Friends pay tribute to Nicole Bloom, climbing accident victim
|Editor's note: Nicole Bloom, 23, of Stevensville, Mich., a recent Michigan Tech graduate, lost her life in a tragic accident
while climbing in the Grand Tetons, near Jackson, Wyoming. An Associated Press
article in the Casper Star Tribune reported on Thursday, June 26, that rescuers reached her body on Saturday, June 21, in the South Fork of Garnet Canyon. Searchers believe she fell from the crest of the east ridge of the Middle Teton. According to the
article (which no longer appears to be online), Nicole had been climbing with a friend, David Harrington of Walled Lake, Mich., who reported her missing about 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 20.
*Update: An article in JHZone, an online newspaper from Jackson Hole, Wyo., reported on June 24 that Nicole Bloom was attempting a solo attempt of the 12,804-foot mountain, that a storm moved into the Tetons at the time Bloom went missing Friday evening and that three dozen searchers braved the weather to find her.
Some of her close friends have written this tribute to Nicole and given
Keweenaw Now permission to publish it.*
By Bethany Baibak, Liz Ross and Jessica Bibbee
HOUGHTON -- For those of you who didn't know Nicole Bloom very well, she was a pretty amazing person, so we, her friends, would like to share a
little about her.
| Nicole Bloom, recent Michigan Tech graduate,
died last weekend in a tragic climbing accident in the Grand Tetons,
near Jackson, Wyoming. Nicole loved outdoor activities and showed great
concern for the environment. (Photo courtesy Elizabeth Ross)
Nicole grew up in St. Joe, Michigan. She had just graduated Summa Cum Laude from MTU, where she double majored in Environmental Engineering and Biological Sciences. While she was a student, she also worked for the Forest Service.
Nicole landed her first "Real Job" at the Great Lakes Environmental Center in Traverse City. She was set to start this fall, after returning from her road trip and enjoying a couple more months in Houghton.
Nicole loved the Outdoors. She was an avid gardener and a good cook, and she enjoyed Yoga. She loved backpacking, camping, rock climbing and
biking. Over the past several years, she spent a lot of time exploring the National Parks; and she was an experienced hiker.
Nicole was also an accomplished long-distance runner. She completed her first marathon in 2001, and she was just starting to train for her second.
In addition to receiving her 1st Dan in Tae Kwon Do, she was learning Jiujitsu and trying Tai Chi.
Nicole spent many hours getting away from homework by knitting, crocheting, beading, sewing, making wooden spoons, going on long walks and sowing her wild oats.
Nicole was very passionate about environmental issues. At Michigan Tech, she was very active in SAVE (Students Against Violating the Environment), and she was integral in establishing an Environmental Sustainability Committee(ESC). The ESC includes faculty, staff and students that write and implement numerous recycling and conservation projects. Through these groups, Nicole was instrumental in setting up the new Paper Recycling Program at MTU, establishing Earth Week
Activities and helping to bring such inspirational speakers as Jane Goodall to
Nicole also worked with Northwoods Wilderness Recovery (a group that primarily works on preserving the U.P.'s wild areas) to preserve Wild lands in the Keweenaw. She felt very strongly about supporting organic farming, local businesses and local growers.
Many people know that Nicole recently shaved her head. She donated all of her 30 inches of thick brown hair (minus a couple locks) to cancer
On many weekends Nicole was often found at the area hotspots dancing away, supporting the local bands. She steered away from TV or movies,
preferring to spend her free time getting to know people, listening to music and learning new skills/hobbies.
Nicole will forever live on in the hearts of the countless people that were blessed to know her. She connected with all people, wherever she
went. Her trademark laughter together with her determination define the incredible person she was and always will be. She is survived by her parents, a younger sister, many
friends and lots of plants.:)
Nicole will be dearly missed. She touched many people in her short but full life.
The Memorial Service is being held on Friday, June 27, at Riverview Park in St. Joseph, Michigan.
Nicole's parents would rather have you donate money to environmental and conservation groups than spend money on flowers. There are six good Keweenaw groups that Nicole would have known about and been cool with:
1. SAVE -- Students Against Violating the Environment (an MTU student organization). Nicole and Sarah Schooley were both leaders of this group. SAVE, among other accomplishments, was the lead organizer of this year's Earth Week.
2. ESC -- Environmental Sustainability Committee
(an MTU organization). Nicole not only was a charter member of the ESC, but also was one of the students whose petition and proposal to MTU President Tompkins about reinstating a campus recycling program led to his creation of the ESC two years ago. The ESC have their hands into other things at Tech as well, such as campus energy consumption.
3. Northwoods Wilderness Recovery -- A well organized group of cool
people, out of Marquette, that those in SAVE worked with. Nicole liked these people, as did the rest of us. The Northwoods
Wilderness Recovery is very active, and especially in trying to save woodland (through fighting and
supporting legislation, grassroots-style with petitions and also with lawyers). One of their current projects is the protection of the Trap Hills Wilderness in the Ottawa National Forest in the U.P.
