|Pardoes Yossi Brain Page||Edition of 5. July 2018
New photos of Yossi from Will Fox in the USA
A man and his mountain: Yossi Brain, Cotopaxi Summit Cone, 9. January 1998
Yossi Brain, our charming and professional guide in Ecuador and on Cotopaxi, died in an avalanche while climbing Cerro Presidente in the Cordillera Apolobamba, Bolivia on 25. September 1999, aged 32. Our sympathy goes to his family in England. Please e-mail if you knew Yossi, and either have or would like more details.
We are still getting e-mails about Yossi from people who have found our web pages, and the sentiment has always been the same : great guy, truly exceptional, and sadly missed; but died doing what he loved.
Alison Markwick has sent some further photos of Yossi, taken at a recent wedding in Bolivia.
Alison writes :
"Hello, I used to go to Park Hall Infants and Junior School with Yossi Brain. I enclose the 1979 photo, you'll easily spot Yossi in the back row and I am Alison Fearn in the yellow jumper in the second row. I have extremely fond memories of him and was shocked to hear of his death. I am not at all surprised that such a colourful, unique individual went on to live such a free spirited life.
I have thought of him many times over the years but only just thought to try googling his name (Yossi would tell you we were not from the computer generation) I can not believe he has been dead so long, didn't even see The Millenium. We used to say how we couldn't believe we would be alive in 2000 and we would be 32!!!
My last memory is from when we were 17 and I meet him on The Birmingham road and we walked a little way together. He walked off down Jesson Road and I carried on to The Watering Trough pub. I was careful to take a mental image as I thought it might be the last time I saw him, as we were off to university. He wore a black leather jacket and harlequin purple and white pants, the pattern of which I could probably draw even now. Striking similarity to Andy MacNae's mental image 17 years later in Mungo's bar in La Paz, written in his obituary in AAJ. Probably the same leather jacket.
Perhaps you can add another memory to the website that has just popped in my head. I was going to ask you what drives you to climb mountains so I can understand Yossi better. I live now near Dartmoor and walk my 2 dogs there a lot, so I understand the desire for wilderness and the fabulous scenery but it suddenly came to me. Every day we always all attended morning assembly and sat crosslegged on the floor (I Can't do that now!). Our headmistress Mrs Powell's (far right grey hair in photo) favourite inspirational saying was "What makes mountaineers want to climb mountains when it's so dangerous? Because it's there".
You can read Andy McNae's obituary in the AAJ at http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/12200044300/Yossi-Brain-1967-1999.
Yossi Brain with Lucio, Sincholagua behind
A break on trek, Yossi at right
A side trip near Otovalo: Lloyd, Steve C, Paul, Steve P, Yossi
Judy, Yossi and a porter near Chimborazo
Tent life on the Paramo: Judy, Paul, Gwen, John and Yossi
Yossi fitting crampons, Cotopaxi
Yossi leading Judy and Steve along the crevasse, Cotopaxi
Photo © Ken Wade; our thanks to him, and to David S. Panofsky for sending it to us from Wisconsin, USA
Yossi crossing the crevasse by a metal bridge, Cotopaxi
Yossi and Judy, Cotopaxi Summit
Sue and Steve Carr with Oswaldo, Cotopaxi Summit
Judy and Yossi, Cotopaxi Summit
The ever-attentive Guide and his client: Yossi and Judy, descending Cotopaxi
New: These are some photos just received from Eric Lawrie, the Director of The British Council in La Paz, Bolivia. They show the scenery on El Presidente, on which Yossi and Dana Witzel, a Canadian climber, lost their lives
Clouds around Apolobamba
El Presidente (the tiny white mountain in the background)
Eric Lawrie writes: "The last photo of Yossi (at a food stop during the drive in to the Apolobamba on 24 September). The person in green is Dakin Cook, who survived the avalanche. The girl is Dana Witzel. Not a good shot, I'm afraid, but it was the last one taken of Yossi alive".
Sajama, 6,549 metres, the highest mountain in Bolivia and one which Yossi guided frequently.
The avalanche site
"Being the hardened mountaineer, Yossi actually slept out on the ice the night before the final ascent while Karl and I were in the tent. The picture "above the clouds" shows our high camp on Ancohuma. The man with the mask is Yossi on the summit."
Steve & Judy Pardoe
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