|One of the pleasures in life was not just to climb with Mike Stone, which I was privileged to do, but to sit around the campfire in the evening listening as Mike recounted tales of climbs and people. From significant ascents in the Alps with people like John Fantini, to many first ascents in the Grampians and Arapiles with just about anyone who was anyone in the early days. Mike's self-deprecating chuckle as he told tales of epics, his own and others, will live on in my memory.
Mike, and Jan and the "Pebbles" (Peter, Catherine and Jen) always welcomed us, but then, he always welcomed everybody. It's just the sort of person he was. He wasn't just a climber I wanted to emulate, he was a *person* I wanted to emulate.
My last climbing memory of Mike (in the late 90's) was the evening I'd taken a beginner up on the Bluffs late in the day and got myself benighted at the top of Ali's. I was hesitant to push on down in the dark with a beginner but it was a busy weekend so I knew someone would come looking for us. Sure enough, Mike came by and called up. I said that we were good, we just needed a torch. A few minutes later Mike appeared just below us. He'd soloed up Ali's in runners with a torch in his mouth to light the way!