We just learned yesterday that Guy Lacelle was killed in an avalanche during the Bozeman Ice Festival. This tragic news strikes at the heart of the Petzl family, adding to a overwhelmingly sad 2009. Guy has long been a close friend to all of us at Petzl, both in North America and Europe. His low-key, modest demeanor belied an intense personality. He was always psyched to go out into the cold and swing his ice tools. In the summer, he worked for the British Columbia forestry department in Canada - a sort of Johnny Appleseed of the Northwest pine forests - which allowed him to climb fulltime when the temps dipped below freezing.
Guy was one of the leading ice climbers in North America, responsable for many bold solo ascents in his home country of Canada and elsewhere. He was a regular at many major ice climbing events and was still pushing the limits of ice climbing until the day he died at the age of 54.
A photo gallery of images of Guy can be viewed here. Plus we have a few videos featuring Guy here and here. To get an idea of Guy's exceptional honesty and modesty, take a few moments to read an interview with him in the Alpinist Magazine.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that was touched by Guy's kindness and psyche. As a small way to pay tribute to Guy, we will be posting thoughts and words from those in the Petzl family and the climbing community who knew and loved him. We will be adding to it as we recieve them. Please feel free to add your own thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of the page and we will publish them.
"Guy was the best ice climber ever, he dedicated all his life to this activity, opened an unbeleivable number of new ice routes, soloed most of them and has been a mentor for a lot of ice climbers until today."
-Erwan Le Lann, Petzl France sponsorship manager
"I last spoke with Guy the night before he was to compete in his motel in Bozeman. He never seemed more alive. Guy expressed how excited he was about life, climbing and the upcoming season. The best part about our conversation, as was common with Guy, he took the time to ask me how things were going in my life as well. Always positive. Always had good things to say about everyone he met and everywhere he went. Humble to the core and truly a BAD ASS when it came to keeping his composure while doing the extreme."
-Chuck Odette, Petzl America events and athlete coordinator
“In addition to being very friendly and humble, Guy was a great master in his discipline, and a true ambassador for ice climbing ”
-Marius Olsen, climbing partner and friend for ice adventures in Norway and Norwegian Petzl distributor
“Guy was one of the rare, humble, true nice guys in the climbing world. He always seemed to enjoy teaching less accomplished athletes more than pursuing his personal climbing goals -- rare for someone at his super elite level. I hope his legacy will inspire more people to be so selfless like he was.”
-John Pieper, Osprey Packs Sales Director, former Sales Director of Petzl America
"Guy was one of a kind. He was the Obe One Kenobi of the climbing world. Wise, humble, a teacher, a pro, had time for everyone. Great, great person."
-John Irvine, International Sales Director, Arc'Teryx