Hello everyone!

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Boris Kaschenko 58 years old, born on December 27, 1959 and passed away on February 11, 2018. We will remember him forever.

Boris was a man always striving to reach new heights. This was true in his personal life and career, or more literally on mountain peaks and rock faces. In all these dimensions of his life, Boris was known for his methodical, calculated and calm approach. It was through this approach, not just the successes and summits, that he showed us what you can achieve with a vision, hard work and determination. Boris taught us all to aim high, to make room for what you love every day. And that is a lesson that will forever inspire everyone who was lucky enough to cross his path.

I invite you to unmute your browser as there is a custom playlist that begins when the site opens that I uploaded to share with everyone.  It's a bunch of songs that Boris loved and that remind us of him. You can start the photo slideshow and watch it while listening to the songs.

Thank you so much for visiting this site. Through opportunities like this, Boris can live on forever, through our memories. Please, share what you remember about Boris. You can leave a tribute, add photos or contribute few words to the stories section.

Posted by Max Diachenko on September 13, 2019
О дяде Боре у меня только самые светлые воспоминания, каковыми могут быть воспоминания из беззаботного детства. Мы жили в одном подъезде. Практически все наше детство, до эмиграции семьи Кащенко в Канаду, вся детвора с нашего двора проводила время дома у наших друзей Вероники и Кирилла и их родителей дяди Бори и тёти Риты. Сколько времени ими было потрачено на занятие этой детворы на развивающие игры, просмотры диафильмов... И все это было с любовью, улыбкой и всегда очень дружественно и приветливо. Именно таким я его навсегда и запомню.
Царствие небесное!
Posted by Margarita Kaschenko on March 12, 2019
Эту поэму написал Борин друг Владимир Шевченко и прочёл её, когда мы собирались у нас дома вспоминать Борю в феврале 2019 года, через год после его ухода. Огромная тебе благодарность, Володя, за твою поэму.


Пусть невозможно прошлое вернуть,
И боль унять лекарством долгих лет.
Борис ушёл, и остаётся путь,
Борис ушёл, и остаётся свет...

Бог не сотрёт ни голос, ни строку,
Не пресечёт познанье глубины.
Он – океан, а я на берегу
Смотрю в живое зеркало волны.

Я знаю: скоро предстоит поход,
И сердце переплавит новый стих,
И завтра наступает мой черёд
Сказать: «Пришёл мой час, я ухожу. Прости...»

Ни ветра, ни напутствия во след,
Лишь та, что из окна махнёт рукой...
И те, кто остаются на Земле,
И тоже временно, и скоро на покой.

Я верю, что потом, через года,
Про Борю Кащенко промолвит кто-нибудь:
- Пусть он ушёл, горит его звезда,
Пусть он ушёл – за ним остался путь...
Posted by Margarita Kaschenko on March 9, 2019
What follows is a speech of Boris' older daughter Veronika at the Celebration of his life on February 21st, 2018.
------------------------------------------------------
We haven't really been following funeral traditions, so isn't realy a speech or eulogy. Instead I wanted to share a realization I had in past few months.
When you become a parent, you look at your baby and to you it is literally the most precious thing you've ever seen.
You think your baby is somehow more special than all other babies. But as you look back, you loose the rose coloured glasses. Luke and I look at Bella's baby photos saying "Oh my, she was so round and bald! How did we not see it?!" Obviously we still think she's the best, but your perspective changes.
---------
What I realized was the child's perspective is quite the opposite.
You grow up and at best you take your parents for granted. Worse, you think your parents were put on this earth to annoy and embarass you. You see their faults. BUT - as an adult - when you look back, you see your parents as precious. You realize that they are somehow better and more special than all other parents.
-----------
So what I'm grateful for is that dad was around long enough for me to reach this age of 'parent appreciation' and have many years of showing him just how special he was to me.
And in some twisted way I'm grateful for the cancer.
       That he didn't die in the mountains or an avalanche like some of his mountaineering friends.
       That I had time to thank him for giving me the most incredible life,
       for instilling in me a love for outdoors and respect for nature,
       for showing me that love and family takes work, but it is the only thing that matters.
       And for giving me his wisdom - so frequently - that I can hear his wise voice of reason in my mind whenever I need it.
-----------
And I'm grateful that all of you, all of his friends, had time to do the same. To show him how much you love him in words and action.
I think he was such a kind, selfless, giving person that he never expected much gratitude in return. I don't think he realized just how much his actions touched people.
I take great comfort knowing that at the end, he felt proud of his life, of what he achieved. And although it was way too short, he achieved more than anyone I know. And I'd be lucky to achieve half as much in double the time.
So, although there is so much sadness, let us also remember to feel pride, honour and gratitude for having this most incredible person in all our lives.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Max Diachenko on September 13, 2019
О дяде Боре у меня только самые светлые воспоминания, каковыми могут быть воспоминания из беззаботного детства. Мы жили в одном подъезде. Практически все наше детство, до эмиграции семьи Кащенко в Канаду, вся детвора с нашего двора проводила время дома у наших друзей Вероники и Кирилла и их родителей дяди Бори и тёти Риты. Сколько времени ими было потрачено на занятие этой детворы на развивающие игры, просмотры диафильмов... И все это было с любовью, улыбкой и всегда очень дружественно и приветливо. Именно таким я его навсегда и запомню.
Царствие небесное!
Posted by Margarita Kaschenko on March 12, 2019
Эту поэму написал Борин друг Владимир Шевченко и прочёл её, когда мы собирались у нас дома вспоминать Борю в феврале 2019 года, через год после его ухода. Огромная тебе благодарность, Володя, за твою поэму.


