Raliegh Collins RIP


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can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 14, 2006 - 09:47am PT
I just read over on Todd's site about Raliegh checking out of this life. RIP my friend.

Damn this is the 2nd time in the past year I have posted of a friends passing.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Mar 14, 2006 - 11:09am PT
Do you have any more information?

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Mar 14, 2006 - 11:12am PT
I had a lot of fun with him Summer of 2002. This is really sad to hear.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 14, 2006 - 11:17am PT
Melissa, unfortunately I don't have any details on his death and only forwarded what I read over on Todd's site.


Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Mar 14, 2006 - 11:21am PT
Huh? Collins? How the hell did that happen? The guy was only 45 years old. What's Todd's site address?

That totally blows . . .

susan peplow

1/3 done with the book of Gayness™™
Mar 14, 2006 - 11:22am PT
Not much info yet....I'm sure that Robert or Todd will send more as it comes in.


Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Mar 14, 2006 - 11:29am PT

Praha ne, ti kokot!
Mar 14, 2006 - 11:36am PT
Received this in an e-mail yesterday...

Here is a copy of quick note passed to me from Marty Lewis.
Sad!!!! Prayers for family and friends....

Begin forwarded message:

> From: xxxx@minortriad.com (Tom xxx)
> Date: March 13, 2006 5:58:43 PM PST
> To: smlewis@xxxx.com
> Cc: xxxx@minortriad.com
> Subject: Raleigh
> Marty,
> Raleigh Collins committed suicide. He jumped off
> Sports Challenge Rock in the Real Hidden Valley
> in Joshua Tree, probably last night.
> Tom

Big Wall climber
Long Beach, CA
Mar 14, 2006 - 12:11pm PT
Man, that really sucks. I had the priviledge of knowing him for about 5 years now. First at Todd's house, then just random encounters since then. He was a very nice guy but I did get that "troubled soul" vibe someone mentioned on Todd's site. Either way, I am very sad to see such a fun and entertaining person choose that means of exit.

Our last encounter happened at Mobile Gas outside TM:

Me: "Hey Raleigh, you got any beta on the SW Face of Conness? We are looking to go do that in a couple of days and don't know anyone who's done it."

Raleigh: "WHAT?!?! Do you want me to jerk you off? Conness is a fvcking sport route man!!!"

Fortunately he was right. We brought a couple of cams just in case though :)

Troubled soul or not, I always looked up to him, and enjoyed the few times we talked.

You'll be missed dude.

looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 14, 2006 - 12:34pm PT
Very sorry to hear this. May his spirit find peace.

Trad climber
New York, NY
Mar 14, 2006 - 12:46pm PT
I only met him once, on my last trip, when a friend of his invite me over for dinner, and Raleigh was there. He showed a video footage he'd done of this event he was promoting(I may be wrong as to who did what - I think he produced the video?), and he really seemed very proud of the thing. The event was way exciting too - it was like some sort of relay adventure race that included climbing, slacklining, some other events, and ended with hanggliding(?). Seemed like a really cool thing.

He provided great dinner conversation and told a story about a (rather large)5-year gear cache getting found out by a seasonal ranger, and that they had given everything back.

I had mentioned that I was going to hike to Queen Mountain the next day, and he told me to head for the Frontier Wall, instead of the Cirque of the Climbables, unless I wanted some 4th class sketchy terrain. I was (reeeeally)grateful for that advise and took it, and had an incredible day in a pristine area of the park.

I am sorry for all of those who are his friends, and the sadness you must now be feeling. Particularly that friend who hosted me at his house, where I met Raleigh.

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 14, 2006 - 01:44pm PT
Anyone remember back in the day when Raliegh's nickname was "Ten Sport?"

Or how about when he used to buzz Hidden Valley Campground in that single engine plane?

A sad day.


Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Mar 14, 2006 - 02:00pm PT
This sucks. RIP. My you keep flying high.

Woodland Park, CO
Mar 14, 2006 - 02:32pm PT
Strong climber, good pilot.

Thanks for the plane rides over JT, will miss ya............

