BVB, the passing of an American Legend…

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rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 10, 2017 - 11:01am PT
It's being reported on FB of the passing of Bob van Belle, this morning.

‎Off White >> Bob van Belle

It's with very heavy heart I inform you all that Bob died this morning in his sleep at his parents' home, likely from complications due to his most recent bout with pneumonia. He's been very ill for a long time now, and while I've been preparing for this day for several years, I find I'm quite shattered. I'll keep you all posted when some sort of plan for a memorial comes together.

fosburg

climber
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:10am PT
Sad news, Bob was absolutely one of a kind. Sincere condolences to his loved ones.
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:17am PT
Sad news indeed. He was a unique character. Rip bob.
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2017 - 11:22am PT
In his own words, July 5, 2017:
"And now we arrive where we began, another dance around the sun and Hanna is a high school senior, good lord, and then off to college, your whole life stretching ahead like a passionate covenant with the world, the unbroken promise of beauty: life happens so fast it leaves you breathless. Oh parents, confess to your little ones that their life has a life of its own and feels wholly of itself, confide again and again to remember that life is simply not condensable; remind them again and again and then once more again that although nobody reads poetry anymore, everybody lives it, the words on paper to be brought to life by the boundless susurrations of human voice, spoken words and the humble worship of the human experience; remember these times as when every thought is a prayer, the marrow-deep ecstatic rapture of drawing each breath under aching skies a worship of the ongoing daily miracle we must never take for granted: having been born, our passion and promises, our fears and dismays, and at last one ordinary and unexpected day when for one moment with all that beauty beyond comprehension we open our eyes to rumbling jalousie, stage lights, months of sacrifice, the silence and expectation, and now a flowing cataract of light in the windows facing out and all these unhurried human truths suddenly fall together, one into another, and then another, as when living through the script and the scenes the actors become themselves, a moment when the light seems to have seen them exactly as they wish they were, and that is where will we find them, where we find one another, in that place beyond home where we come like water, and like wind we go." —Bob van Belle
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:26am PT
Very sad news. Never met the guy but I always enjoyed his posts.

Condolences to all.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:30am PT
Very sad. He was quite the character.

Pneumonia is not to be taken lightly and many think they are only feeling
a little under the weather.
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2017 - 11:30am PT
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:31am PT
Condolences to all who knew him well.

I owe him a large debt for trailblazing so many great areas in this state, and an even greater one for keeping the info on them sparse.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:33am PT
hey there, say, all... :( ...my condolences to his family and loved ones, at this hard sad time...

prayers, as they go on without him, now, for them to be strong among
the cherished memories...


god bless to you, family and buddies, of BVB...
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:39am PT
Sorry to see him go so soon. Too soon. Not that I knew him from anywhere but here... but my sincere condolences to his friends and family.

This was well said. Thanks for posting that up RMuir

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:48am PT
^^^Good one.

Sincerest condolences to Bobs family and friends.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:52am PT
REALLY? Oh man, he was way too young! We'll miss you, bvb!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 10, 2017 - 11:57am PT

me spotting... as if he needed it. lol, cheers BVB, rest well.
nathanael

climber
CA
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:00pm PT




f*#k man.. never knew him but i ate up all the old pics and stories posted in the old woodson threads...
AKDOG

Mountain climber
Anchorage, AK
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:13pm PT

RIP BVB; one of a kind, way too young
Condolences to his family and friends
m.

Trad climber
UT
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:14pm PT
Oh, what a blow. BVB, so bright, so funny, so engaging...words cannot express how much we will miss you. I always thought we'd have time for another dinner in Salt Lake.
splitter

Trad climber
HighwayToHell
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:17pm PT
BVB American Legend RIP
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:21pm PT
Wow, what sad news, condolences to family and friends. I remember John M. made this video a couple years ago.

https://youtu.be/phS2UaGUxoI?list=PL616DB7DA8EB59040
Mike.

climber
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:27pm PT
Condolence to Bob's friends and family – and to climbing, which has lost an irreplaceable voice worthy of the term hard-core. And a man with a heart, as I found in a brief encounter.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:30pm PT

[Click to View YouTube Video]
snakefoot

climber
Nor Cal
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:34pm PT
a legend that will be missed and a new gap in this forum, damn.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:34pm PT
nice dirt claud!
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:34pm PT
Wow...ugh. Doesn't seem right.

Used to see him especially 'round Little Cottonwood bouldering. Some of us called him "suspenders dude".

RIP to a swole American legend.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:35pm PT
Oh no!!! This is some gut-wrenching news.

God's speed BVB. Truly an American Legend

survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:38pm PT
Wow. Very sad. Kind of speechless right now. Need to think on this.

Thanks so much for the madness Bob.
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:43pm PT


See you in the next world brother.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:46pm PT
That's very sad news. I liked his writing style. Once I posted a simple question about The Thimble in San Diego County and got this:
we wuz all up on it babe, swole on that shizzle all the way back in the muthafukkin' day. stinkbuggin' the dimes, smearing the slabs, filling the bowls, plugin' the holes, pimpin the cracks, had one anuthrz backs, sea to shining sea, woodsun five eleven see. you know whut i'm sayin' babe? talking anza borrego oldskool OG backountry posse action. word to ya mutha, brutha.

RIP BVB
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:50pm PT
Sad news. RIP, American Legend, I will miss your posts here.
Sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Seattle
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:51pm PT
Oh man...what a complete punch to the gut. This is sad news for so many.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jul 10, 2017 - 12:53pm PT
Very sad. My condolences to Bob's family, friends and loved ones.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 10, 2017 - 01:09pm PT

PigPen 2am session with some kinda new fangled bootwear. ;) [pic from the Sheep Buggerers of JT thread]
darkmagus

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
Jul 10, 2017 - 01:38pm PT
I'm so sorry to hear this.

I had never met him, but always felt his presence at Woodson.

RIP to a True American Legend.
Levy

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Jul 10, 2017 - 01:44pm PT
Bob was a legend to many of us who grew up in Southern California. If you spent any time at Mt Woodson you probably ran into him and his wide circle of friends.

R.I.P. Bob, you will be missed dearly.

dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Jul 10, 2017 - 01:53pm PT
I don't have the time or contacts to put it together, but a "BVB Woodson Memorial Shindig" would be really cool.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Jul 10, 2017 - 02:14pm PT

owe him a large debt for trailblazing so many great areas and an even greater one for *keeping the info on them sparse*


fly on you beautiful freak, fly on.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jul 10, 2017 - 02:31pm PT
Sad .... He was one of a kind.