Пусть невозможно прошлое вернуть,
И боль унять лекарством долгих лет.
Борис ушёл, и остаётся путь,
Борис ушёл, и остаётся свет...

Бог не сотрёт ни голос, ни строку,
Не пресечёт познанье глубины.
Он – океан, а я на берегу
Смотрю в живое зеркало волны.

Я знаю: скоро предстоит поход,
И сердце переплавит новый стих,
И завтра наступает мой черёд
Сказать: «Пришёл мой час, я ухожу. Прости...»

Ни ветра, ни напутствия во след,
Лишь та, что из окна махнёт рукой...
И те, кто остаются на Земле,
И тоже временно, и скоро на покой.

Я верю, что потом, через года,
Про Борю Кащенко промолвит кто-нибудь:
- Пусть он ушёл, горит его звезда,
Пусть он ушёл – за ним остался путь...
Posted by Margarita Kaschenko on March 9, 2019
What follows is a speech of Boris' older daughter Veronika at the Celebration of his life on February 21st, 2018.
------------------------------------------------------
We haven't really been following funeral traditions, so isn't realy a speech or eulogy. Instead I wanted to share a realization I had in past few months.
When you become a parent, you look at your baby and to you it is literally the most precious thing you've ever seen.
You think your baby is somehow more special than all other babies. But as you look back, you loose the rose coloured glasses. Luke and I look at Bella's baby photos saying "Oh my, she was so round and bald! How did we not see it?!" Obviously we still think she's the best, but your perspective changes.
---------
What I realized was the child's perspective is quite the opposite.
You grow up and at best you take your parents for granted. Worse, you think your parents were put on this earth to annoy and embarass you. You see their faults. BUT - as an adult - when you look back, you see your parents as precious. You realize that they are somehow better and more special than all other parents.
-----------
So what I'm grateful for is that dad was around long enough for me to reach this age of 'parent appreciation' and have many years of showing him just how special he was to me.
And in some twisted way I'm grateful for the cancer.
       That he didn't die in the mountains or an avalanche like some of his mountaineering friends.
       That I had time to thank him for giving me the most incredible life,
       for instilling in me a love for outdoors and respect for nature,
       for showing me that love and family takes work, but it is the only thing that matters.
       And for giving me his wisdom - so frequently - that I can hear his wise voice of reason in my mind whenever I need it.
-----------
And I'm grateful that all of you, all of his friends, had time to do the same. To show him how much you love him in words and action.
I think he was such a kind, selfless, giving person that he never expected much gratitude in return. I don't think he realized just how much his actions touched people.
I take great comfort knowing that at the end, he felt proud of his life, of what he achieved. And although it was way too short, he achieved more than anyone I know. And I'd be lucky to achieve half as much in double the time.
So, although there is so much sadness, let us also remember to feel pride, honour and gratitude for having this most incredible person in all our lives.
his Life

Chapter One - Beginning

Boris was born four and a half days before the end of 1959. A year when The Soviet Union crashed the first man made object, the Lunik 2 spacecraft, into the Moon. Meanwhile in a quiet, district hospital in the city Kharkiv, in what is now Ukraine - a very different man-made ‘object’ was making it’s landing, only on Earth.

Boris was an only child and grew up surrounded by loving parents, grandparents and relatives. Despite the risk of “spoiledness” from being the focus of all attention, Boris grew up a very humble and inquisitive child.

Summers spent with his parents on the rocky Black Sea beaches had Boris quickly fall in love with the beauty of outdoors from a very young age. His dad taught Boris how to sail at the age of 13, and in his teen years Boris learned to cross country ski and downhill ski in the vast Carpathian mountains and Caucasus region. Boris also spent one summer with his mom in the small town of Verhniy Baksan (on the border of Georgia) exploring trails near the famous mount Elbrus. He didn’t know it then, but Boris would return to this region many more times, attending and leading mountaineering expeditions. 

Chapter Two - Passion for Mountaineering

In the USSR, ‘Mountaineering’ was defined as a type of sport: a combination of alpinism, trekking and climbing with the goal of arriving at valleys through mountain passes (cols) rather than summits. Mountaineering differed from the sport of “Alpinism” which focused on ascents and technical climbing and maintained its own Alpine ranking system. In fact, in the sport of Mountaineering, ascending summits was forbidden until 1989. In the absence of defined “national parks” or designated natural areas in the USSR, the growing interest in mountaineering led to a specific sporting phenomenon, called “self-regulating tourism”. Participants in this sport were referred to as mountain tourists or simply “tourists” (very different from the holiday type of tourist, usually found on a beach with drink in hand). These tourists explored routes developed by other tourists or recommended by tourist clubs – and they did this largely in teams, not solo. Teams were always large (6-15 people), all working towards a collective expedition goal, with each team member assigned a specific role. A tourist would be given the title and responsibility for: First Aid / Medical, Photography and Documentation, Orienteering and Leading, Finances, Equipment manager, Food manager and many more.

