Recently I had a wonderful conversation with Eddi Nott, Sue Nott’s mother. Sue was a native of Vail, Colorado, and began climbing rock and ice at the age of 20. In the winter of 1998, Sue was involved in an ice climbing accident where she was speared by a large piece of ice, when it crumbled from underneath her. Suffering from serious abdominal injuries, Sue took only two months to recover and was out climbing as soon as she could. Over the next couple of years Sue focused on alpine climbing. She would winter in Chamonix, giving her access to many of Europe’s alpine classics including the famed Eiger. Then spend the spring season in Alaska, climbing on Hunter, Foraker and Denali. All of this was preparation for her major expeditions which took her all over the world, climbing in such locations as India’s Garwhal Himalaya, the Peruvian Andes, and the mountains of Patagonia to name a few.
It was her drive, focused direction and experience that lead her to become one of the world’s top women alpine climbers. But it was her lust for life and infectious energy that left a permanent impression on everyone she met. Whether it was teaching a clinic, traveling abroad, in a restaurant or even competing against others, her warmth, energy and good natured spirit affected everyone.
For two years Sue was also an instructor for the Michigan Ice Fest teaching our women’s courses. Unfortunately, Sue was killed while attempting the Infinite Spur on Mt. Foraker in Alaska in the spring of 2006. Sue dreamed big, lived a large life, and wanted you to be a part of it. She was always there to encourage and cheer you on with whatever you were doing, no matter who you were. For those of us lucky enough to share some time with her, we will be forever changed and will forever miss her.
In honor of Sue, Down Wind Sports has created the Sue Nott Scholarship Fund. The purpose of the scholarship is to promote, inspire, and introduce young females to the sport of ice climbing. One or two scholarships will be awarded every year for female’s age 9-17 years old. The scholarship will include admission to the ice fest, instruction in the women’s course, as well as some other surprises!
In talking with Eddi I found out that she was not aware that over the years Down Wind Sports and Michigan Ice have been offering a scholarship in Sue’s name. It was apparent that she misses Sue very much, but was very pleased that this scholarship was created in her name. So much so that she is going to try to make it to the 2012 Ice Fest to meet the girls who have received the scholarship! I hope she will be able to come to Munising to see all of the great things that are happening and be able to mingle with some of our youngest participants!
Do you know a young girl who might be interested in learning how to ice climb? Please contact Michigan Ice if you would like details on how to apply for the Sue Nott Scholarship