I offer my sincere condolences to Bob's Family, Friends and Tribe.

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 10, 2017 - 02:54pm PT
Very sad day. I knew Bob as a climber..but lately as a dad to his two kids. He was a master at both. Today we grieve..hard.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jul 10, 2017 - 02:58pm PT
It was wonderful to catch up with Bob a few years ago at the Woodson Party in Valley Center. He was kind to take time and share some stories with me about my husband, Dan.

Everyone has pretty much said everything a person could about BVB here and on FB. An enormously gifted human in so many ways, perhaps with a few demons to match. I especially liked his so very straight forward perspective and the words to match.

But where are the words we need now to express the grief and loss? lynnie
Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California, living in The Old Pueblo
Jul 10, 2017 - 03:12pm PT
I am speechless. 💔
Hubbard

climber
San Diego
Jul 10, 2017 - 03:16pm PT
I liked Bob Van Bell. Smart, acerbic, forgiving, uncompromising and a dam good crack climber. He was all those things.
splitter

Trad climber
HighwayToHell
Jul 10, 2017 - 03:17pm PT
Wow. Very sad. Kind of speechless right now. Need to think on this.
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Jul 10, 2017 - 03:19pm PT
American Legend Bishes... RIP
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Jul 10, 2017 - 03:27pm PT
as sad as this is, and the loss of the spirited author of the best single thread IMO on this site
lands with a sickening thud, he did leave us the word ... and the word is Wayne!

and when i explore as many nooks and crannies as i can find in his beloved stomping ground, his
presence will be felt and i'll be grateful he laid out the goods on something so "motherf*#kin' swole!"

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2053023

i imagine he's still packin' insouciance with a swagger
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Jul 10, 2017 - 03:34pm PT
BvB A b.o.b , ( another one, one of many ) he was the best!
Won the best award ever.Shees very sweet and his way was awesome too
He was the greatest - both in his own mind and at any -scotch for you?- dusty spot
BvB! Was a one man band forever , a Maven of the smallz
Knew where and when to have the ball to call you out? . . .

~>
I hold a lit candle though
& I'll send off one of the greatest
berghiel. Well lived sir! Here's raising hellfire too. . . .To the American LegendItalic Text
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 10, 2017 - 03:51pm PT
My sincere condolences to his family and friends. I didn't know Bob but knew many who did and they all spoke well of him.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Jul 10, 2017 - 04:45pm PT
The circle gets a bit smaller
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Jul 10, 2017 - 04:52pm PT
Rest well Bob. The tales of and by you are fantastic.
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Jul 10, 2017 - 05:07pm PT
Very sad.
Met him at Woodson, and he showed me around, and gave me great beta.
Spent the summer with him in C4, when his then GF was working there.
Last saw him bouldering in JT.
He will be missed.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jul 10, 2017 - 05:12pm PT
A life lived fully, with zest and humor and prowess. An American legend is right!
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Jul 10, 2017 - 05:28pm PT
Sad to hear. A lively spirit. RIP Bob.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 10, 2017 - 05:48pm PT
Thanks for all of it, Bob!
WBraun

climber
Jul 10, 2017 - 05:50pm PT
Who gave Bob permission to check out?

Some of his routes are burly hard .....
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 10, 2017 - 05:51pm PT
Sad sad day, never met him in person but we communicated over the years and I was ever so looking forward to a rendezvous someday.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jul 10, 2017 - 05:56pm PT
Uh.. this makes me so sad. Sincere condolences to his family and friends. "American Legend" indeed. I'm sure there are tales to be told

Bob was always beacon of wit and humor as well as a strange and fantastic climbing talent. He had a good heart and the universe is an emptier place without him.

Shine on you crazy diamond.

ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Jul 10, 2017 - 06:21pm PT
Peace
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jul 10, 2017 - 06:23pm PT
dirt claud and anyone else.....I would be glad to help organize any type of Memorial/Party.
L

climber
Just Livin' the Dream...
Jul 10, 2017 - 06:45pm PT
"A belly full of booze and a back full of brawn--that's how we do it around here." ~ BVB

Funniest man I ever met, and a hell of a nice guy.
He brought so much laughter to those climbing weekends in JTree. Laughter and whiskey. And some hard bouldering.
Such sad, sad news.
He will be sorely missed.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jul 10, 2017 - 06:56pm PT

Thanks dirt claud for putting that whole gig together. Awesome memories.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Jul 10, 2017 - 07:19pm PT
*
Damn this make me sad..sigh

Sincere condolences to his little family and many friends.

Rest in peace....BVB..

SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Jul 10, 2017 - 07:33pm PT
This just sucks.

Many thoughts and condolences to his friends and family.

:(


Susan
crusher

climber
Santa Monica, CA
Jul 10, 2017 - 07:52pm PT
We are so saddened to hear this. Condolences to all family and friends.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 10, 2017 - 08:05pm PT
didn't get to see Bob much, but the Woodson 2010 get together was memorable

shine on you crazy diamond
zBrown

Ice climber
Jul 10, 2017 - 08:11pm PT
One of the many on the ST I never met. One of the few I liked.

We emailed back and forth a few times.

Kinda strange to see what he actually looked like.


bienvenidosBOB

As Senor Bob once said:

The article was plenty for me. It's a fun read, but nowhere near as much fun as the visceral impact one feels when hearing the story as oral history, a woven tapestry of vernaculars and viewpoints told in the idiolects of those who were there, from one campfire to the next, over the decades. It's the tiny details and asides and gestures and facial expressions and humor and giddy reflective amusement that the storytellers bring to life and that make the story worth listening too. I spent many weeks in the Valley that spring, so I heard the whole tale from quite a few people, and already the story was well along in it's evolution into mythology. In any event, having read the article I doubt I'd bother to read any book, should it someday appear. Unless, of course, it receives rave reviews and a write-up in The New York Times Review Of Books.

In other words, meh.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jul 10, 2017 - 08:54pm PT
See ya on the other side, Bob.


American Fuc-king Legend Bishes!