Mountain expeditions could be of six categories by complexity. For Category 1, the minimum duration of the route was 6 days, whereas for the most complex Category 6 it was minimum 20 days, no maximums were established. Mountaineering expeditions were regulated for security and safety, but also to grade the skill of participants, and standardise routes to allow competitions. For regulation, teams had to obtain documents from the route-qualification board (a type of administrative body) before the trip; and after the trip to submit a report to the same board. The report contained detailed documentation of the route completed, and several photos of participants on the cols as visual proof of accomplishment. This allowed them to qualify for a more difficult route next time, working up through to ‘mastering’ more challenging categories.

Boris mastered routes of 1st, 2nd and 3rd categories in 1977-1979, when he was only in his late teens, and then quickly began leading trips. In 1980 he led two trips of 1st and 2nd categories, and in 1984 he led a trip of 3rd category. When he was not leading, he mastered more challenging routes and areas - a trip of 4th category in Tian Shan, two trips of 5th category in Altai (1983) and Matcha (1986, Pamir-Alai mountains). The two most challenging trips of the highest 6th category Boris completed in Caucasus (1987) and Matcha (1988). For the trip in Caucasus, Boris dug in the archives of his local library to find information about a 1st ascent on Svetgar Pass (Georgia mountains). His team successfully then climbed over this challenging pass for the first time.

Photo: Boris is scrambling in Caucasus, 1987.

Chapter Three - Leading and Coaching

In 1989 - 1992 Boris organized and led mountain trips of 4th and 5th categories and reached the top of the mountaineering ranking which took him 15 years. In all of these trips Boris climbed with members of his university and other universities’ tourist clubs. For the more challenging trips, the same group of people would train together, develop routes together, and spend months in remote mountains together. Doing this for many years with the same group forged lifelong strong friendships, which continued despite Boris and his friends dispersing to different countries and continents. A friendship made in the mountains, was a friendship for life.

Many years later, over tea, Boris’ family would often hear stories of these expeditions, which had become Kaschenko family legends – such as the infamous 30 day expedition (Altai 1983). Boris would tell us how his team ran out of food with 10 days still ahead of them, which meant breakfast, lunch and dinner were served as a gourmet combination of a ¼ of a saltine cracker topped with a sugar cube. Needless to say, Boris made sure his children never grew up as picky eaters, learning to appreciate what was on the dinner table from a young age.

In addition to leading and participating in trips, Boris became the chair of his university tourist club in 1982, and for the next 10 years coached his university mountaineering team that competed at the city, republic, and Soviet Union level.

Competition criteria involved several ways to earn team points. For example, a team had to run a certain distance within an obstacle course designed with typical and varied mountaineering terrain (often in Crimea mountains). It was required to cover the distance as fast as possible, observing safety rules, not making any mistakes and without losing any equipment. Typically this distance was covered in one hour. Boris’ university team became of the the strongest in Kharkiv and Ukraine while Boris was a coach and participant of the team.

Photo: Developing a route in Caucasus mountains (1987) (Boris in the middle).

Recent stories

Семейная йога

Shared by Margarita Kaschenko on November 13, 2019
Мы любили делать йогу вместе. Когда дети выросли и разъехались, мы расстилали коврики для йоги у камина в пустом доме тихим субботним утром и делали йоговские асаны вместе. Это было так интересно - ощущать вес партнёра, вместе расслабляться в позе, синхронно дышать, словно превращаясь в единое существо...
Однажды мы решили шуточно рассказать о нашей жизни с помощью йоговских поз, и показали это на встрече друзей в доме Тани и Вовы Шевченко. У друзей сохранился фрагмент этого выступления, и я делюсь этим видео. Это было в 2014 году.

Passion for skiing

Shared by Margarita Kaschenko on July 6, 2019

Boris had always loved the outdoors, winter and snow. Skiing incorporates all of that, so he was bound to love it. Every winter Boris organized cross country and downhill family trips. He enjoyed spending time in nature and fresh mountain air. He liked the speed, great workout, the thrill, and  the feeling of freedom when all worries and cares disappear and you are just in the moment. In this short family video Boris is skiing in Le Massif, a ski area in Quebec, in 2008.

B and B

Shared by Margarita Kaschenko on May 30, 2019

After living in Canada for only one month we met a wonderful family, also from Ukraine, Anya, Boris and their daughter Maria. They immigrated three months before us. It happened to be that we lived in the same building, and our apartments were next to each other. Our children went to the same school, and Maria and Kyryl were even in the same class. We became life long friends with this family.

For few years we had a tradition for a Thanksgiving long weekend to rent a cottage by the lake, do hiking and cooking together, and swim in a cold lake. In this short video two Borises swim in the cold lake in October 2008. You can hear how Anastasia calls them "B and B" in the video.