Royal Robbins (RIP)


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Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Mar 14, 2017 - 04:42pm PT
I'm just stunned. Thanks for alerting us, Anders. sad. What an incredible legacy he left--for me personally, and for the climbing world in general. What a huge loss.

Trad climber
Mar 14, 2017 - 04:42pm PT
Yep, between the Rockcraft books and the Chouinard catalog I learned to climb. End of an era, indeed.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Mar 14, 2017 - 04:48pm PT
I remember climbing into the bottom of the mighty Crescent Arch chimney, on Half Dome Direct in 1978, at age 17, and having my mind blown.

I had insisted on climbing the "DIRECT", rather than the "REGULAR" for my first route up Half Dome. And boy was I in for a ride. Monster chimneys, difficult freeclimbing, difficult aid, stacked flakes, tricky route finding, bivouac ledges seemingly miles above the Earth.

I was grateful that the route had been pioneered, and all I had to do was try and follow it.

Thank you Royal.

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Mar 14, 2017 - 04:53pm PT
Fly free Royal.  What a Legend.  Took this photo during an Alpine Club...
Fly free Royal. What a Legend. Took this photo during an Alpine Club meet at his home in Pinecrest.
Credit: karodrinker

the east
Mar 14, 2017 - 04:57pm PT
The Buzz Aldrin of walls from the days when it was not a game. Peace, sure. But dont rest long.

Gold Canyon, AZ
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:07pm PT
Very sad news. I heard last Oct or so that he was not doing very well. RIP.


Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:08pm PT
No words.

Just... no words.


Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:09pm PT
Karodrinker... WONDERFUL image!

Trad climber
New England
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:11pm PT
Rest in peace, sir!

Social climber
carmel, ca
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:11pm PT
Rest in Peace Royal Robbins.

You will not be forgotten for your words and deeds are written in Stone.
Flip Flop

Earth Planet, Universe
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:14pm PT
I took my son to shake Royal's hand. It seemed worthy. He signed a couple of books for the kid and I'm feeling pretty lucky and honored to have just met the man. Without much awareness, I followed his footsteps up the half dome and later solo up the leaning tower. Then to the rivers and the hinterlands. Berg Heil! Absolutely Legendary!

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:14pm PT
I remember trying to get any news about this man and his climbs in far-away Czechoslovakia in the late 60s. I was a teen just starting out and Royal was larger than life figure of the climbing world.

A true legend of American climbing is gone. They don't make them like Royal anymore. My condolences to his family and many friends world-wide. Alois Smrz, Idyllwild.

Sport climber
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:18pm PT
honored to have met him once. i too learned to climb with basic and advanced rockcraft, in a pair of his shoes (rr's) at the leap. his vision will endure, his purity of style defined an era. a life well lived. condolences to friends and family.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:19pm PT
Really sad to hear. Amazing pioneer and a terrific writer. Just sad. First climbing article I ever read was one of his in Summit. Long, long time ago. He was inspirational.

A long way from where I started
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:20pm PT
Relatively few of here actually knew him. But how many of us learned aid climbing (and a fair bit about free climging, too) from Basic Rockcraft and Advanced Rockcraft? To say nothing of being inspired by RR's climbing?

What a life he led.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:26pm PT
A Man for All Seasons.  RIP Royal Robbins.
A Man for All Seasons. RIP Royal Robbins.
Thanks for it all.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:29pm PT
What a wonderful life.

Cheers Royal

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:30pm PT
Royal left a legacy in American climbing that has not been,and likely never will be, equaled. The "Golden Age" produced a gallery of larger than life personalities. Pratt, the most naturallly gifted free climber, left a legacy of climbs that still give climbers pause, Chouinard was an innovator who took the lessons learned in Yosemite to the alpine crucible, Frost showed that an engineering mind and unflappable good nature had a place in climbing and TM was the court jester loved by everyone.
Royal was a synthesis of the above....okay, I'll leave out court jester. He left a mark inscribed in granite that will span the ages.

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:32pm PT
Many of us grew up in his long and imposing shadow, as he lived at a time when it was still possible for a single person to dominate the scene. Pete Sinclair, in his beautiful and mysterious memoir We Aspired---The Last Innocent Americans, likened Robbins to Achilles. Robbins was larger than life, and no one else in his time had more to do with shaping the spirit of American rock climbing.

The state of quantum flux
Mar 14, 2017 - 05:33pm PT
To say he was one of the truly great climbers of our times, would be an understatement.

Only Royal

Were it not for the man
No one could have given
Me those hand-me-down boots

Were it not for the man
Making his living
Plying cracks for great routes

Were it not for the man
Who taught rock-craft the while
I might never have been a climber

Were it not for the man
Climbing bold lines with his style
Few could ever be finer

Were it not for Royal
Were it not for Robbins
Were it not for the man

Were it not for Royal
I wouldn't of had a clue
If not for the man

-Tim Sorenson
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