RIP John Rosendahl


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Messages 1 - 35 of total 35 in this topic

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.

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Sep 8, 2012 - 01:13am PT
John was a good climbing partner and a generous man - whom I saw more infrequently than I would have liked. He offered to tutor my wife in math a while back, out of sheer kindness. Now on the verge of receiving her doctorate, I'm sure she would credit John with nudging her in the right direction!

Sincere condolences to Linda and Kai.

gonzo chemist

Fort Collins, CO
Sep 10, 2012 - 01:51pm PT
I heard the news last Monday morning. I was shocked. What a terrible loss.

Although I have never climbed with John outside, we shared a rope many times at Rockreation. EVERY time he climbed, I was blown away by how damn strong he was. So smooth and methodical. He was always so positive and upbeat, and a real pleasure to chat with.

I distinctly remember hanging out with him in his office one morning a few years back talking about grad school, and of course climbing. He shared a bunch of old photos from "back in the day." I remember one of him soloing some 5.10 slab in EBs. I had walked over there from my lab to pick up a pair of shoes. A pair of Acopa Spectres, in fact. I believe Bachar had given John the pair of shoes while they were out climbing one day. But Rosendahl preferred to climb with La Sportiva Miuras. So he passed the spectres on to me. A couple days later I cruised out to Joshua Tree and ran a solo circuit in the fading light of the evening with those shoes.

John loved climbing with his son so much. I remember how John was so proud of Kai.


dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 13, 2012 - 10:34pm PT
Hey you guys, here is a link to a short article about John at Rock and
It doesn't tell a whole lot about his life but can give you an idea what a stud climber/athlete he was.
There are a couple of good pics.

Trad climber
Long Beach
Sep 14, 2012 - 06:34pm PT
Belay off, brother. Rest in peace. I'm going to miss you.


Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Sep 14, 2012 - 07:11pm PT

Trad climber
Orange Co, CA
Sep 15, 2012 - 10:50am PT
I knew John from the climbing gym as well and like many have said he was an excellent climber, and a nice guy. I agree!

My condolences go out to his family.

Trad climber
Orange Co, CA
Sep 16, 2012 - 10:08pm PT
I enjoyed climbing with John at Rocreation. It was just knowing that he would move up a climb so smooth and quiet that made me try harder.

Oct 23, 2012 - 11:02pm PT
I am so so sad to hear this.
I just Googled John's name to find the link to his record for the John Muir trail (Self-Contained) -- but sadly I found this post and that he has passed away.

John was a very good friend and teacher to me. I went to UCI and he was my first Physics professor and the reason I changed my major to Physics. I then worked for John for several years as a lab assistance as he was in charge of all the labs.

He was truly one of the best men I have ever met in my life and one of the very few I have ever looked up to. I cannot tell you how sad it makes me to see this news. May he rest in peace.

Santa Monica, CA
Oct 24, 2012 - 12:49am PT
Just realized that we had met John at Clark, maybe two years ago...such an enthusiastic and clearly super intelligent guy. our condolences to his family and friends.

Costa Mesa, CA
Jan 26, 2013 - 03:23pm PT
Hi everyone, I'm amazed at all the wonderful memories of my Uncle, John. I'm sure I met some of you at the memorial in December.

If you're interested, I wrote this post about my Uncle's passing, and have included a slideshow from the memorial:

Thank you for your kind words about John.

Sioux Juan

Big Wall climber
Costa mesa
Mar 20, 2014 - 06:13pm PT
heck MAN ! I climbed with John many times in the early 70's he was a great guy and climbing partner. He will be missed R I P John........
I just found out today !!!

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Mar 20, 2014 - 07:51pm PT
Jeez Steve, you really need to at least join the latter half of the twentieth century...
ron gomez

Trad climber
Mar 20, 2014 - 08:12pm PT
Classic Fonda!

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Mar 20, 2014 - 09:50pm PT
Aren't I a saint?

Trad climber
Long Beach, Ca
Mar 21, 2014 - 12:29am PT

Hello All,

I wanted to post this in case you all had a free moment this Sunday to honor John's life. Rockreation in Costa Mesa is hosting a friendly 'free-solo' format (includes down-climbing) competition in honor of John.

John was an integral part of our climbing community, always offering a belay and climbing session regardless of climbing ability. He will always be remembered to me as being encouraging, inspiring, and providing great mentorship.

Stop by if you can make it.

Thanks for your time,

Messages 1 - 35 of total 35 in this topic
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