For someone who was born without a sense of smell, and especially for a young dirtbag climber who lived out of his van, Ben Strohmeier kept himself remarkably free of offensive funk. Whether he was washing his beloved dog just in case she stinks, or asking someone to pick out a nice deodorant for him the day before his girlfriend arrived, he paid great attention to this particular detail.
It’s funny how the small things, all the quirky mannerisms, mean the most once someone is gone. Ben cared not just for climbing, but for music, literature, philosophy, his friends and his dog. Ben was independent at a young age. By 15 he had graduated from high school in Hebron, Kentucky, and by 17, he had completed two years at the University of Kentucky. Ben loved trad climbing, especially the hand crack Thunder Chicken (5.11a) because he could Braawk! loudly after the ascent. In the last two weeks of his life, he had been throwing himself at the traditional testpiece Welcome to Ole Kentuck (5.13a).
Ben’s lighthearted manner and occasional moodiness in his job behind the counter at Miguel’s Pizza solidified his position as the bright and endearing, if at times trying, younger brother to all within the community. Everyone has a Ben story, of climbs completed and beer runs made. It’s with the utmost pride that the community claims him and releases him back to the universe.