SWOLE!
Friend

climber
Jul 10, 2017 - 08:59pm PT
RIP BVB.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jul 10, 2017 - 09:42pm PT
I have no doubt that middle finger is still in that position...safe journey Bob.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 10, 2017 - 09:43pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]


Fearless

You say the hill's too steep to climb
Chiding
You say you'd like to see me try
Climbing
You pick the place and I'll choose the time
And I'll climb
The hill in my own way
Just wait a while, for the right day
And as I rise above the treeline and the clouds
I look down hearing the sound of the things you said today

Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd, smiling
Merciless, the magistrate turns 'round, frowning
And who's the fool who wears the crown
Go down in your own way
And everyday is the right day
And as you rise above the fear lines in his brown
You look down
Hear the sound of the faces in the crowd


Songwriters
DAVID JON GILMOUR, ROGER WATERS

.............................................................

TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Jul 10, 2017 - 09:54pm PT
American Legend and my friend, Bob van Belle has passed from this earthly plane to the next. Words flowing like his hair, out in all directions, the world has lost a poet. We don't have many of his ilk. BVB was the real deal. And while the gritty reality of the world dulls my vision, I'd like to believe the night sky is a little brighter. RIP brother. Float free and easy, like a bird on the wing. Hasta la próxima vez.
TY
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jul 10, 2017 - 10:00pm PT
As I gazed at the twilight sky tonight I thought of your words, Tony. It was a bit brighter. Wish I had spent a bit more time with him.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 10, 2017 - 10:16pm PT


Photographs from our 2006 Joshua Tree reunion, (scanned from the original transparencies and tuned up by Peter Haan).
Robs, Bob, Hanna.
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Jul 10, 2017 - 10:47pm PT
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 10, 2017 - 10:48pm PT



Photographs of Jocelyn and Hanna, 2006

...............................



Hanna Van Belle



Unsure of the attribution for this last photograph, but it's a keeper.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 10, 2017 - 10:51pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]

In his wife and children, Bob had much to be proud of.
bobinc

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Jul 11, 2017 - 05:08am PT
Thank you for posting these pictures and the video, Tarbuster. You remind us what is indeed so important amidst the sadness of Bob's passing.
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
Jul 11, 2017 - 07:01am PT
Thanks for posting that video Tarbuster.
I used to work with Kyle when I was a home-school teacher for flagstaff unified. He is a very intelligent young man. It is good to see he's in college now. I'm sure he loved his Dad very much.

Goddammit, shed a tear for the American Legend. You will be sorely missed.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 11, 2017 - 07:59am PT
And just look at the astonishing radiance and inner beauty of Hanna.
What a gift to the world!
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jul 11, 2017 - 08:40am PT
Tar... thanks for posting the photos.

Bob will be missed.



Hardly Visible

Social climber
Llatikcuf WA
Jul 11, 2017 - 09:28am PT
Bob was one of the funniest guys to ever post on this forum, I will miss his wit and this place will be poorer in his absence.
My condolences to his family and friends.

martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Jul 11, 2017 - 09:31am PT
I never met Bob although we were FB friends for the last few years. I join others here in my sense of sadness that one so young and full of energy has left us so young.

Marty
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jul 11, 2017 - 09:46am PT
Thanks for those posts, Roy. I owe you a phone call and a visit.
dhayan

climber
culver city, ca
Jul 11, 2017 - 10:11am PT
Beautiful photos and video, thank you. Love to all family and friends.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Jul 11, 2017 - 11:01am PT
"Thanks dirt claud for putting that whole gig together. Awesome memories."

Lynne, Thanks for the shout out, but I did not have anything to do with the 1st Woodson shindig a few years back. I believe Gary McKay and others may have done it. I would also be willing to help on another one as well with a celebration for BVB and would not mind getting something started.

Perhaps we can start a thread on it and see how the response is.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Jul 11, 2017 - 12:21pm PT
I really would like to have met you, BVB. Will certainly miss you.

Always enjoyed your posts to the Taco, your humour and outstanding writing. American Legend indeed!

My sincere condolences to your family and friends.

Thanks for posting that video, Tarbuster. Bob's coolness lives on!
snyd

Sport climber
Lexington, KY
Jul 11, 2017 - 01:22pm PT
Bob was cool. I'll miss him. XXXOOO
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jul 11, 2017 - 03:21pm PT
This thread hurts.

As someone always feeling pulled to the mainstream, to conformity, constantly battling what I feel is right for me and what I feel compelled by outside forces that don't know me, I need people like Bob who say f*#k it, I'm doing me. It's a constant struggle and seeing someone just be themselves is refreshing in a way that lets me be OK with who I am. Bob was one of the very best at that.


[Click to View YouTube Video]
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Jul 11, 2017 - 03:50pm PT
Bob was one talented and funny guy. His wit was super sharp and he had a great way of seeing through all the BS to the heart of the matter.

He was one of the core San Diego group of hard crack climbers. Our paths often crossed at Josh or the Valley, or when he would give us the tour of the many desperates at Woodson.

At the first Josh Reunion, his Hanna and our Hannah (both red-heads of same age) bonded while the parents partied.

This news is very sad, particularly so for his children. Sending you love in the great beyond.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jul 11, 2017 - 04:00pm PT
GDavis, I resonate with your post.

dirt claude, you're right, it was Gary. I am the worst at avatar's.

I like your idea. We all need to appreciate "the community campfire" while we can.
If you kick off a thread I will help. As far as dates perhaps next spring? If we pick a school holiday I could kick out the family and we could use my home again. lynnie
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jul 11, 2017 - 04:04pm PT
And obtw, GDavis, great idea for a tee shirt for the Woodson-BVB fest.

"F#@~k It, I'm doing me!
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
Jul 11, 2017 - 04:14pm PT
Bob was one of the first people I ever met from the San Diego climbing community. This was way before I moved down there and was welcomed into their posse.

Thank you sir.

You live on in our hearts and memories.

More recently, when we became Facebook "friends," he told me "if you ever post pictures of food I will unfriend you immediately!"

I took that to heart.


40+ years ago.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 11, 2017 - 04:23pm PT
I've been thinking about him on and off all day. I only hung out with him for a couple of days in all, even though we are both from San Diego and both of us particularly enjoyed bouldering at Mt. Woodson. I know him mostly from here. Here, he made himself a character that we all loved -- Everybody Loves BVB.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 11, 2017 - 04:40pm PT


In the fall of 1968 this gawky new kid arrived in Miss Schlappi's 5th grade class at Cadman Elementary in San Diego. He wore glasses, had a wacky grin, a manic manner, and wore a plastic eyeball on a string around his neck, swiftly earning the nickname Crazy. Mrs. VanBelle went ballistic the first time I called the house and asked to speak to Crazy, even though she knew exactly who I was asking for.

