In Memoriam: Blake Morstad

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    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies Staff Member (Navigation Systems Editor) Blake Morstad was killed in an avalanche New Years Day in Montana’s Centennial Mountains. Please use this forum as a memorial to Blake’s life, we will be sending comments to his wife and family.

    A link to a short memorial is here:

    Blake Morstad Memorial

    Also: Blake Morstad Bio

    This has been a tremendously sad tragedy, please keep Blake’s family in your prayers.

    Ryan Jordan

    James Augustine
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California

    I can’t begin to understand what close friends and family must be going through…my heart goes out to you all. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you. May God comfort you, take care of you and heal the pain and loss.


    Jim Augustine

    John S.
    BPL Member


    My sincere condolences to the BPL staff and families in the loss of Blake Morstad.

    Charles Maguire


    Locale: Virginia

    Words can’t do justice to console the pain and sorrow his family and friends must feel.

    Blake, by Ryan’s account, was surely a Godly man. I do believe all that happens, both good and bad, is part of God’s plan. We may not understand why, but we can be assured of Blake’s salvation by the way he lived his life and his faith.

    I would like to give my deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

    My prayers will be for them.

    Will Rietveld
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southwest Colorado

    Hey Blake, I know we never actually met, but I feel like I know you since we worked together. We’re both hooked on mountains, and reviewing gear, and learning why things work, or not work. I can’t believe you really left us. You gotta still be hanging around the BPL site to check out what’s new. Could you give us some kind of sign to let us know you are still hanging out with us, to let us know you’re still around, so we don’t forget you? I’m sure you will think of something. We will be watching for your sign.
    Your friend, Will.

    Erin Morstad


    Of course, I say “little brother” jokingly. We all know that Blake towered over me, Erin, and our other sister, Rachel. He was truly a gentle giant. Thank you, Ryan, for your beautiful, thoughtful story. Your words made me laugh and cry, but most of all, your story allowed me to remember Blake and that awesome feeling that you get from ripping turns and carving big lines.


    Jay Ham


    Locale: Southwest

    Thanks for your article, Ryan. I only worked with Blake on one article and really didn’t get to know him. I wish I had. There are too few with his character in this world, particularly at his age. This tragedy has touched my wife and I very much. Our prayers go out to his wife and family.


    I never met Blake, but from the stories I’ve heard he was an incredible person and mountaineer. May his pure spirit live on in all of us.

    Carol Crooker
    BPL Member


    Locale: Desert Southwest, USA

    Hi Addie, Erin, Rachel (and all Blake’s family),
    I never met Blake in person, just worked with him through the magic of the internet. His work at Backpacking Light lives on. This morning I was a little emotional as I did some final editing on a stove review Blake wrote. I feel like I’m still getting to know him through his writing, as our readers will too. I trust that somehow his passing fits into the order of things even if I can’t understand it. My prayers are with all of you.

    Cheryl Cummings


    We are so saddened to learn of your loss. Words, as you know, cannot express how much are hearts ache for you and how vividly you ALL will be in our prayers. Unfortunately we did not know Blake personally….he must be a wonderful man…to have chosen you as his soulmate and given you his child. We are praying for you now and for your future. Always,……….. Cheryl, Bruce, and Erica Cummings

    Laura Germann


    I am very saddened at the news. Blake was a student of mine. I appreciated him greatly. He will be missed, but not forgotten. My prayers go out to his family. We are all better people for having known him.

    mary shackelford


    Blake was someone who we saw play baseball and basketball in Plentywood and showed steers at the Sheridan County Fair. To his wife and family and friends our very deepest sympathy and prayers for your loss of Blake on earth. I’ve read thru the editoral and memorial of Blake – he was someone who made a difference. mary, wes, mark, richard shackelford

    Sara Hewitt


    I just got the horrible news about Blake. I don’t live in Bozeman anymore, but I have some friends who keep me in touch. Addie, Margie, Steve, Rachel, Joe and Erin I am SO Sorry for your loss. Blake was a wonderful man, and I am very blessed that I was able to know him. He always made me laugh. To this day I still get a smile on my face when I go through a car wash, which he wasn’t that comfortable in. He always amazed me with his brilliance and his love of life. I will always have fond memories of him. I am absolutely in shock and all my thoughts and prayers go out to you all. God Bless you. Please feel free to contact me, [email protected] if there is anything I can do for you in Calgary. Addie my heart goes out to and your beautiful baby I am so sorry for your loss. Sara Hewitt

    Mark Corner


    Blake – You were the friend who passed me with a wave and smile on many a backcountry trail, the student whose papers I used to check the key. Your energy and enthusiasm for life were contagious, and your memory instills a desire to push on to experience new adventures, learn about new horizons and appreciate all the people and wonders around me. I’ll catch you again sometime, if I’m lucky enough.

    Keri VanCampen


    I went to high school with Blake in Plentywood. He truly was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Blake always took things in stride and rarely wansn’t wearing a smile.

    This tragic event really tugs at the heart strings and I so wish there was something all of us could do to ease the heartache of all Blake’s family and friends. I hope tho that knowing how many lives Blake has touched and how many people have been affected not only by his passing, but also his life will somehow ease some of the pain.

    To Blake’s family, you are all in the thoughts, hearts and prayers of so many. Blake will forever live on in all of our hearts, memories, and in that precious little baby growing inside Addie. I know Blake and his little baby are up in Heaven right now getting to know eachother while we all await his/her arrival. That little one will always know his/her daddy and what a kind, gentle, wonderful person he was. They will always have a special bond and thru that you will not only be blessed with a new life, but also a connection to Blake.

