Saturday, 21 October 2017

Ed Cotter has passed away.

I received the sad news today that Ed Cotter passed away. Ed will be remembered by many of us as an exceptionally good climber, the Father of Adventure Tourism, and a warm and supportive friend with an infectious sense of humour. 

I remember climbing Mt. McFettrick with him in 1991, being his boss at Franz in 1991 and a friend ever since. My daughters loved him and often talk of Ed at Anita Mckerrow's 21st, sleeping in our woodshed at Hokitika. You were an amazing man Ed. My condolences to the Cotter family.                      
                                                All photographs taken by Bob McKerrow

  R to L: Ed Cotter, John Nankervis, Chris Bonnington, Dave Bamford, Mike Browne and Colin Moneath.

                                   Ed Cotter left with Franz Josef mountain guide, Peter McCormack 1991.

                                                   Ed Cotter cutting steps of the Fox Glacier.

    Author Lyn McKinnon, Ed Cotter and Naila McKerrow ay my house. Lyn wrote a book on Ed Cotter.

                             Ed Cotter with his old climbing partner, George Low of Everest fame.

 Ed Cotter centre, Mike Browne left with Chris Jillet right. On a climb of Mount McFettrick.

                           Chris Bonnington left and Ed Cotter right at Chancellor Hit, Fox Glacier.

Writing a bad message when abandoning climbing friends.

This is one of the few notes I felt bad about writing. It is not good to abandon your mates who are out climbing. We were climbing in the remote Kohe Jalgye mountains of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan, ;ictured below.

It was in June 1996 when the Talibans were closing in on Kabul and communities en route to the mountains, were very edgy towards us. Ross Evison and Mattias Luft set out to climb Kohe Jalgye but were late in returning to our high base camp. Bruce Watson and I who had climbed another peak the day before were waiting for them but had run out of food.

                                                               Mattias Luft and Ross Evison

8 June 96.
Dear Ross and Mattias - With the good weather and limited food we have, we thought you would be back by now. Bruce and I have run out of food and had the last few raisins for lunch. As we don't know what has happened, we will descend to our last camp by the river. We have left all the gear you need plus first aid kit. We will buy a sheep from one of the local shepherds and kill it tonight. If you are not back by Midday tomorrow, we will come back up with a search party and a few legs of mutton. Hope to see you soon. Bob and Bruce.
Bruce and I got down to the river, found a shepherd willing to a sell a sheep, and butchered it. We put it on a spit and cooked it, but we were so hungry we ate it half raw, with fat dripping off our beards. We kept the best pieces for Mattias and Ross, and just before nightfall, we heard someone shouting. They had returned. We soon learnt they got to the summit and fell on the descent, and got knocked about. Four days later we were back in Kabul, drinking Russian Vodka, as the Talibans were bombing the hell out of the city.