We were pals, same boy scout troop, part of the neighbor pack of kids that seethed in suburban San Diego, part of the last gasp of the boomer bulge. I think it was the happenstance of having the same Spanish class in 7th grade right before lunch, the common cause of coming from the same elementary school in the new larger Junior High, and the joint sprint to the cafeteria for lunch that finally bound us so tightly. We became constant companions.

I think Bob and I would both aver that we had an enormous influence on the shape of each other's lives. I started climbing in 1973 because of Bob, he might never have left San Diego if I hadn't quasi kidnapped him with the collusion of his mother Lillian, who long ago forgave me for the impertinent nickname. Without each other, our lives would not look anything like they have, and we would each have been the poorer for it.

As his closest and most stalwart friend I've been pretty intimately involved in the travails of his last decade, and in the broader sense of things I've been anticipating his death for several years. The array of challenges he's faced is complex and defies easy exposition, but he's come close to the edge on several occasions before he quietly slipped over it yesterday when no one was expecting it. I was surprised to find that my emotional preparation has done nothing to stem the flood of grief I feel. He was my friend and I will miss him until the end of my days.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jul 11, 2017 - 04:45pm PT
Off White....words fail me, but your words did not fail. A word picture few of us will ever forget.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 11, 2017 - 05:22pm PT

Can't forget the Draw bishes! He'd have our ass in a sling for not reprazentin!

deepnet

Boulder climber
San Diego
Jul 11, 2017 - 05:25pm PT
...nice words offwhite.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jul 11, 2017 - 05:40pm PT
I was surprised to find that my emotional preparation has done nothing to stem the flood of grief I feel.

I never got to know BVB, but he was obviously a person more of us should have known.

Offwhite's quote there hits me hard, I had the same experience last January when my stepdad passed. He had been declining for several years and I was emotionally prepared, except I wasn't. I get it now, albeit through sad events and a wise post.
drF

Trad climber
usa
Jul 11, 2017 - 05:57pm PT
Loved his posts and personna

Definitely an American Fu***in Legend

RIP Bob
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 11, 2017 - 06:23pm PT
A major dude. Had some good conversations with Bob. A character with a capitol C!
zBrown

Ice climber
Jul 11, 2017 - 06:26pm PT
"It's the tiny details and asides and gestures and facial expressions and humor and giddy reflective amusement that the storytellers bring to life and that make the story worth listening too."
-bvb

I think he was talkin' about you offW.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jul 11, 2017 - 06:38pm PT
Off White, that's quite an elegy.
Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Seattle
Jul 11, 2017 - 06:43pm PT
Off White - thanks for that beautiful recollection and tribute. He was quite a guy, and so much a fixture of the San Diego scene.

Don't you have a black and white of you guys sitting on the picnic table at Big Rock? Am I remembering that correctly?

Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 11, 2017 - 06:43pm PT
Great writing OW, thanks for that. Love the reference to Miss Schlappi, she is still around, also quite the character, but the opposite of Bob.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Jul 11, 2017 - 06:54pm PT
RIP BVB. Condolences to family and friends. I never knew him personally but very much appreciated the climbing content and smack talking and the sense of humor he brought here. His words from July 7 that Roger posted are beautiful.

Where is that place he was bouldering in the pic Munge posted?
Greg Epperson

climber
Joshua Tree
Jul 11, 2017 - 08:12pm PT
I was just talking to Bob about the heat and how it never bothered us back in the day. He reminded me... “I know, it blows me away how much time we had for pure suffering. The Gorge in the sun on the 95˚ day was totally doable. Woodson dead of summer mid week. Jocelyn did the Nabisco Wall one summer in the sun on a 105˚ day, just so we could say we are done. We’re getting old babe and it’s not the years it’s the mileage!"







murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
Jul 11, 2017 - 08:36pm PT
Condolences to those close to him. I never met him, but as a forum person he was funny and sharp, and wow could he write.
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
Jul 11, 2017 - 08:59pm PT
Where is that place he was bouldering in the pic Munge posted?

Priest Draw, just south of Flagstaff. Fun place.
Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Seattle
Jul 11, 2017 - 09:05pm PT
Man, Greg...those pics...
L

climber
Just Livin' the Dream...
Jul 11, 2017 - 09:39pm PT
That photo of Bob and Kyle at Torrey, UT, just brought tears to my eyes again.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 12, 2017 - 05:55am PT
Thanks Greg, those pictures are wonderful.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jul 12, 2017 - 06:30am PT
His sharp spirited prose has a life of its own, burning still.
nathanael

climber
CA
Jul 12, 2017 - 07:54am PT
awesome moments greg
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jul 12, 2017 - 08:40am PT
Off White.... beautiful.

All .... more pictures please. Its the little moments, captured in time, that show Bob as he really was.

Chris Zinda

Social climber
Elkton, OR
Jul 12, 2017 - 10:25am PT
Bob was my NPS mentor, boss, then peer. We spent years working together daily at Capitol Reef. So much fun, so much vigor, so much personal and professional exploration in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I thank him and will miss his poetry in action forever.

Tears. But...

Only BVB will get this, I think.
From 2002, before we both left the NPS.

Enjoy the 'Resource Familiarization Patrol' Bob. We'll ride again, soon.
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Jul 12, 2017 - 10:28am PT
I met Bob just once, on my way through Flagstaff a few years ago. Even in the vulnerable stage he was in at that time, the truth of the fact that I was, indeed, meeting the American Legend was undeniable. His energy was a fine blend of a fitull need to BE and a desire to be part of your experience of life in the moment. He was a memorable character who I either rooted for or appreciated each time I saw one of his ST posts.
Craig Fry

Trad climber
So Cal.
Jul 12, 2017 - 10:41am PT
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Jul 12, 2017 - 12:10pm PT
A keen observer of the climbing scene, Bob could skewer the absurdity of it all both in words and in pictures. An example of his pictorial art (proudly hanging on the wall), which gives me a laugh every time I see it. A good reminder not to take yourself too seriously.

