RIP John Rosendahl


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Trad climber
Aliso Viejo, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 5, 2012 - 01:55am PT
The southern California climbing community is struggling with the recent loss of our good friend John Rosendahl. John was a fixture at our local climbing gym, sending hard often with no shoes. Quite the character! John was friendly to all, always willing to share beta and a rope. He will be missed.

John is the third climber we've lost in our small community, following Vern Stiefel in 2006 and David Slater just last year. We are all stunned and looking for answers. So sad...


Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Sep 5, 2012 - 02:28am PT
Sorry to hear that man.

He looks like a helluva guy in that pic.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Life is an unforgiving mistress sometimes.....

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Sep 5, 2012 - 03:03am PT
Vern Stiefel is very much missed up this way as well.

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Sep 5, 2012 - 09:47am PT
Yes, sorry to hear this. Condolences to his family and friends. Very sad.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 09:55am PT
Damn...terrible week, first lost my Uncle that turned me onto the outdoors. Now Rosendahl!!!! John was a big influence on my climbing. So casual and friendly helping me wire the problems at Pirates Cove in Corona del Mar, climbing hard stuff in Josh, watching him solo at Suicide, listening to his stories of running the John Muir Trail. He was TRUELY a man of himself, did some knarly stuff and shrugged it off as, "ohh just casual". Haven't seen John in a while but he was cetainly a big impact on my early climbing days. One of the most fit guys I've ever known. So sad to hear such an energetic person has passed to enjoy the other side.
Condolences to his family and friends.
Rest in Happy Peace my Brother!
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:44am PT
A sad day for the climbing community, his friends and family. I met John in the late 70s and used to see him out at the crags all the time.....always had a good word and a smile. Handsome, friendly, strong, smart, and talented;.....he will be greatly missed.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:24am PT
I just climbed with John at the gym a month or so ago so his death came as a huge surprise. He was always upbeat and friendly, we traded many Sierra love stories over the years. We are super sad and he is missed already.

Sep 5, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
This is terrible news. My condolences to his loved ones.

I remember seeing John at Deadmans all the time when I was a kid. We'd stop off there on our family vacations to Tuolumne, and it seemed like he was always there. I believe he summered in Mammoth, and he was a university professor in so cal as well. I was amazed that he would solo the Deadmans Corner like it was nothing. I bouldered there not long ago and half expected to run into him...

Saw him here and there over the years and he was always nice, genuine, and wicked strong. He struck me as a fiercely intellingent and talented man. I'm sad that I haven't seen him in a few years and his death comes as a total surprise. RIP John.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Sep 5, 2012 - 01:07pm PT
Here is the latest information Linda shared with my wife Sarah last night about memorial services and future celebrations for John.

This morning, Linda sent another message asking that anyone coming to the Open House either Friday or Saturday evening at the family home on Paseo Cortez to please bring a plate of finger food. John was a stickler about plastic, so she would like to honor this by minimizing what we leave behind.

I know that Linda and Kai (John and Linda's son) would be happy to receive cards/condolences from you:

Linda Halopoff and Kai Rosendahl
18715 Paseo Cortez
Irvine CA 92603

Friday, September 7th

3:00-6:00 p.m. - Friends and Family

5:00-9:00 p.m. - Open House at 18715 Paseo Cortez, Irvine CA 92603

Saturday, September 8th

5:00-9:00 p.m. - Open House at Paseo Cortez for anyone who wasn't able to attend Friday and/or who would just like to spend more time together.

Saturday, December 8th, 2012 (57th birthday)

Celebration of John's Life - TBA
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Sep 5, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
Although John was a long time Southern California climber, he also spent many of his Summers in the Mammoth area where he climbed, rode his bike and made many friends.

John was a member of and constant presence at Rockreation in Costa Mesa where he befriended many climbers and had numerous friends. John was a mentor to many at Rockreation, always willing to share a belay with novice or experienced climbers alike, offer guidance, inspiration, or engage in meaningful conversation.

I will miss our conversations about movies and books.


Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Sep 5, 2012 - 01:31pm PT
Very sad.


Trad climber
Trabuco Canyon, CA
Sep 5, 2012 - 02:56pm PT
I am very grateful for the time I spent with John. He had a tremendous enthusiasm for climbing and was very encouraging and helpful. He always took the time to ask how my family and I were doing and spoke fondly of his own family. John was a wealth of knowledge and advice. He will be truly missed.

My condolences to Linda and Kai.

Sep 5, 2012 - 08:01pm PT
I am so saddened by the news and hope that his family can find comfort in knowing that he was so well loved and respected among so many in the climbing community.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:10am PT
i know i've seen that energetic, enthusiastic smile around the rockreation gyms--so sad to hear this--please post a biography of john for those of us who did not know him well.

Trad climber
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:20am PT
I am deeply saddened by this terrible news. I always enjoyed the time I spent climbing with John and the wide range of conversation it brought. His relentless motivation was inspirational to all that knew him and he will be greatly missed. My condolences go out to John's family for their loss.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Sep 6, 2012 - 02:48pm PT
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Kenneth C. Janda, Dean
School of Physical Sciences, University of California Irvine, CA 92697 and it seems appropriate to share here:

It is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the death of John
Rosendahl, Lecturer and Instructional Programs Director in the Department
of Physics and Astronomy.

John joined UC Irvine Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1987. He had
a passion for teaching, using memorable lecture-demonstrations to make
physics real for our students and those in the local school districts. His
working with students earned him the Award for Outstanding Contributions
to Undergraduate Education in 1995. That same year, he developed and
taught the Seminar in Teaching Physics, which is designed to help graduate
students become more successful teachers and learn the communication
skills needed for professional development. This is now a required course
for all first-year teaching assistants. We were fortunate to work with

Rob M

Sport climber
Orange County, CA
Sep 7, 2012 - 03:13pm PT
John was so, so kind. I climbed with him or spoke with him many times at Rockreation. Strong, the most graceful climber I ever saw, and so helpful. What a loss. RIP Sweet John.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Sep 7, 2012 - 03:20pm PT
Sorry for your loss friends and family. John sounds like he was a great guy.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 7, 2012 - 08:34pm PT
I regret that I didn't sit John down and force him to tell me all the details of his John Muir Trail sprint. Where he camped, how he felt, what he saw, what it meant, the weather, the creek levels, snow pack, what he ate, really flesh it out. All the details.
He didn't want to brag and I held back.
Like anyone, we would have enjoyed it.

Sport climber
Silverado, CA
Sep 8, 2012 - 12:45am PT
Just got home from his memorial gathering. Much has been said about John on this thread and elsewhere already, but perhaps the most telling thing about John's life is the very large and very diverse number of people that came out tonight to honor his memory.

We can all only hope to impact such a mixed community of friends in our lives...thank you John and RIP.
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