TRIBUTE TO BEN MANFREDI ~ A remembrance by jason hummel

On November 8, 2003 9a.m. pg. 1158, I wrote in my journal the day before Ben passed away:

So - here I am making a change. I will notate other entries in my old Journal (Field Journal). My hope is that this larger format will allow me to add photos, stories, poetry, mementoes, etc.

I am here - at home left again to study [my securities license]. Adventure beckons! Josh, John Easton, and Troy left to mountain bike. Tomorrow John and Josh will hook up with Ben and others to kayak the Grand Canyon of the Elwha. My hope is that carnage is at a minimum and all ends will for them. My carnage, considering my boxed predicament, will be I am sure, at a minimum.

I first met Ben and his brother Troy at White Pass, a local ski area in Washington State. Josh and I had met few Telemark Skiers who were as young or motivated as these two were. I remember brother and I talking, "Josh, let's kick these guy's asses!" Not long after the competitive nature we all had was nurtured. The first to race, jump, flip, get to the bottom, get to the top - to be first at whatever we did, began.

The first time we met was on April 28, 1996, page 34 of my journal, when I was 15 years old.

Me and Josh met two good skiers around our age. Troy Manfredi and Ben Manfredi. Had a great time skiing with them and probably will ski with them soon. Jumped the cliff off executioner and another on the last day at White pass.

The next season we met on opening day at White Pass. Entry 11-26-1996:

Well we went skiing last weekend, on saturday, had a great time. We Met Troy and Ben Manfredi and we skied with them for the day. Ben had a few downhill ski buddies with him. They were good and a little crazy, but fun to ski with. I'm sure we'll meet up with them again.

And we did. These chance meetings would lead to a decade of wild adventures.

Ben kept many of those adventures on cascadeclassics, a website name that is fitting for both the Cascade mountain range we played in and the heart and soul of the adventures we had in them - they were certainly classic.

I wrote this a long time ago, but there are photos and stories of a select few journeys. If written now, I would've done differently. But, for now, push on the link below.