Splater

climber
Grey Matter
Jul 12, 2017 - 12:28pm PT
Great remembrances everyone, esp Off White.

In the mid 80s when I first started exploring Woodson with a couple friends, I think we had just a copy of the Bruckner guide, which didn't include the latest hard routes (which we certainly couldn't do anyway). We ran into a few others, and sometimes got a little advice.
Looking for Sickle Crack for the first time, we walked past a few climbers and thought maybe they were at the route. So I start looking at the tiny curved flakes that all you get on this faint steep shallow dihedral and saying "Hmm - maybe those are the little sickles"

Thin wiry guy (BVB) hears this but contains his laughter, and stops us from wasting time polishing American (later Fallen) Gypsy, a route far harder than I could ever touch, and manages to send us on our way down the hill to the obvious easy sickle crack. I would see him sometimes over the next few years doing something else out of my league, usually with some extra attitude on top. So he was already a legend to me, 30 years ago. Then he moved away, and I never knew much more of him until seeing his ST posts decades later.

Here's to living a swole life!
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 12, 2017 - 01:13pm PT
I've started a Facebook group devoted to telling BVB stories. I've got so many, and I'm hardly the only one. Anyone interested or compelled is invited.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/408261579569500/
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 12, 2017 - 01:20pm PT
Oh yeah, a couple pictures too...






Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 12, 2017 - 01:39pm PT
From the first Woodson reunion, after a fab day on the boulders, 2007.
L-R, Off-White, BVB, Brad, Eppi, KP:



The miscreants from Mrs. Schlappi's fifth grade class look on as Jeff Almadovar demonstrates the workings of his FROG pack:



Pitstop:



Bob jousting the California Knight:



The Prince of Prone, spent, but not finished!



And at the end of the day, Bubba returns to form in time to give the demo on Lemon Chiffon:

Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 12, 2017 - 01:46pm PT
Miss Schlappi was the teacher you requested when your child needed a little firm discipline and intellectual rigor. A friend just sent me the class picture and holy sh#t but all the best people were in that class. Here's Bob circa 5th grade.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 12, 2017 - 02:33pm PT
It's a pity they stripped Crazy of his trademark eyeball necklace for the portrait.
He always had a flair for snappy outfits. Deny a guy his fashion accessories and what have you got left?

At least the intellectual rigor part of the reeducation program stuck.


Spencer, BVB, Carpenter, Joshua Tree reunion 2006.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 12, 2017 - 02:39pm PT
Beebs 'n Epps, '06, observe with solemnity as Jocelyn walks the talk:


wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Jul 12, 2017 - 04:35pm PT
I do not know him or any of you.
It does not relieve me of any pain,BVB ruled.
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
Jul 12, 2017 - 04:35pm PT
condolences to his friends and family.

his contributions here were always great and memorable.



I've love to hear more about his clothing style and any stories behind the suspenders.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 13, 2017 - 05:58am PT
I've love to hear more about his clothing style and any stories behind the suspenders.

I know I asked Bob about the ubiquitous suspenders ...
IIRC it had something to do with his 27 inch waist and 39 inch inseam.

'Them drawers just never stayed up on his midline otherwise.

As to BVB's superlative fashion sense, I'll tool something up in a bit!
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jul 13, 2017 - 03:28pm PT
I am very saddened to hear this. Met him a few times in the 1970s in San Diego, but got to know him through his posts on ST: always good for a smile or a laugh, and he will be missed.

Sincere condolences to his children and family.

Rick Accomazzo
nah000

climber
now/here
Jul 13, 2017 - 06:42pm PT
yusss... the tacoboard def just lost some color.

condolences to friends and family.
bazo qop

Boulder climber
Lexington ky
Jul 14, 2017 - 02:21pm PT
I used to interact (infrequently) with BVB back in the old boldering.com days..( I no longer frequent Internet forums...this will probably be my last post here..)

But his passing deserves remembrance..


He loved poetry..

This from Robinson Jeffers.

How long a rime since the brown people who have vanished from
here
Built fires beside you and nestled by you
Out of the ranging sea-wind? A hundred years, two hundred,
You have been dissevered from humanity
And only known the stubble squirrels and the headland rabbits,
Or the long-fetlocked plowhorses
Breaking the hilltop in December, sea-gulls following,
Screaming in the black furrow; no one
Touched you with love, the gray hawk and the red hawk touched
you
Where now my hand lies. So I have brought you
Wine and white milk and honey for the hundred years of famine
And the hundred cold ages of sea-wind.

I did not dream the taste of wine could bind with granite,
Nor honey and milk please you; but sweetly
They mingle down the storm-worn cracks among the mosses,
Interpenetrating the silent
Wing-prints of ancient weathers long at peace, and the older
Scars of primal fire, and the stone
Endurance that is waiting millions of years to carry
A corner of the house, this also destined.
Lend me the stone strength of the past and I will lend you
The wings of the future, for I have them.
How dear you will be to me when I too grow old, old comrade.


See ya later you awesome American legend..
bazo qop

Boulder climber
Lexington ky
Jul 14, 2017 - 02:25pm PT
He also loved the fukkin' Wipers..


https://youtu.be/YaUzYISKKAI
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
Jul 14, 2017 - 02:46pm PT
I am going through the records to find climbs I did with Bob.

Found one good one.

We climbed 7th Heaven 5.9/10 on Oct. 22 1977.

Back then it seemed like pretty serious business to climb on the private property of the Cohn Ranch. Rumors were that climbers had been shot at and or had big mean dogs sicced (?) on them. We often heard shots fired in that vicinity and the day we climbed it was no different. When we topped out we heard shots and were sure we were the targets!

Needless to say we made great haste on the descent!
Friend

climber
Jul 14, 2017 - 03:01pm PT
Bob and I had some great conversations about parenthood, love, divorce and oh yes Mt. Woodson finger cracks. I'm sad he's gone and sad I never had the chance to meet him in person. RIP BVB. Thanks for all the psych and inspiration over many years.

I always liked this photo of him cruising California Night 5.10a. Photo credit BVB collection, of course
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 14, 2017 - 04:38pm PT
Friend, I think that was one of Roy's shots from the 2007 Woodson Shindig. Here he is right after that ascent. Wow, just 10 years ago, he was still drinking in public, before his first rehab stint. He had a rough decade ahead.



