Jack Roberts and the Fall


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Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 22, 2013 - 06:13pm PT
Jonathon's first hand account. Brave stuff.


Jack running it out on Curtain Call

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Feb 22, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
Well that made me cry.... the way he was cold on the hike in he very well may have had a heart attack?

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Feb 22, 2013 - 06:43pm PT
Wow. That's a very tough thing to write. Kudos to him for doing it, and once again my condolences to Pam.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 22, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
Never knew the guy. Still made me cry to read this. Thanks for posting it.


Trad climber
Feb 22, 2013 - 08:11pm PT

Heavy stuff. Thanks for posting this.

Near Boston
Feb 22, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
It is a sad accident. From the earlier reports I thought he had fractured his hip and then had a heart attack from either the stress or a clot.
This section :"Jack died of a Hemo Pneumo Thorax. Blood from his broken ribs and subsequent internal injuries filled his chest cavity and compressed his heart and lungs to the point they no longer worked. He had six broken ribs on his upper right back(?) side, and a dislocated and hairline fractured hip."...really shows that he took a hard fall and hit the ice maybe twice hard. That type of pneumothorax is something you see in unrestrained car accident victims.

Social climber
Feb 22, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
hey there say, RDB...

thank you kindly for sharing this...

i did not know him but i loved his very nice posts...
and learning of what a good man he was...

i cried when i heard he died and i wondered whyy he could not be
saved, after he was still alive from the fall--which made it twice as sad, then... now, i understand... *i just read the story...
had to cry again... i am glad he died with you, in a warmer way, than
being alone, or not knowing that someone was with him....

thank you so much...
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Feb 22, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
Looks like our bones get more brittle when we truly get old. May be a good idea to put in more pro even if our minds still feel young. I knew Jack just a little when we were young. RIP Jack.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 22, 2013 - 10:29pm PT
thank you for posting this,
best wishes for Jonathon, I don't know him but he's a person that I wouldn't hesitate being out there with...

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Feb 22, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
Jonathon - thanks so much for posting your story, I know it was very difficult to do so. I think of Jack often, especially when I repeat a route that we had climbed over the years. Here's a pic of JR at the base of the RNWF of Half Dome - one of the best adventures we shared. RIP Jackster...
JR, base of Half Dome, 1994
JR, base of Half Dome, 1994
Credit: BrassNuts
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 22, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
How sad. Thank you for your beautifully written account.

This is the life and sometimes the death we share. If we wanted to play it safe, we'd stay at home.

Condolences to Jack's friends and family.

right here, right now
Feb 22, 2013 - 11:38pm PT
Thanks for hosting this Dane.

Jon: no doubt, hard for you to write this down and also very important to us.
Much appreciated.
Best wishes.

Social climber
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:34am PT
Reaching out again to Pam. Huge hugs to you !!! Loads o' love from Phil & I
Double D

Feb 23, 2013 - 12:38am PT
Thanks for posting this.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:49am PT
Ummm...tough stuff...


portland, Oregon
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:59am PT
Thanks for the story. Must have been very hard. Jack was a great partner.

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Feb 23, 2013 - 02:30am PT
Brave stuff.
I have always admired and had a lot of respect for Jack. From my early days in The Valley upon hearing of some of his exploits, such as the SA of Tis*sack with Charlie Porter. To his SA of The Shield with Hugh Burton.

I recall a bunch of us sitting in the meadow one Spring morning, as we all focused on what was unfolding high above on the Captain. Jack was leading the crux "30 rurps in a row" pitch on the Shield. Something which, at the time, would send chills down the spine of anyone just thinking about it, let alone contemplating leading the SA of it.

And I remember one of the heavies of that era commenting something to the effect, "Man, he must be a one bold dood, let alone a damn good climber." Indeed he was.

I didn't know him personally then, but met him briefly once at the "Adventure 16 (A16) Mothers Day Swap Meet" that was held each Spring in their parking lot. I believe it was 1982 and he was selling a bunch of his gear. He had a ton of it, a lot of it geared towards alpine climbing since he had done a lot of stuff in Alaska by that date.

He seemed surprized that I new who he was, somewhat embarressed in fact, and he obviously preferred to not be the center of attention. Very humble guy. RIP

Ice climber
Feb 23, 2013 - 11:07am PT
Jon, thanks so much for sharing...indeed, I know how difficult this whole experience has been for you, and my heart goes out to you, my friend. Dane called me yesterday to let me know this was up on his blog, and I was glad to see you had finally put it out there. We had a very nice talk....and did discuss the importance of perhaps running out ice routes a bit less, especially since screws are so much easier to get in these days.
I know that some people have conjectured that maybe he had a heart attack or some other physical glitch that caused him to fall. All I know is that they did a full autopsy on him, and didn't find anything that indicated anything like that, for what it's worth. He had been sick with a bad cough over Christmas break, so maybe it was something as simple as a coughing fit. Who knows...........
Not a minute goes by when I don't think of Jack, and don't miss him deeply, even after a year plus. I certainly have a whole new appreciation for grief and the complexities in grappling with such a blow, that's for sure! I don't know how people do it without the kind of amazing friends that I have....I am very fortunate!
Anyway, thanks to Jon for sharing...........

Social climber
Feb 23, 2013 - 11:41am PT
Thank you to all, most especially to Pam and Dane. We have had numerous chats about the accident and life, and felt it was appropriate to put this out there. I didn't cry writing this, but I'm tearing up reading everyone's comments .

Thank you.


Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
Thanks for the post. The what ifs are always the hardest thing to reconcile
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