Rock climbing at Idaho's City of Rock National Reserve.

To My Kids: Yes, the Worst Can Happen. Be Careful Out There

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   11 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Hi Nate and Alex,

There was a tragic story in the news recently of yet another accomplished young climber who’s now dead. He actually survived an avalanche that killed his girlfriend while they were backcountry skiing in Montana, but he could not endure the avalanche of grief and pain that followed. He took his own life the next day. He was 27, his girlfriend was 23. They were both way too young. It’s unspeakably awful.

This story will probably fly off your radar soon, I know. But I can’t avoid thinking about that terrible double tragedy.

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11 Responses to To My Kids: Yes, the Worst Can Happen. Be Careful Out There

  1. Peter   |  November 2, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Excellent blog. I really like your article.

    I will share your site with my boys and wife.

  2. Peter   |  November 2, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Excellent blog. I like to visit new places and also my family.

    I think I will share your blog site with my children and my wife.

    Hope they like your blog.

    • MichaelALanza   |  November 2, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Thanks, Peter, much appreciated.

  3. Hiking Guide   |  October 17, 2017 at 3:55 am

    “…you don’t redeem one life ended too soon by wasting your own. ”
    Very powerful words, especially for those who as you have mentioned are “drowning in survivor grief.” Time may be slow in healing but it will surely come.

    • MichaelALanza   |  November 2, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Time often delivers the gift of better perspective.

  4. Kenny Ross   |  October 16, 2017 at 10:23 am


    Although you have periodically “raised a few eyebrows” over the years with some of your family adventures, you have always emphasized safety first. Even though there are never any guarantees in life, your approach to enjoying the outdoors has exemplified the old adage: “it’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.” I’m sure there will always be a tiny voice in the back of your mind reminding you that exposing your children to more, has also made them capable of more…….to me, that’s a good thing. Like many things in life, I would rather regret something I did…than regret something I didn’t do. In addition to opening the doors to lives of fulfillment, you have given your children all the tools necessary to best navigate their own paths. Keep up the good work!

    • MichaelALanza   |  November 2, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Thanks for those nice words, Kenny, I certainly agree with everything you’ve written there. And you’ve used a wonderful quote from Lincoln, one of my favorite quotes.

  5. Wil Rickards   |  October 16, 2017 at 7:46 am

    This is great Michael. I love your honesty with your children. This is absolutely the paradox of being a parent who brings adventure to their family. If they get the lucky breaks then they will be much better at managing risk than most. If they are unfortunate then they will be another statistic showing the world how “dangerous” adventure is. But then isn’t that life?

    You are either the person bold enough to take a leap of faith and make incredible things happen both for yourself and others, or your a mouse waiting for something to happen to you. I cannot think of my life without adventure and all the joys, skills and behaviors it has allowed me to experience. And, I cannot think of a better way of sharing life lessons with my son.

    • MichaelALanza   |  October 16, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Good perspective, Wil, and I certainly agree with you. It’s a difficult balancing act, but I still believe we’re doing it the right way. Nice to hear from you.

  6. Warwick Prewer   |  October 16, 2017 at 4:47 am

    Great letter Michael. I enjoy your blog, as we have similar-age kids. My wife and I engage in outdoor pursuits in New Zealand.

    One item of essential clothing you may find useful in New Zealand is merino underpants. Icebreaker makes them and I find them super comfy, quick drying and warm even when soaked by rain.

    Enjoy the Kepler. It’s a great track.



    • MichaelALanza   |  October 16, 2017 at 7:01 am

      Thanks for the comment, Warwick. Yes, these kids are at a great age, but an age where all parents worry.

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