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Old 08-13-2004   #11
carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 165
it's hard to belive that a guy that had accomplished so much of the worlds best kayaking and skiiing has died before the age of 30 in a car accident.
my favorite memories of russel were the times we smoked, partied and paddled together. everything russel did was to the extreme. a toke and he'd bust a gut coughing. he would down the hottest of chili peppers one after another and not flinch. and every morning after a big night he would be up early getting people fired up to run the gnar.
russel was core to the core. and anybody that knew him could see he had an extreme passion for living life. me and a buddy were just talking a few weeks ago about how it seemed russel led the coolest life. he was seemingly always going or coming from somewhere, running the shit and taking quality photos.
i know he was stoked to go out to the O.R. show this week to sell some more photos. and he has had a some published from his many worldly exploits.
i am gratefull to have known russel, for he was truley one of a kind and he will be missed. hopefully there will be some sort of memorial here in colorado with a show of some of his slides. for russel had run many of the most challenging and dangerous runs in the world, sometimes solo and sometimes more than once. a true sicko!
I'll miss you buddy.

nathan sullivan

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Old 08-14-2004   #12
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 732
memorial in telluride will be soon-more later--ss

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Old 08-15-2004   #13
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 732
big memorial/party for russell in telluride [ophir actually] sat. 8/28 bring instruments, food, booze, whatever. plenty of camping. we are planning a movie and slideshow as well. any questions, feel free to e-mail
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Old 08-16-2004   #14
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1
yo conoci a Russell en un viaje donde nos hicimos buenos amigos , me llego mucho esta noticia ya que es dificil creerlo, creo que la vida depara cosas y aveces es dificil comprender el por que .......siento mucha tristeza con esta noticia ya que el fue una persona siempre alegre haciendo bromas todo el tiempo y un excelente kayakista ....Creo que Russell siempre vivira en el recuerdo de quienes lo conocimos ya que es dificil olvidar a una persona de gran espiritu y una personalidad como la de el
te extra├▒aremos palomo
mabel Araya
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Old 08-16-2004   #15
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 732
check this out
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Old 08-16-2004   #16
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 9
Check out this small AVI of Russell on the Animas this past July. He was running no name with a beer in his hand (as he had done the entire river to this point). Please excuse the commercial site on which I posted the AVI
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Old 08-16-2004   #17
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 458
Frank Pickell forwarded this photo earlier, "This is from an Asado on the Futaleufu earlier this year":

R.I.P brother.
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Old 08-18-2004   #18
Automotive Engineering
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 23
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I'll miss you Russ

Just not fair for such an inspirational person to be taken away so abruptly. I only got to hang with russell for a weekend earlier this year, but it was some of the most fun on water I've had in years. I'm with my buddy Carter in CB for the weekend, looking to run everything around there, and we're in town catching a burrito on the way from the East in the morning to the Slate drainage stuff in the afternoon. It's like 3 in the afternoon, and we meet this long haired kid who says "you guys want to come and do Anthracite, if we head up now, we can run it down and get done only a little after dark" I say no thanks and we head our separate ways.

The next weekend Will calls me up and says "we're going to rally to the putin to Lime Creek and meet up with my crazy buddy russell to boat over there first thing in the morning" I think he's nuts, and we leave Carbondale at 10, get to the river by 2am, and are awoken promptly at 7 by Russ arriving just before they closed the road for the Durango-to-Silverton Bike race. Will and I, Carter, Damon, Russell and Marcia from Taos and maybe a couple others proceed to do the first gorge of lime creek as it SNOWS on us, followed by the third gorge all the way down on to the Animas through the Rockwood Box. Three runs that by themselves lots of folks would consider a nice day's work, done and done. I must rethink my scale of boating to encompass Russ' motivation and drive.

I'm still working that out.

Russ quietly walked with BIG footsteps, and I'm heartbroken to hear that his energy has passed beyond us.

words can't express
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Old 08-18-2004   #19
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 72
Some thoughts on Russell Kelly

i met rusell last year in chile, after a few years of seeing him putting on or taking off creeks in CO. and NM; mostly i saw him as my crew finished up and he shuttled for the double dip. He was always game for more, pushing whoever he was with to do a second run or a late afternoon section that would surely result in finishing at or near dark, logging 8 hours in the cockpit. Adventuring with Russell meant rising to a day filled with action, since neither weather, broken boats, nor lack of partners was something that would stop him from getting on it. Russell wasn't afraid to wring every drop of fun from a day, portages could be skipped by gutting big holes like one he hammered on the Trancura portage after a full Puesco run last December, or spiced up by 30" otter plunges back into the river below like in the Black Canyon. Of course, he was in true form all of the time, Smiling, wearing sunglasses all half cocked if the rapid was heavy, dip caught in his teeth, or a cloud of cigarette smoke curling around him while he scouted drops. Most runs he would probe drops first to set up for a photo. If you walked when Russell ran he would yell up from the eddy below that you were a pussy, cackling as he laughed at you. He heckled because his joy running river meant he would smoothly join the current and make the difficult seem easy, and he wanted you to feel the joy in the same way.

If the crew was having a problem motivating or people were vascillating about putting on because of weather or just malase, Russell didn't feel the peer pressure to puss out, he only got dressed and made for the put in. With that, anyone who was in dressed and followed.

Just like cats and dogs that experience their years in a different speed, Russell years were different from the rest of ours: in 12 months he racked up more adventures, travelled more places, and put in on the edge more times than some "crazies" do in a lifetime. Try as we might he will always eclipse us for pure life passion and excuberance, although along the way his whirlwind spirit pulled in many. We miss you Russell.

I have some pics of Russ from Chile that would be good in his show, should I just bring to Ophir? or I could send them ahead to an organizer...
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Old 08-18-2004   #20
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 732
you could just bring them--or send them to me if you want--steven steinberg po box 3543 telluride co 81435 thanx alot

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