Friend

climber
Jul 14, 2017 - 04:48pm PT
That's a poignant comment.
Sigh.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 14, 2017 - 05:04pm PT
The whole story arc of his life is epic, I've got some bits rattling around in my head I'll occasionally drop here over time.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 14, 2017 - 05:53pm PT
Thanks for taking a crack at that photo attribution, Off.
Not mine, however, and not 2007.

If you take a close look, in the 2007 photographs, his hair isn't quite as tight and the pant color is lighter.

Went for a short walk in the high mountains today.
Thought a lot about you and Bob and MP when we were all younger.

It's bittersweet to think of our friend and to ponder his absence, but it's who we were and what we are, and it's all good medicine.
Soaking up gratitude like a sponge now, (that sponge is heavy with tears) –and making every breath count.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Jul 14, 2017 - 06:25pm PT
Damn.
Mike.

climber
Jul 14, 2017 - 06:41pm PT
Thanks to you putting up some great remembrances of and homages to the man.

I did not know Bob, and was glad to make his acquaintance at the first Woodson "reunion." I brought coldies and gave one to Bob. In retrospect, I'm unsure if that was a good thing to do, but it seemed right at the time. Just like this one I'm opening seems right. Respect to the man. Condolence to all who knew him.
Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jul 14, 2017 - 08:59pm PT
I had a little bit of denial, accepting that BVB had passed. After working through all these posts, I can now appreicate how much a part of our climing culture he was.

I always enjoyed his posts on ST.

My condolences to his family and friends.

My life is poorer, for having never met him.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jul 14, 2017 - 09:28pm PT
Hadn't posted here...was bummed when Robs posted on Facebook. I didn't know Bob real well. Had a few good days bouldering with him in LCC. And more than a few interactions on the old bouldering.com.

Has wescrist chimed in here? He and Bob were fairly good friends. Hopefully he's gotten the news.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jul 15, 2017 - 10:21am PT
Dredged up from the depths of the forum:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/176623/Stonemaster-Stories-IX-The-Eternal-brotherhood

My first post on ST is here, 11 years ago. And a running set of conversations between BVB, Robs, Vogel, KP, Hensel and others on Rubidoux.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 16, 2017 - 09:32pm PT
By Jove I think you're right Roy, almost identical outfit, but some time apart. Hair is not only looser but more gray, and the vegetation is different too looking at pictures - it was more lush when we were there in 2007.

rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 17, 2017 - 06:38am PT
Hair is not only looser but more gray…

Bob had been known to let his hair down on occasion.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 17, 2017 - 03:42pm PT

He always kept it pretty confined in a pony tail until he learned to let his freak flag fly after moving to Washington in 1980.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 17, 2017 - 03:48pm PT
There will be a memorial service in San Diego on August 6th at 3pm. Location is the Calvary Chapel, 7525 El Cajon Blvd in La Mesa. Everyone is welcome, it's likely to be a fairly religious service, organized by his older brother Steve and the rest of the family. No doubt there will be some spontaneous climber hang out afterwards.

I'm organizing a celebration on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in Joshua Tree. Exact location and details are still being formulated, but this event is certain to happen also.


Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jul 17, 2017 - 08:15pm PT
Thanks for putting these memorials together, Off White. Appreciated by many.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Jul 17, 2017 - 08:58pm PT
This is sad news, condolences to friends, and especially to family.

Seems like only yesterday when BVB was a major player in the Woodson/Rubidoux one-upmanship exchanges - and we had some pretty good ones. I have fond memories of the good times those days were, and they will always remain with me.

To me, climbing has always been more than the act itself. It's also about the friends and friendships formed along the way. I can never go to Woodson without thinking about a group of people, BVB, Eppi, and Dan, to name a few. It is a sad day to see that list dwindling again. BVB will be missed.

Given the integral role BVB played at Woodson over the years I would hope that someone will put up at least one new Woodson problem with a name that alludes to the Great American Legend. Seems like it would only be fitting.
zBrown

Ice climber
Jul 17, 2017 - 09:07pm PT
^yeah

and call it Cool Hand(s) Luke
Nuglet

Trad climber
Orange Murica!
Jul 18, 2017 - 07:56am PT
never met, but always impressed by his posts and the level the he bouldered at at his age

RIP
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Jul 18, 2017 - 12:40pm PT
I am sorry to learn his passing. What a guy!
Best wishes, Off White.
scuffy
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jul 18, 2017 - 02:41pm PT

Carpenter, Prone Prince, Spencer, me, Rachel and Sarah
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 18, 2017 - 04:14pm PT
I wanna change the name of my new (proposed) TV show from Everybody Loves BVB to Everbody Love Bvb.
fosburg

climber
Jul 18, 2017 - 06:19pm PT
I remember when Bob and Jocelyn had a cool little place in El Portal in the late 80's and he was always around. They had a Mitsubishi pickup Bob modified to say, "It's-so-bishin". I thought that was funny. Another time Bob took us to some amazing splitters he'd found down canyon that turned out to be way hard. I think it was Bob who described climbing as a "strict meritocracy".
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 19, 2017 - 12:39pm PT
Funny Kevin, we were just talking about that truck the other day when we had a small gathering in Olympia. Bob was really into that truck, his first ever new vehicle, so when about 12 of us went to Squamish for my honeymoon my wife Faith and I modified the lettering on the back of his truck with some black electrical tape. Bob was so bent out of shape, we laughed so hard. Later we learned that what Bob was really upset about was that he hadn't thought of it himself, so I'm glad to hear he took that schtick down the road. I've got a picture of that customization in some shoebox somewhere; 1988 was still the era of film.

