Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Noel Oien

Most have already heard now, but a good friend Noel Oien was found dead after a climbing accident on Thursday in APNP. Here's a story that was in The Press for those who haven't read it.
Below are a few photos that I found of Noel last night. These are all of skiing. I know that skiing was just a small part of Noel's life, but it was the part that I was most involved in and one of the ways I will remember him the most.
Pre race, Temple 2007
Booting up Upper Leap In, Temple race 07
Noel on Lyell Peak with Avalanche Peak (right) and Rolleston (left), spring '07
Noel testing out a new "Speed Stance", Temple '08
Turoa race, '07. Despite the white out, Noel finished 3rd at this race!!


  1. Some good photos. I think Noel would be especially happy that you published the "speed stance" photo of him...

  2. Thank you for posting these. Ski-ing was a larger part of Noel's life than you think. When he was in Boulder last he bought skis and he was very enthusiastic about it. This is a terrible shock to the family.

    Niles Oien, Older brother, Boulder, CO USA

  3. Hi Niles,
    Its nice to be able to share some photo's and memories of Noel and that you've found the post.
    Noel was a really good friend and its already not the same in the Pass not having him around.

  4. This is a comment that Gary posted on the SkiMoNz blog that I wanted to share-
    "I will definitely miss seeing Noel at the Skimo races. He was a determined individual and I always knew I was in for a hard race if he was around.

    On and off the snow he was a top bloke and always there to give a helping hand.

    If there is a heaven, I am pretty sure he'll be skinning and climbing his way around it."

  5. Cheers for sharing the photos! I really need to thank Noel to get me into ski touring. He always predicted that I would love it and was really excited when he heard that you guys and I would work together at the same ski field. I will definitely miss him and his enthusiasm and to go running with him of course!

  6. I reckon the two sizes too small lycra suit was pure gold. I would have never (and still don't) have the balls to wear that.


  7. (This was another comment that was oridganlly posted on the SkiMoNZ blog, Grant)
    Hard to think Noel is no longer with us.
    Even through I only knew him from the ski mountaineering races he left a lasting impression with me, my partner Steph and also my Mum Sally.

    We are sad to think we won't see him again in the future,I would like to have gotten to know Noel more over the years to come.

    He is a guy who I liked very much in the short time I knew him and I counted him as a friend

    Climb on Noel.

  8. The funeral was amazing -- tons of people showed up and told stories of all the ways Noel touched their lives. My thanks to those who posted this blog and their lovely comments. I'm Noel's sister, and it's much appreciated to hear Noel's story.

  9. Hi Ann Marie,
    yes, the funeral was really nice. It was great to hear stories from many different people and parts of Noel's life. I only knew Noel for the last 2 yrs and only through ski touring. Sorry I didn't get to talk with you, I was hoping to say hi to you and your mother. Thanks so much to you and Niles for sharing with us!

  10. Thanks for the pictures. Although I got known to Noel only last summer during my period in the Pass, I was struck by the news of his accident.
    His open mindedness and company was most enjoyable and it's gonna be hard knowing he won't be showing the beauty of the Pass to a horde of kids, if I might come by next time.

  11. Mr. Oien (as he was known to us) was a teacher of mine when I was about 10 (in around 1999), I was shocked to hear of this tragedy, and I know he certainly made his mark on my young life. A great man, and a definate passion for teaching us :).

    - Hamish Mabon-Ross


"The skier who forsakes the lifts to climb under his own power to a mountain summit is a very different person from the downhill only piste basher and is often regarded by the latter as something of a curiosity.
But he was the creator of the sport; and possibly with him lies the future"
-Robin Fedden, The book of Europen Skiing, 1966
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