Everest tragedy; and now to complete the circle that robbed the world of an adventurous and generous soul.  Having worked as a guide in the area for the previous twelve months Chris entered the Himalayan valley of Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, with his party, on Friday 6 March 1998; it was to be his final adventure.  The slope had already hosted four groups that morning and Chris was approximately fifty metres into his run when a client entered the slope above him and the slope broke away creating an avalanche that was approximately five hundred metres wide and three to four metres deep at the point of fracture; Chris was swept seven hundred metres away.  Hampered by incoming clouds those searching for the popular guide found Chris forty minutes later, face down under two metres of snow.  Despite vigorous resuscitation attempts lasting for an hour and a half Chris was pronounced dead at the hospital.  He has left memories with those whose paths he crossed from those like canvas repairer Donald who still uses Chris’s old day pack that he was gifted, to Eric Napier, 
the Wanaka operations manager for Harris Mountains Heli-skiing at the time of Chris’s death who described Chris as “a man of integrity -- very balanced, very dedicated to his job; a total professional."  Having affected many lives, at the age of only thirty two, Chris Jillett died as he lived, in the mountains.

Lisa Williamson. 

 Lisa Bonet nee Williamson, has written this article at no cost as she was motivated to honour the life of Chris Jillett. She is a very competent free-lance writer and here are some links to other recent articles she has written. http://herbivoretriathlete.com/iron-to-aid-performance/
http://www.mymedicalmalpracticeinsurance.com/news/study-reveals-errors-in-diagnosis-account-for-biggest-payouts-in-medical-malpractice-suits/http://www.mykidstime.ie/d/junk-food-and-kids-could-it-be-making-childhood-illnesses-worsehttp://oregonconfluence.com/2013/05/16/artistic-expression-as-a-tool-to-beat-addiction/#more-11453

5 comments:

oakleyses said...

tory burch outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, coach outlet store online, polo ralph lauren outlet, chanel handbags, true religion outlet, ray ban outlet, red bottom shoes, burberry outlet online, prada outlet, kate spade outlet online, nike free, polo ralph lauren, christian louboutin shoes, nike air max, christian louboutin outlet, coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, burberry outlet online, true religion, nike shoes, longchamp handbags, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, nike air max, prada handbags, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet store, kate spade handbags, louis vuitton handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin, longchamp outlet online, michael kors outlet online

oakleyses said...

chaussure louboutin, ralph lauren pas cher, nike free pas cher, burberry pas cher, guess pas cher, ray ban pas cher, converse pas cher, barbour, true religion outlet, tn pas cher, air max pas cher, sac louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, vans pas cher, nike roshe, nike air max, abercrombie and fitch, air jordan, nike free, louis vuitton uk, scarpe hogan, michael kors uk, mulberry, true religion jeans, nike air force, sac vanessa bruno, oakley pas cher, air max, nike roshe run, new balance pas cher, longchamp, north face, ralph lauren, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, hollister, ray ban uk, hermes pas cher, hollister, lululemon, michael kors canada, timberland, sac michael kors, louis vuitton, north face pas cher

oakleyses said...

canada goose outlet, asics shoes, giuseppe zanotti, soccer jerseys, soccer shoes, birkin bag, uggs outlet, bottega veneta, wedding dresses, reebok shoes, north face jackets, mcm handbags, ugg boots, babyliss pro, marc jacobs outlet, vans outlet, lululemon outlet, mac cosmetics, canada goose, herve leger, nike trainers, north face outlet, roshe run, beats headphones, longchamp, instyler ionic styler, valentino shoes, ugg soldes, insanity workout, p90x workout, ugg, jimmy choo shoes, canada goose outlet, abercrombie and fitch, nike huarache, ferragamo shoes, nfl jerseys, ghd, new balance outlet, chi flat iron, rolex watches, celine handbags, mont blanc pens, ugg outlet, hollister, uggs on sale

oakleyses said...

moncler, canada goose, links of london uk, air max, hollister canada, uggs canada, oakley, canada goose pas cher, swarovski jewelry, lancel, parajumpers outlet, juicy couture outlet, toms outlet, canada goose, montre femme, ray ban, replica watches, moncler, canada goose uk, coach outlet, swarovski uk, gucci, supra shoes, louboutin, baseball bats, pandora uk, moncler outlet, converse, nike air max, vans, louis vuitton canada, ralph lauren, moncler, pandora charms, pandora jewelry, thomas sabo uk, ugg, iphone 6 case, canada goose outlet, karen millen, hollister clothing, timberland shoes, moncler, juicy couture outlet, hollister, wedding dress, moncler, moncler, converse shoes

chenlina said...

chenlina20160620
jordan 11 concord
kate spade
louis vuitton handbags
air huarache
cheap jordans
oakley outlet
gucci handbags
oakley sunglasses
true religion jeans sale
pandora outlet
christian louboutin shoes
coach outlet
replica watches
coach outlet
jordan 6
ralph lauren
nfl jerseys wholesale
beats solo
adidas shoes
ray ban sunglasses
nike air max 90
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors purses
instyler max
jordan retro 3
nike sb
hollister clothing
longchamp outlet
ray ban sunglasses
cheap toms
toms shoes
coach outlet
true religion outlet
coach outlet online
toms outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
michael kors handbags
michael kors purses
nike outlet
oakley canada
as