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Ned Gillette (1945–1998)

Author of Cross-Country Skiing

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Ned Gillette of Sun Valley, Idaho, a 53-year-old adventurer, mountain climber, sailor, skier, photographer, journalist and author, was shot to death the night of Aug. 5 1998 while sleeping in a tent in Kashmir, the disputed northern region between India and Pakistan.

His wife, Suzy Patterson, who was also shot, survived.

Mr. Gillette, a native of Barre, Vt., was captain of the Dartmouth College ski team and a noncompeting substitute on the 1968 United States Olympic team in cross-country skiing. He later headed the ski touring program at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt., and wrote instructional books on skiing.

His greatest love was doing things no one else had done and perhaps not even imagined. In 1978, he led an expedition that climbed the base of Mount McKinley in Alaska not vertically, but horizontally. In 1981 and 1982, he made a similar trip around Mount Everest.

In 1988, he and three others became the first to row from the tip of South America to Antarctica through the 600-mile Drake Passage, considered by mariners to be the most treacherous body of water in the world. Their specially built 28-foot aluminum boat, Sea Tomato, overturned several times during the 14-day trip.

''My mother wishes I never thought of it,'' Mr. Gillette said later.

In 1993, he and his wife rode camels 6,000 miles on the old Silk Road from China to the Mediterranean Sea. Before that trip, he said: ''I think poignant experiences like this either enhance or destroy a marriage, and I see no reason why this is going to do anything but enhance. People often say, 'How can you top this?' And there's always a new idea that comes along. Life doesn't stop with one experience. It's just part of the ongoing adventure of life.''
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