ESC's Kristine Bradof remembers getting a number of messages from Nicole to encourage involvement with and support of this public lands activist group.
4. Keweenaw Land Trust
5. North Woods Conservancy
6. The Nature Conservancy,
Land trusts and conservancies continue to be instrumental in purchasing land for public use and in holding conservation easements on lands that
remain in private ownership. The latter three groups have been very active in the Keweenaw -- purchasing and holding onto land to protect it from purchase by those organizations or companies that would destroy the habitat. They help land owners make conservation easements, which are permanent legal guidelines for the current and future use of private
lands; and they take donations of land for permanent preservation.
How to donate to them:
1. SAVE through the Earth Week account (acct: 3116). Go to https://www.banweb.mtu.edu/mtu/mtf/giftform.xsql.
Select Special Designation [specify below] in Gift information and type for Earthweek or other SAVE activities account number 3116 in the box.
2. ESC (acct: 3115) Go to https://www.banweb.mtu.edu/mtu/mtf/giftform.xsql.
Select Special Designation [specify below] in Gift information and type for ESC account number 3115 in the box.
If you have any problems with donating to SAVE (through the Earthweek acct) or to the ESC,
contact the Tech Fund people at (906) 487-2310 or email@example.com
Yet further questions can be directed to the great Shalini Suryanarayana, who is the account manager for both SAVE and ESC,
3. Northwoods Wilderness Recovery. Go to http://www.northwoodswild.org/supportnwr.htm.
Use the credit card link or check link, whichever you prefer.
4. Keweenaw Land Trust. Go to http://www.keweenawlandtrust.org/documents/membership_form.htm.
Fill it out and send it to the address on the form.
5. North Woods Conservancy. Send donations to:
PO Box 124
Calumet MI 49913
6. The Nature Conservancy of Michigan (TNC). Memorial contributions may be sent to: Nicole Bloom Memorial Fund - The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Chapter, 125 West Washington Street, Suite G Marquette, MI 49855.
Tax credits (if you care) for donations to MTU organizations (SAVE or ESC):
In case everyone isn't aware, gifts to the Michigan Tech Fund are eligible for a special tax credit on Michigan income tax forms. All gifts (up to a total of $200 for individuals and $400 for joint filers) qualify for a deduction of 50% (e.g., a $50 gift = a $25 deduction) on next year's taxes for Michigan residents. A similar but separate deduction applies to the Keweenaw Land Trust endowment fund through the Keweenaw Community Foundation.
Peace and Love to you Nicole,
to and from the Earth,
from where we all came.
- Linda Rulison,
president of Friends of the Land of
Keweenaw (FOLK), sends this tribute to Nicole:
"I did know Nicole quite well. We had music and concern for environmental issues in common. I would often see her at local music
concerts with her friend Liz and at speakers/meetings dealing with the environment, so we developed a friendship of sorts. She liked getting my
free range chicken eggs when she could, and we would talk about gardens and vegan diets. Then later she joined Husky Tae Kwon Do,
of which I was already a member, so we also had that in common. As a member of SAVE, she made sure she contacted me to include FOLK in the Earth Day activities at Tech. She was not officially a member of FOLK, but she supported the ideals and activities of the organization, and I am sure she would like donations made to FOLK in her name.
"Nicole is a wonderful example of a young person who made a difference. She is a role model for all others and what they can do to make a difference, individually and collectively, to enjoy and protect all that is truly special about the planet we live on. She walked the talk; for example, Nicole and other members of SAVE brought their own
dishes rather than use plastic or paper plates when serving the food on Earth Day for some of the presentations for which they were directly responsible. She loved the Copper Country and spent as much time here as she could. Her loss, our loss, is great and cannot be replaced."
To read more tributes or to post your own tribute to Nicole Bloom, visit the Boyd-Pike
Funeral Home Web site Guest Book. An anonymous friend of Nicole's submitted this quotation to the Guest Book on Friday, June 27:
"For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance." Kahlil Gibran
Bloom's Obituary is also posted on the Boyd-Pike Web site.
Read the article about the rescue effort in JHZone.
(Thanks to Matt Manders for sending this article.)
We are grateful to ESC's Kristine Bradof for her assistance with this
Visit the Keweenaw Now discussion forums to comment on this
Want to stay in the K-NOW? Don't miss out on the whole story. Find out how you can help.
Hire a Writing Pro
Does the writing on your Web site leave something to be desired? Thesis grammar getting you down? Find out how we can help.
Lure Our Readers to You
Our readers share your passion for the Keweenaw Peninsula. Lure them to
you through banners, sponsorships, and more.