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Cassy Brown Appreciation Thread.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ratagonia, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Rich Rudow

    Rich Rudow

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    One of the brightest stars in the galaxy has gone dark. My dear friend Cassy Brown passed away in a canyoneering accident in Zion National Park. She was only 26. I first met Cassy in the Grand Canyon at Tequila Beach. She introduced herself and informed me that she had a 300’ rope and was going to descend a canyon called Pillars of Truth. It was an impactful introduction, just as she planned. I orchestrated the first descent of that canyon. It was unpublished and largely unknown. Questions followed, but it became abundantly clear that despite being only 22 years old at the time, she was extremely competent and confident in her abilities. She later joined several canyoneering oriented Grand Canyon river trips and adventurous canyoneering trips from the rim, including first descents. Having gained her canyoning skills in the sandstone slots of Zion National Park, she always brought a valued and skilled perspective to the limestone slots of the Grand Canyon. She was a masterful practitioner in the art of canyoning.

    One of Cassy’s goals was to row a raft through the Grand Canyon. When an experienced boatman couldn’t make the full trip last year, I offered Cassy her a shot at rowing. In her indomitable way, she christened blue boat #23 “The Fuckit Bucket” and did one terrific job at piloting an 18 foot 2,000 pound barge through the canyon. She was scheduled to row a boat on this year's river trip launching in December. In Cassy’s honor, The Fuckit Bucket will be on the river as scheduled. Her river family will take turns at the oars. We’ll all miss your antics, your infectious smile, your can do attitude, and your superb competence in canyons Cassy. I’ll especially miss your indomitable spirit. RIP my friend.

    My deepest condolences to Cassy’s family.

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    No one photo I've taken captures Cassy's indomitable spirit more this one behind the oars of the Fuckit Buckit

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    Cassy had done a lot of Grand slots in this neighborhood and just reveled in the view from up high

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    Cassy: "hey Rich, do you know what I'm doing?"
    Me: "uhhh stuffing a pull cord???"

    that laugh begins ....

    Cassy: "Milking the kitty"

    .... laughs so hard

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    Cassy and Tyler: irreverent best friends forever

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    Happy places in the Grand. The group had just exited that amazing slot canyon down below

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    Cassy rows a Fuckit Bucket full of friends heading across the river to begin a long backpack to descend a Grand slot

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    The fine art of warming your face on a damn cold morning before jumping into an icy slot canyon. She's the only person on a planet with two suns

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    Embarrassing antics: Cassy meets Emerald Mile author Kevin Fedarko. She carried her copy in her pack to get Kevin to sign it. She spent the day helping Kevin, Annette (Kev's GF) and Pete McBride on their way through Garden Creek. They really enjoyed her experience, antics, and professionalism

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    Gamesmanship always: Can I keep my feet dry?

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    Two peas in a pod: Cassy and Eran were inseparable on trips. It's snowing, cold, and our fingers were frozen. It doesn't register with these two. Fun first always

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    Scouting Lava Falls for her first time, the most feared rapid in all of Grand Canyon, with her fellow "grizzled veteran" boatmen. Everyone instantly took Cassy under their wing offering help and advice. She was humble about the task and naturally learned fast. Yes ... she had a great run!

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    Putting Cassy and Peter McBride on a boat together proved to be combustable fun. I could not stop laughing. The antics were legendary

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    An early morning start. Cassy and Tyler are still waking up I suspect. But there is something about this image that captures Cassy's more introspective side and their deep friendship

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    Hamming it up for the camera in her happy place

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    Cassy had a good sense of what would make good image and saw this shot. The audacity of holding the moon in your hand. She lived her life with such an amazing spirit and positive impact on everyone she met. She's up there with the moon and the stars leading the band in laughter now
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  2. Eroni

    Eroni

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    Cassy, my Broatie. Your laughter was an infectious fuel for endless silliness. I’m so grateful to have known you. Hard to think of the next chapter without you, but your memory lives strong in all of us. Love you, girl.

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  3. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    @Rich Rudow

    Thank you for that remarkable and heartfelt tribute. It really makes us grateful for you having carried your camera to all of these places so you can so vividly share these memories.
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  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  6. sstratts

    sstratts

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    Cassy and I circled each other here in Zion, at work guiding and playing with shared friends. I love these epic stories, her sass and expertise and these stories will be told over and over in between canyon walls, on boats rowing in between rapids and in our thoughts while alone in the places she can be found.

    I was and will always be humbled by her stoke for her time spent in the big canyons. I knew her most and best in Zion's easiest canyons...the "secret" sandstone canyon carousels of families and never-evers on rappel, descending "sort of" water courses that many have worked as guides. When you run into each other's groups, its unexpected but exciting, the epitome of a small community. There could be twenty people jockeying for rappels and sounds of sobbing children clinging to the air, and Cassy always stayed cool, flashing the same big smile at me that we see in these pictures and asking how I was, if I had gone on any trips lately before parting ways so skillfully. I'll miss the quiet waves when we caught sight of each other in the canyon and will be forever expecting to catch a glimpse of her behind a windshield on my drive into the canyon.

    It has been heartbreaking to lose Cassy so suddenly, and even more powerful to imagine the hurt those closest must be feeling, her spirit is irreplaceable. I think of her in these beautiful places, popping up just around the corner of the great rock cathedrals she loved so dearly; the places we were with her and are fully alive with each other.

