A friend sent me some words about Hari from Simone Moro. I saw Simone speak at Banff this year, great show, and his words below put a lot of what I've been thinking about into a clearer form. I think all of us who wrestle with the risk and reward of our sports have had similar thoughts. Thanks Simone.
FOR HARALD BERGER
by Simone Moro
"My mobile phone was off, I had almost completely cut myself off from the thousands of things I need to do prior to departing for the Karakorum. I wanted to concentrate of the final things concerning comunication, internet, satellite phones. But as soon as I reconnected to the outside world, towards evening, the disasterous news hit me. It rendered me speechless, it took my breath away for a few ceaseless instances. But the giant block of ice which hit Harald Berger at 14:15 at Flachgau, close to Salzburg, left no room for escape. In a few hours time he would have become a father... It all came to an end beneath 150 tons of ice. For ever.
When a friend dies, someone you know, someone with whom you've worked together, who you had met a few days ago and had heard on the phone and by email just a few hours ago, you realise just how fragile and ephemeral the cords are on which our destiny rely. Harald had not wanted to go to Mexico two weeks ago for a sponsor we have in common so as to not leave his wife at home, he hadn't come to Chamonix for the same reason. He had almost completely quit base jumping so as to avoid unecessary risks, in other words, he had decided to steer clear of danger and he had decided to stay at home in 2007 without projects for distant travels. But seeking refuge, protection, is useless because destiny, once again, travelled on a different frequency, abiding a completely different logic.
Harald was a true athlete, a formidable man, careful. Despite his three victories in the ice climbing world cup he still wanted to learn and to listen, not just to show and demonstrate what he was capable of. Rock, ice, air - these were the elements in which he dreamed and which made him dream. We've now got to live with just these. Dreams and thoughts. Because the reality is that Harald has closed his book of life, after 34 years of pages and an immense desire and ideas to write more, exalting and full. There is no end, no moral, no explanation with which to close these thoughts, to help accept what happened in such a cruel way to Hari, his life companion and his child which will be born shortly.
Once again I ascertain that life must really be lived to the full, intensely and in every single instant, without putting our spaces and exalting, full moments too far off into the future. All I can do today is salute you and pray for you. Staying close to your companion and your future child is what we can promise in our greeting. Bye Harald."