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Paying tribute to Keith

Dear Editor:

Hello, friends and family of Keith Ames. My name is Thor Eriksen, a very good friend of Keith’s.

I first met Keith in 1988 at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs. We became friends instantly.

After class on various weekends, Keith and I would convoy from Steamboat to Glenwood, where I would visit my brother Todd at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley campus, while Keith would drive on to Aspen to visit his sister. These trips were always very adventurous. We saw bald eagles flying through the blue Colorado skies, among other wildlife enjoying their freedom on the open range. We were always full of enthusiasm while experiencing all the new things in life.

In November 1989, before the Steamboat ski resort opened for the season, it snowed light champagne powder for nine days straight, which totaled 114 inches. Needless to say, Keith and I were in hog heaven.

After college Keith and I lost touch for 12 years until one day while I was working in Aspen, guess who spotted me walking down the sidewalk? It was Keith Ames. Since then, we stayed in touch. We went to the Aspen Film Festival, hiked with his dog Sol and my dog Chumley. We dined at Keith’s favorite restaurants since he lived in Aspen for years and knew the best local handouts.

Keith called me Jan. 9, as he and his girlfriend, Teri, were in Grand Junction, which is where I live now. So my girlfriend, Viki, and I went out to eat with Keith and Teri at his favorite restaurant, the Texas Roadhouse. This was the first time Viki and I had met Teri. We had a great evening; life was good for all of us!

Nine days later I received the terrible news from Teri about Keith losing his life in an avalanche while skiing at Snowmass. I wouldn’t let myself believe it, as we just had seen each other days before. I was overcome with sadness. When my mind finally did accept this tragedy I realized what a huge loss I had suffered. He left all of us way too soon and we never got a chance to say goodbye. It doesn’t make things any easier, but at least he went out doing what he loved.

We will all miss you, Keith! Till we meet again, ski in peace!

Thor Eriksen

Grand Junction

P.S. – Now, how may people do you know who exited this dimension rolling into heaven on an avalanche saying “Mom, I’m home”?


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