Anton Edward John Lein- weber was born to Loni and Vern on May 29, 1987 in Kimberley, British Columbia. Raised on a steady diet of Kootenay powder and Purcell stone, he developed an insatiable appetite for life in the high country. He knew exactly what he wanted-- to be in the mountains surrounded by close friends-- and he worked hard to achieve it.
Anton was always under the watchful eye of his older brother and best friend Nick as he experienced the trials and pleasures of rural life and emerged from his childhood as the most unquestionably loyal individual I've had the privilege of calling friend. Anton was never reserved and certainly never quiet, but at the same time he had a genuine quality about him and his sincerity is what made people love him. He could become your new best friend within five minutes of an introduction and if you met him once he would remember you for a lifetime. Anton never lost touch with his friends, no matter how briefly their lives intertwined and regardless of the distance keeping them apart.
For many people east of the Rockies, Anton's presence wasn't experienced until he left the nest and began his university career in Calgary. Soon after arriving in residence, Anton met Joel Mclay and began one of the most influential and devoted friendships of his life. These men could not be described as anything less than soulmates. Whether we were shivering along the Icefields Parkway in preparation for ice climbing at 2 a.m. or setting off up the steep face of Yamnuska on a brilliant summer day, they were inseparable. As their technical ability grew and their conception of what was possible was repeatedly stripped down, rebuilt and expanded, they found no better partner than each other.
Anton's passion was mirrored in the life of his partner in crime, Siri Reinbold. Whenever he wasn't away with Joel experiencing the beauty of the wild, Anton could be found reveling in the presence and embrace of the woman he trusted and loved. Anton's future was set this fall when he was offered a position as an apprentice ski guide, but he decided not to accept the offer until he finished his undergraduate studies.
Anton needed the Alpine as much as he needed to breathe and his relationship with the hills was his inspiration to survive the mundane lifestyle and frustration of an insane urban existence. For him, happiness was being out there, experiencing life with all of his senses and never looking back. In the city, Anton could be the portrait of chaos and disarray, but those who ventured off the beaten trail saw the metamorphosis that occurred every time he boarded the Black Pearl, pointed her bow to the west and sailed off to his next adventure. You could see it in every swing of his axes, every turn of his skis. He was humbled in the presence of the mountains and believed in the power they held over his fate.
In the mountains we knew we could put our lives in his hands. He was the first to urge us upwards when fear betrayed our abilities, yet first to contain unsound enthusiasm when ego defied our capacity to push on and survive. Anton never left it to luck to get through a desperate situation: he was educated and meticulous in analyzing the hazards in the world of ice, snow and stone and never let his ambition override objectivity. Sometimes we achieved success, but often he accepted the education of defeat more graciously than any of us. Never dwelling on failure, but looking forward to the next adventure. With Anton, it was simple and there were no excuses. He wanted to be out there in the moment more than anyone else. He went to the hills to challenge himself, to seek fulfillment and in the end, what he found was true happiness.
Anton Leinweber passed away Sunday, Oct. 4 2008 while descending his route high above the emerald waters of Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. He is remembered dearly by his pa Loni and his ma Vern, his brother Nick and his best friend Joel and a pirates bounty of devoted family and friends to whom he gave all of his love and passion to the end.
Tread lightly upon the heights my friend, you will be missed.