Sunday, January 3, 2010

Will Wilkinson

It is with much sadness that I have to report Will’s death in an avalanche on Ben Nevis on 30 December 2009.

I met Will 2 years ago when I first moved to Inverness and we quickly forged a strong friendship sharing a passion for all things climbing, a love of the outdoors and an ambition to climb harder. In this short time we had a great number of memorable adventures, many of which are catalogued here.

I can not hope to do Will justice in my few words here - he was quite simply a brilliant guy and an absolute pleasure to spend time with. Will was a particularly popular member of the Inverness climbing scene and will be sadly missed by many. More than anything, Will was a loving and devoted partner to his fiancée Becky who he was due to marry later this year.

We extend our sympathies and thoughts to Rupert Rosedale’s family and friends who died in the same accident and our appreciation to the survivor and all those in the rescue services who did so much to try and help.

Will primarily maintained this blog as a diary but he enjoyed sharing his adventures and was both surprised and flattered with the number of people who followed it. If any comfort can be sought, it is fitting that Will died doing something he loved so much but tragic that he died so unexpectedly and with so much left to accomplish.

Andy Wardle.


Freudy said...

A fitting tribute Andy... i heard the very sad news myself on new years day. I had the pleasure to know Will from the inverness wall scene and had climbed with him on occasion outdoors too. A bad word could never be uttered about the man who obviously had the passion, the talent too, but moreoften than not down the wall anyway, much to others amusement, the infamous "Elvis leg" as soon as he got above a runner :) i will now fondly remember many moments of friendly jesting and cajoling as he tried his absolute heart out!

I followed this blog of his with great interest and was envious to see him getting out and about so often recently with so many good times had and so many smiley faces in photos.

Moreoften than not Becky, these included you, and it is to you now that i extend my deepest and most sincere condolences. If it should help at all, take comfort in the fact that the thoughts of myself Jamie, Rob, Lorraine and no doubt countless other wall regulars who had the good fortune to share both your and Will's friendship are with you right now.

In deepest sympathy and respect,

Paul M Freudenthal

Anonymous said...

In common with all of his many friends I'm sure, I was shocked,stunned and hugely saddened by the news of Will's accident last wednesday.Its almost impossible to believe that someone with so much enthusiasm and energy has left us.I mostly climbed with Will at the wall and sadly only managed a few days climbing with him outside. I had no idea how much he was out and about doing until I looked at this blog for the first time on thursday. I hope that this blog stands testament to all that was important to him and continues to provide inspiration to other would be adventurers.It also shows just how much time he and Becky spent adventuring together and just what a great match they were. He will be very,very sadly missed indeed.

James said...

I knew Will as a teacher at The Gordon Schools in Huntly and was shocked and saddened to hear of his tragic death. We had many chats about how best to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life. He did, but his death at such a young age is still hard to take.

My condolences to Becky and Will's family.

James Davidson

Anonymous said...

This was a man who has lived life to the full. Already he’s achieved more, seen more, and done more than most of us manage in a whole lifetime, both in UK and worldwide.
There were years when I used to climb regularly once or twice a week with Will at the Inverness Wall. I always looked forward to the chance to climb with him as they were great sessions, and as those who know me will understand, I was always on the scrounge for a belay! We would egg each other on to achieve ever better standards. He was the perfect climbing partner – always reliable on the belay and for ever encouraging and exhorting me to try that bit harder. The move that I couldn’t make, he would do and later talk me through it, and on occasion - vice versa.
We were kindred spirits – both lovers of the outdoors, both geographers, both teachers, both with partners that shared our outdoor interests and whom we thought of as equals. Despite the difference in our ages, for he was barely half my age, there was complete equality – no sense of ageism or condescension.
I am ever grateful to Will for those terrific times we spent together, and for his kindness and friendship. It’s hard to believe he’s gone. His passing leaves a big gap.
Thanks Will - it was great to know you. You die much regretted.
Marit and I both send our deepest sympathy to Becky and the family on both sides.
Keith Brunskill

Toby said...

I met Will not long after I first moved to Inverness. Our first climbs together were spent at Cummingston. I can remember unsuccessfully trying to top rope a VS and having a horror fest on a mod where a hold snapped and I narrowly avoided falling on some very dodgy gear. I still hate sandstone to this day! His enthusiasm new no bounds and he was keen to get out whatever the weather. I remember him telling me about his first mountain route (January jigsaw iirc) on the Rannoch Wall on Buachaille Etive Mor and enthusing about one of the best days he’d ever had on the hill.

Unfortunately we had drifted apart over the last few years (in part due to my own personal circumstances) but I’d always kept an eye on his blog and he always had a friendly word to say whenever I saw him down the climbing wall. His climbing had come on leaps and bounds and the enthusiasm to climb had clearly undiminished. I had just moved to the same street as Will and Becky and was going to pop over and invite him round for a few beers and a catch up - sadly it wasn’t to be.

If you read this Becky, feel free to pop round to Number 15 anytime, the kettle’s always on!

Sincere condolences to Becky and Will's phone.