Bean was born August 13, 1973, in Montrose, Colo., at which time his parents were living in Telluride, Colo. He was the son of Jane Elkind Bowers and the late Edwin Charles (Ted/Ed) Bowers III. Bean grew up in Denver after his family moved there in 1975. He attended St. Anne's Episcopal School in Denver, The Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Mass., and graduated from East High School in Denver after spending his eleventh-grade year in New Zealand.
After graduating from Prescott College in December 1995, Bean traveled and climbed extensively throughout the world, spending much of his time in Patagonia, where he developed an intimate relationship with the mountains and people of El Chalten, Argentina. Bean spoke Spanish fluently and cherished the close relationships he developed with Argentine friends. In addition to his climbing, Bean was a lucid writer about his experiences in the outdoors. He was also an engaging storyteller.
In between guiding and climbing trips, Bean, a gifted craftsman, designed and built a home in Bozeman, Mont., and then another in Ridgway, Colo., where he and his wife, Helen, were living at the time of his death.
In the words posted to the Web by some of Bean's friends, he was “vibrant, burly, funny, strong, sharp, genuine. A true hardman, a tough bastard with a kind heart, loyal, never fake, a tell-it-like-it-is person. The real deal.” As a friend, guide and teacher, Bean was an inspiration to many.
Bean is survived by his wife, Helen Motter Bowers, his mother, Jane Elkind Bowers, his uncle, James Rae Bowers, and his aunts, Nancy Elkind, Rebecca Bowers Skrainka, Roberta Clark Bowers, Maggie Cutler, and Julie Ciulla.
A celebration of Bean's life has been tentatively scheduled for September 10, 2011, in Ridgway, at a venue to be announced. Further details about the memorial will be posted on the website www.beanfever.com.
Contributions to honor the memory of Bean Bowers may be made to Conservacion Patagonica (Building 1062, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, CA 94965, 415/229-9339, www.conservacionpatagonica.org).