    You are all in my prayers, and my heart goes out to you.
    Keri (Maier) VanCampen

    Anthony Allyjan


    I only met Blake briefly, but was honoured to meet such a caring soul. There are no words that can express the depth of your loss, or that can ease the pain of his passing. My prayers and thought go out to his loving family.

    God bless

    Paul Allyjan

    Kolby Carrier


    I graduated with Blake from Plentywood High School. He will be remembered by his warm, friendly smile and helpful personality. My thoughts and prayers are with Steve, Patsy, Addie, and all of Blake’s family. God is with you as we know he is with Blake. Take Care, Kolby (Sorenson) Carrier


    I was so sorry to hear of Blake’s passing. May God give your family strength through this difficult time. His memory will last forever in your hearts.

    Colette Rees


    Hi Marjie, Rachel, and Erin,
    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you all but I think of you often as I’ve been feeling nestalgic lately. Dad gave me an old photo album not long ago and there are lots of pictures of all of us together. For me Blake will always remain the sweet little boy with a big smile and golden hair. I wish I’d known him as an adult; please send his wife my prayers and let her know that my family will make a donation to the trust fund for their new baby. All my love and prayers are with you. Colette

    Don Wilson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska

    As another BPL staffer, I never met Blake in person. But I am certain he was a kindred spirit; dedicated to his young family and reveling in the joy of the outdoors. Addie, as I have seen you say in messages to others, do everything you can to pass Blake’s spirit to your child. You are in the thoughts of my family.
    Best, Don

    michael plummer


    Blake and I became friends almost two years ago when a friend gave me his name because he was looking for a training partner for the Ridge Run. We spent many miles together out there on the trail talking about adventures to be done, his wife Addie, his new baby on the way, and his growing relationship with God. I could always count on Blake to go mountain biking and trail running with me. He was the one guy that always pushed me to go longer and be stronger. He was a loyal friend and a dedicated husband. He was always searching for how he could be a better husband to Addie. If I ever made a negative comment about someone he would always have something good to say about them.
    He was always asking me questions about training and how to get an edge. I found it funny because Blake was extremely bright and certainly didn’t need my advice. Addie, Blake and I loved CSI and I went over there a couple of times to watch it on tape with them. He and Addie would always have it figured out before I ever had a clue.
    Blake and I shared hearts for adventure in God’s magnificent creation.The picture of Blake posted on this sight was taken on Granite Peak (highest peak in Montana). Sam and I are next to him in the Picture. We did a stellar one day ascent of the peak on a beautiful July day. Sam and Blake are both great athletes, great husbands, and men of God. I will always think of Blake when I am out on the trail.
    Last year I went on the ski trip to the Centennials with Blake but canceled this year due to illness. Like all of you I will never forget where I was when I got the phone call. I will miss you Blake, but I know that we will meet again my friend in the midst of our loving Jesus.
    Please continue to pray for Addie,and Blake’s family, as well as Sam and Sarah as Sam continues to recover.
    Michael Plummer

    Kathryn Tweedie


    My deepest sympathies in the tragic loss of a beloved husband, son, brother and friend. May God comfort you in your sorrow and may your memories sustain you.

    Keli Tondre


    Sweet Blake – I will never forget one day as we sat high in the auditorium of Campus Crusade. Blake had been contemplating a decision to ask Jesus into his heart. As many of us prayed and conversed with Blake during this time, he continued to seek answers, to seek truth. I said to him, “Blake, I just want you to know, I really hope you will accept Christ into your heart.” And his reply, “Really, why?”

    Perhaps that was one of Blake’s greatest qualities. He always asked why or how. He never settled for mediocre. That is apparent in the way he lived his life, the way he pursued the outdoors, and the way he chose his beautiful wife.

    Though my heart is broken at our loss, I am so thankful that he asked “Really, why?” about Jesus. He found his answers over time. He found truth. And today, because of his persevering pursuit, he celebrates with his heavenly Father. He knows not only in part, he knows in full.

    I can only say that I love you, Blake. I love you, too Addie. This baby of yours may not meet Daddy here on Earth, but one day, your child will know who we all have had the greatest blessing of knowing. We look forward to eternity… see you soon, Blake.

    Amy Fink


    Dear Friends, Family, and Loved Ones,

    Although I knew Blake for a very brief moment in his life, I would like to express by deepest sympathy for your loss. I met Blake when he decided to share his warmth and generousity with a 2nd grade student by participating in the CAP mentoring program. I was the coordinator for the school Blake was assigned to. I’d visit with Blake and his CAP student only for a few moments each month throughout the school year. However, I remember him always greeting me with a huge smile. He always seemed like he was having the time of his life hanging out with his 2nd grade buddy! The student always expressed how much fun he had with Blake and thought Blake was the “coolest”. Blake was always there for him, and was a dedicated and caring mentor.

    I am so sorry for the pain your family must be going through. Please find comfort in all of the wonderful things Blake did his short time here. Sharing his day with his CAP student, gave that student stability and a safe place to talk. Blake was always a great listener and made his student feel important. I know he touched that little boy’s heart.

    I wish you all the strength and love you need to help ease the pain.

    Sincerely, Amy Fink

    Karen Taylor


    Oh, Addie….Our hearts go out to you and your family. I can’t even express how I feel. Only a few days ago you and Blake joined us for lunch on your way to Calgary. Blake was such a fine young man! I hurt for you, and your unborn baby. I hurt for Blake, and how it must have hurt him to leave you.
    I hurt for James at the loss of his roomate & best friend as they journeyed through school together. The only condolence is that we KNOW where Blake is now. And that we will all see him again one day.
    Thank you for being a wonderful wife to Blake. We love you. We are praying for you. And we hurt by your side. Take good care of yourself & that precious little one who will carry on Blake’s memory.
    May our God comfort you, as only He can!
    Karen & Murray Taylor

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