Mountain climber
San Diego
Mar 14, 2006 - 02:34pm PT
I didn't personally know Raliegh, but certainly knew the name and heard about some of his exploits . . .

Here he is buzzing a climber . . .


It makes me really sad to hear about anyone taking their own life. We can't know the deep pain and depression at that very moment. They are not in their right mind. It always reopens fresh wounds in my heart. I've had to endure the heart-ache and pain of suicide in my immediate family. It never gets easier.

Just remember, no matter how bad things get, family and friends love you. Suicide is never the answer. You hurt the ones you love the most. And some how we are left to try to carry on without you.

RIP Raliegh Collins

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Mar 14, 2006 - 03:00pm PT
Raliegh was a "fixture" at the Gordon Ranch. Sad ending to a troubled, talented soul. Good-bye, Raleigh. May you now find peace.

Social climber
The West
Mar 14, 2006 - 03:23pm PT
I just realized that I Can put a face and memories to this name. Really sorry to hear.

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Mar 14, 2006 - 03:44pm PT
First off, this is going to be a tad long. It's a bit of good, bad, and personal.

I may well be one of the few who really saw both the best sides and the darkest sides of Raleigh.

When I first moved to Josh over 6 years ago I did so for a number of reasons. Certainly for the climbing, but also to sever ties with my daemons/friends from L.A. (and a very dark and stormy past).

I didn't know anyone. The folks at the Gordon ranch wouldn't give me the time of day. I wasn't "one of them", although I wanted to be. Ironically, some of these very same folks are now some of the dearest closest friends I have ever had.

I first met Raleigh at Barker Damn. He instantly gave me his number and told me to call him to go climbing. He became one of my best friends. We climbed together, drank together, hung out, hiked and explored. He taught me many things about the outdoors and inspired me to push myself onwards and upwards. At a very rough time in my life, Raleigh came through when nobody else would.

With that said, I also got to know the darker side of Raleigh, a side I did not like. I started to witness behavior and learn things about his past (and his opinions) that I found to be very unsettling. There is no point in elaborating on these issues. It’s done.

Over the last couple of years I have had to distance myself from him. There are many reasons for this. Again, there is no point in elaborating on the subject.

I have unfortunately been the recipient of many suicides over the last 20 plus years, including my father putting a 44 to his head and pulling the trigger. Normally I was either on one side of the fence or the other. “Oh my god, he did it, how sad”, or “Good riddance”.

Raleigh’s decision has left me in a very strange place. He was a person I both loved and despised. I am having a very difficult time eulogizing him in either a positive or negative light.

I went over to the “scene of the crime” this morning and wept like a beaten child for him. He was truly an amazing person who was also very deeply troubled. I hope he finds the peace and tranquility he has been searching for over the years.

In closing I must say: Raleigh, you were one of the brightest and darkest people I have ever met. There will always be a spot in my heart for you.

Robert Fonda
Joshua Tree California

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Mar 14, 2006 - 04:08pm PT
i will prefer to remember raliegh from better times. if i recall the story correctly, back in the day (77 or 78?), a couple of the original "scumbags" took raliegh climbing at suicide. mind you, this is his first time climbing. first time in a harness. first time on a rope. you get the picture.

sooo.....neil kunomi leads the first pitch of hesitation, hands raliegh the rack, and sends him up the 5.10 second pitch. with an absolute MAXIMUM of drama, our boy shakes and quakes and moans and slips and skids his way up the pitch. kid had some spunk, is all i gotta say about that.

i don't know what sort of demons chased raliegh into the next plane, but i do know as we age life gets the best of some of us, and noone is qualified to sit in judgement. like i say, the picture i have in my head, and the one that will stay there, will be the pepetually stoked, ultra-psyched, youthful madman with the bewildered smile who recieved the most proud crash course in climbing you're ever gonna hear about.


Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 14, 2006 - 04:21pm PT
That is a great story. Thanks.

Anyone remember when he decided to launch his hang glider from a small outcropping on a steep hillside in Josh?

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