Hubbard

climber
San Diego
Jul 19, 2017 - 07:26pm PT
Hey Henny, There is a cool hand crack through a roof with a trail all finished (secret entrance) waiting for a first ascent and a name. You organize it. Get Off White, Ron Amick, Rick Allenby, Mike Paul, Eppi and anyone else who cared about the man and in his name, I will tour you dudes to the spot. This is not a chossy little climb. I have been saving it for cooler weather but under the circumstances there is no time like the present. Call me if you want. 619 474-1804.
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Jul 20, 2017 - 11:40am PT
New problem? Sounds fun!
BVB-
If you're from san diego, and you put in the time to get to know woodson, the place will haunt your dreams forever, no matter how far your travels and adventures take you. in every single granite arena i've climbed, no matter where in the world, i would always digest the climbs and the grades against a woodson yardstick. it's in my DNA. but it's cool -- if you master the really hard stuff at woodson, you're gonna be a player no matter where you go. superthin micro edging, cracks -- it's all good.
Probably the most succict quote you'll ever read regarding Woodson. I never knew Bob but I've had those haunted dreams...



henny

Social climber
The Past
Jul 21, 2017 - 07:42pm PT
Hubbard,

Thanks for the offer, very generous. I'll file your number for now since I think early fall is the soonest I can come down that way (plus, cooler would be nice as you mentioned.) You did leave organizing it in my hands so if I pull something together I'll get in touch. Meanwhile, if you have a good window to do the problem you should get 'er done, and we'll come up with something else.
Hubbard

climber
San Diego
Jul 22, 2017 - 07:58am PT
Henny, fall or winter would be better. Total meltdown now as you know. I only knew Bob through some E-mails and face-kook. Everyone liked him. I have hung around Rick Allenby and met Mike Paul, but in typical San Diego style I have spent forty years crashing around on Woodson and never met any of those other guys. This seemed like a good opportunity for that. Make everyone work a little on behalf of their old friend and see some fresh routes in the process. The offer stands. If somebody poaches the route in question, there are others.
Scole

Trad climber
Zapopan
Jul 25, 2017 - 02:49pm PT
Ive been gone for a month, so I just saw this. That is some sad news. BVB was the real deal, an old school badass. He will be missed by a lot of people, myself included.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Jul 26, 2017 - 06:50am PT
His silhouette was legendary
Vlad Pricker

Mountain climber
The cliffs of insanitty
Jul 26, 2017 - 04:27pm PT
I just saw this thread. My condolences. I did not know Bob (I think, perhaps may have run into him in the Valley mid-1970s, he looks familiar) but I always appreciated his posts on the Taco Stand.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 27, 2017 - 02:15pm PT
Gnome, you trimmed your poetry! (it was poetry, wasn't it?)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 27, 2017 - 03:22pm PT
RIP never met him but enjoyed his participation on here.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Jul 27, 2017 - 04:09pm PT
My condolences as well. I was always enamored by his persona and humor here on The Taco. Seemed like a funny dude who could throw down on some stone and stayed stoked for it till the end.

Scott
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 2, 2017 - 12:56pm PT
There will be a memorial service in San Diego on August 6th at 3 pm. The location is the Calvary Chapel, 7525 El Cajon Blvd in La Mesa. Everyone is welcome, it's likely to be a fairly religious service, organized by his older brother Steve and the rest of the family. No doubt there will be some spontaneous climber hang out afterward.

rizzuh

Mountain climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 16, 2017 - 04:42pm PT
What a legend! Just when I was started thinking I was old school; climbing at the gorge in the mid 90s. Think again!
Dickly

Social climber
KY
Aug 16, 2017 - 05:40pm PT
The dude could wrestle a branch out of his way for a pebble ascent like no other, no saws needed.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 16, 2017 - 07:27pm PT
In the beginning there was Big Stone...with suspenders in lieu of any backpack.
Pretty sure the MAN never had a spare tire to his credit.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Aug 16, 2017 - 11:30pm PT
Rizzuh, think that all you want! Old skool is a state of mind. :)
Gilroy

Social climber
Bolderado
Aug 17, 2017 - 05:04am PT
Though I never met him in person he embodied the irreverent anarchic soul of climbing to me in so many ways. The lack of his colorful presence leaves the craggy American landscape a bit more bland. Condolences to family and friends who so clearly loved him and cherished his company

thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Aug 17, 2017 - 11:36am PT
never knew Bob was a Parkie. What division did he serve? I have a tough time envisioning Interp
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Aug 17, 2017 - 02:13pm PT
Bob started out watching pressure gauges for the water system in Yosemite. I think his impressive ability to do nothing for hours on end marked him for management material, so they sent him to training in Boston for a few years. He moved to Torrey UT where he worked as the Administrative Office in Capitol Reef NP for what may have been the best years of his life. Having a growing autistic child, life in rural Utah was difficult at best, so he moved to Salt Lake City where he spent several years as the NPS liason for the Winter Olympics. Knowing that an assignment like that could very well wind up with him transferred to the Administration in Denver, a fate worse than death, he'd negotiated a bail out plan that gave him the option of choosing the park he wanted to work at along with the funding for his position for some period of time. After the Olympics he picked Flagstaff for a home, where he worked for some time in the joint office for Wupatki, Sunset Crater, and Walnut Canyon National Monuments. Rather remarkable for a man once considered "Least Likely To Ever Have A Career."
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Aug 17, 2017 - 02:16pm PT
A friend recently pointed out that despite his late life image as a pebble wrestler, he was also a serious hiking machine for awhile, with a one day car to car ascent of the Lowe Route in the Lone Peak Cirque (blowing past the campers in the early morning), numerous long ascents of summits along the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef, and a one day free ascent of the W Face of El Cap in 1987 in impeccable time and style.

Oh, and he wrote poetry too.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Aug 17, 2017 - 06:54pm PT
thanks OW, I was thinking of Bob the other morn before this bump.

Dude was legit.



And here's to shrugging off the requests of others that might not have yer best in mind.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jan 7, 2018 - 12:52pm PT
Please go read Off White's obit in Rock and Ice:

http://rockandice.com/climbing-news/climbers-we-lost-2017/#bobvanbelle

A poignant excerpt:
The last thing he wrote accompanied a photograph of a dirt-road junction in the La Sal mountains of Utah:

"Interstellar crossroads of the lowbagger gods, the backcountry road junction to end all backcountry road junctions, where time stands still…. Make sure to bring spare tires; two is better, three is best. Have your affairs in order: a full tank of gas and a carton of cigarettes, matches, chalk bag and shoes, and companions, if you choose, who like you are the vanishing connoisseurs of the reckless and uncurated 21st century epic. You could die out there. You could live forever."
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Jan 7, 2018 - 04:29pm PT
I think of the dude often. Never knew'im, but damn if the cloth ain't cut and patterned similar... I wish moreso!


Cheers to the man, and STFU Tar. ;-) That's a fuggin' axle-cracker of a roadset, and don't forget the Zags in H-ville!
Gilroy

Social climber
Bolderado
Jan 7, 2018 - 04:53pm PT
While I steadfastly support his status as St. Everyman, I understand something of BVB's struggle with the weight of living and the demands of responsibility that often preclude a trip to the rocks. Still his artfulness in his approach to life is apparent. Salud!

