Nickolas James Gillespie (Dec. 13, 1982 – Jan. 27, 2013)

By Submitted February 04, 2013 06:36 pm

Nickolas James Gillespie of Jackson, Wyo., was lost to the mountains while skiing powder on the southeast face of Survey Peak on January 27, 2013.

Nick was born on December 13, 1982, in Eugene, Ore., where he graduated from Willamette High School in 2001. He attended college at University of Oregon, completing his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies in 2007. Nick worked on fire crews for six years with Oregon Department of Forestry, Willamette National Forest, and Lassen National Park. He served two of those years on Alpine Hotshots in Rocky Mountain National Park.

He moved to Jackson in 2007 and was employed by Grand Teton National Park as a “trail dawg.” Within a couple years he became a trail crew leader. For two winters Nick volunteered in Parque Nacional Los Glacieres, Argentina, instructing locals on trail construction techniques. There he was able to explore Patagonia and hone his mountaineering skills. He also adventured around Ecuador, Costa Rica, Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. Nick moved to Jackson permanently three years ago. He was promoted to assistant trail crew supervisor this fall and was due to begin in mid-February.

Nick’s love for the Greater Yellowstone area propelled him to explore the highest places. From the North Ridge of the Grand Teton to Warbonnet Peak. Nick climbed his heart out, picked endless huckleberry patches, and fished the rivers. He excelled at most things one could think of, including, but not limited to, stone masonry, surfing, cribbage, golf, frisknock, juggling, unicycling, skiing, ping-pong, morel hunting, disc golf, beer tasting, piano, banjo and guitar. Nick saw beauty and had an artistic approach to all things. Developing deep friendships and making life fun will be his enduring legacy. He will be deeply missed by all of his family and friends, near and far.

Nick is survived by his mother Alison, his father Jim, his sister Heidi, his girlfriend Elizabeth, his extended families and innumerable friends. 

A celebration of life will be held at Dornan’s in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Saturday at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations can be made to the Jenny Lake Rangers Fund and Teton County Search and Rescue.

When the Gillespies return home to Eugene, a celebration of life will be planned for all who wish to attend.

— Submitted by Family