    Take time, take care,
    Sarah
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
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  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  9. nkanarik

    nkanarik

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    I did Mystery canyon with my daughters yesterday. Although we didn’t know Cassy, the event, stories, and pictures left a big impression on them. We all rappelled to the boulder, and spent some time honoring Cassy. My daughters wrote her name on the rock with the water coming out of the wall. It was a special moment, and we’ll remember it forever.

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  10. nkanarik

    nkanarik

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  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  12. Ram

    Ram

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    So it is FreezeFest XV. It is a warm well attended affair, with many spirited evenings around the campfire and multiple groups going into multiple canyons, by day. A fine affair it was. I met many new folks, some were friends of friends, others random new people on the planet.

    New Years Day arrives and it is off to the Black Hole, my 14th January 1st run and 44th time through, dating back to my first time in 1979. As one might guess, I know the place pretty well and have "all the moves memorized." With that in mind, one can measure one's fitness and in my case the decline of strength and thrust. So in the first big boulder field, I approach the simple, left leaning groove near its end. Here I let the muscle memory have at it and....nope. Right back down. A second try. Same result. I tell myself that the wet suit is a little tighter, as there is a bit more of me. By now I sense someone is behind me. I have no pride so I am not operating off of any embarrassment or the like. BUT, now someone is stuck behind me and that is rude. I give it another go....and....and, I have just enough thrust to come to a static stop right at the point of making it or returning back from were started. MUST not slip back....I lean just a little and I make it, amazed at what was once so easy is now on the borderline. I go up a few feet and I hear an enthused "Atta Boy. Great job. You did it!!!" I mean it sounded just like all the soccer parents cheering their 5 year olds, kicking the ball for the first time, in their very first game. OKAY, who the heck is that? I turn and look into the beaming, smiling eyes of Cassy Brown. While we had "friends of friends" and had talked at the campfire, this was our first canyon moment. There would be many more.

    She took it upon herself to "look after" me in many more canyons in the coming 4 years. I think the best leaders are the ones that lead from the middle and the back and have the pulse of everyone on the trip and do so without anyone being aware that they are being monitored and cared for. The request for a break that someone else needs, the snack shared at the right time for another, the distracting conversation, when someone is not feeling it. There are others of you out there that do the same thing. Kudos to you all. Cassy was one of the best. We traveled together till the pothole escape just as one enters the Hole proper, where she anchored me out and I took over the hauling station for those that followed. I saw her next at the end, at the parking lot, as my group, bringing up the rear finished to the traditional "high five" celebration of another trip where everyone got out whole and uninjured. There would be other "High Five's" in our future.





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  13. Ram

    Ram

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  14. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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    I'm not even sure when & where we met, but unlike many of our friends my real connection with her was not canyoneering but the river & boats. Not just any river or boats, but 18' gear boats on the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. She had done a trip or two & joined us in 2019 on one of our rafting/canyoneering trips. She spoke of wanting to learn to row, so when the opportunity came up the next year she took over a boat part way through. I've spent 40+ years as a river guide & teacher, so it's pretty easy for me to see who has the feel for the river right out of the gate - that was Cassy. She took every opportunity to watch & learn - not afraid to make mistakes, but turning them into just another opportunity for type 2 fun. It was all part of her adventurous spirit & she made the usual rookie learning curve as steep as possible.

    One of the photos I have is scouting Lava Falls with all of the boatman. She came over and stood next to me - asking what I thought. I was honored she wanted my insight, but had seen enough to know she didn't really need it. I told her to not get to focused on what you think will happen but pay attention to where the current is going & keep your oars in the water. Dave asked if I wanted my usual lead position, but I said no - it's time for others to take that spot and I wanted to watch Cassy & my daughter Kelsey on their first runs. Quite a treat to watch them both totally ace one of the largest rapids in the canyon.

    Another sweet remembrance from that last time together was as I was finishing a three-day backcountry loop coming out Fern Glen. My usual position these days is back of the pack. I'm fortunate to have tolerant friends who will wait, but this was horse-to-the-barn for everyone so I was solo coming down the last climb & slot. As I got part way through Cassy had left the camp celebration & came to make sure I was okay & asked if she could she carry anything. The bad-ass adventuress with a heart of gold!

    For Cassy - You are loved girl...
    No Praise, No Blame (william stafford)

    What have the clouds been up to today? You can't
    blame them, you know. Their edges just
    happen, and where they go is the fault of the wind.
    I'd like my arrival to be like that, alone and
    quiet, really present but never to blame.
    And I'd never presume or apologize, and if anyone
    pressed me I'd be gone, and come back there
    only some harmless, irresistible presence
    all around you, like the truth, something you need,
    like the air.

    2lava scout.
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  15. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  16. Cameron

    Cameron Long Tall Texan by birth

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    Our first selfie ever. Haven't been able to come on here and post anything because its just been so hard to accept that it is real.

    Cassy....I love you. You were the best adventure bud and best friend. Don't know really how to move forward past this but I know if I don't...you would give me hell.

    Thank you THANK YOU Cassy for being such a treasured part of my life.

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  17. Cameron

    Cameron Long Tall Texan by birth

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    missing.

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  18. Ram

    Ram

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    The last day of the 2017. The oldsters and youngums, soaking low angle sun in the N-S facing Euphrates.
    I miss you girl



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  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  20. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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