Thanks for bumping this ongoing American Legend, Roy.
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
Jan 28, 2018 - 05:39pm PT
Stooges just came on, about to type up a quick note, then, damn…

F*#k 2017, couldn’t be more happy to leave that 365 days of loss behind
F'ueco

Boulder climber
Peoples Republic Of Boulder
Feb 1, 2018 - 01:57pm PT
I just found this pic of BVB from a 2007 rendezvous at Mount Woodson.

plund

Social climber
OD, MN
Feb 1, 2018 - 02:51pm PT
Love the tumbler for the whiskey...definitely fitting for an American F'In Legend....
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Feb 1, 2018 - 07:51pm PT
BVB, the Woodson thread is missing you.
RIP and keep on climbing higher.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Feb 2, 2018 - 12:12pm PT
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 8, 2018 - 06:43am PT
Happy Birthday BVB

(not actually if it is his birthday but Facebook says so. But it also says he woulda been 113 today. almost seems legit)
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 8, 2018 - 09:14am PT
He ain't heavy just indelible.
Heliotrope was one of his favorite bands but they are so obscure that I can't seem to find any lyrics for City of Sorrows so this Robyn Hitchcock song will have to do instead.

Heliotrope my love
Her face to the heavens
Her petals all around her dial
Her shadow follows her
It looks like a seven
    And I'm as loaded as a gun --
She worships the sun
She worships the sun

I lie beneath the ground
My eyes are unseeing
My name is gone from all the files
The tombs are shimmering
Deep into her being
It could be lethal
But it's fun
She worships the sun
She worships the sun
She worships the sun

She's full of happy beans
No shadow within her
Your paranoia makes her smile
And when the cat's head grins
She's ready for dinner:
You know you're gonna be the one!
She worships the sun
She worships the sun
She worships the sun
I said now
She worships the sun


Rock on Big Stone.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Feb 8, 2018 - 03:29pm PT
Yes, today is indeed his birthday, but he'd only be turning 60 if he were still alive. Heliotroupe is obscure Steve, but moreso if you misspell it! Heliotroupe - Olympia hippy music at its finest, BVB spent a lot of time in an altered state with this band. [Click to View YouTube Video]
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 8, 2018 - 03:45pm PT
See you on the other side Bob. Happy birthday!
snyd

Sport climber
Lexington, KY
Feb 8, 2018 - 05:08pm PT
I miss him.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Feb 8, 2018 - 05:18pm PT
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Feb 8, 2018 - 07:43pm PT
Hah, he'd have appreciated that gift Mr. Cowboy.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 8, 2018 - 08:30pm PT
THAT explains a whole lot of WTF...Thanks Off.
Still can't find much though.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Feb 8, 2018 - 10:59pm PT


the dude saw the light but weren't ever the evangelist publique
Greg Epperson

climber
Joshua Tree
Feb 9, 2018 - 08:16pm PT
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 9, 2018 - 09:41pm PT
Sweet shot Greg!
Damn you're good with a camera!
Just Plain Heroic even with the TR.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 9, 2018 - 09:49pm PT
The patriotic Stonemaster look is sure to be in resurgence now...
JLyons

Sport climber
Cali
Feb 9, 2018 - 10:14pm PT
I love BVB, but I don’t know what’s worse in that shot...the tight TR or the cheat stones stacked up for stairway next door
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 11, 2018 - 10:58am PT
Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Bob's death, so I thought I'd poke this thread and add something from the archives. This is a bit of an experiment so bear with me if I don't get it right the first time.

Here's three pages of an unpublished epistle he wrote about top roping entitled "Five Killer Top Ropes" The notes about the five climbs are handwritten on yellow tablet stock, scrawled rather than written, but I could post that too. There's also a bunch of other choppy re-writes and handwritten drafts, perhaps best send to the BVB Archives at Mesa Community College in San Diego.


For the record, his five top rope choices were:

Rambo Roof - Smith Rocks
Dominatrix Without Mercy - Cochise Stronghold
The Lie Detector - Mt Woodson (though Mother Superior was in the running)
Short Circuit - Yosemite Valley
Leave It To Beaver - Joshua Tree
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jul 11, 2018 - 12:03pm PT
Cool stuff, Off White. Always thought the crags would be a better place if top roping was as highly honored as rap bolted leads. I always enjoyed the top rope circuit with Bob back in the day—maximum density of hard climbing per hour of cragging!

Bob was definitely a pioneer in lots of aspects...
Mike.

climber
Jul 11, 2018 - 12:03pm PT
Thanks, Off White.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 11, 2018 - 12:58pm PT
It's like he's talking to me! :)

Tongue in cheek speaking truth to the power of the leader meta narrative! :)




Where is The Pump Dummy? Don't make me break out my JT bible!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jul 11, 2018 - 07:49pm PT
Lest we forget

The American Legend created this distillation of Supertopo and posted it about six years ago...

[Click to View YouTube Video]
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
Jul 12, 2018 - 10:15am PT
Bob toproped the Nabisco on a 400' 8mm?

Oh Bob, that is visionary and so bold!
gonamok

climber
dont make me come over there
Dec 3, 2018 - 11:29pm PT
I am lagging with this, but I honestly didnt think of it until now. I went to Bob's memorial service and said a few words, talked to his mom and brother and cried alot, because I counted Bob as one of my best friends.

I met Bob through Michael Paul in 73 or 74. He was a brash and abrasive smartass who was already leading 5.9 when I started climbing. The next time i saw Bob was at Mission Gorge. I was in the middle of my first lead ever, a 75 foot tall 5.3 aptly called "The Stairs".

I was about 40 feet up the route and placing my 6th or 7th piece of protection when Bob came around the corner. He called up to me "Hey bub everything ok up there?" and not because he was concerned, lol. I was too gripped to answer.

Bob then put on his shoes and proceeded to free solo the 5.6 "Trauma" which was about 8 feet to my left. Bob zipped up the route making noises that would have been funny had i not been frozen with fear. Then he soloed it again, and then a third time, that time cutting his feet loose at the crux with a loud "WHOA!" That was Bob, with his acid but hilarious sense of humor.

The San Diego climbing community was small and close knit back then, and we all ended up climbing together because there were really only two climbing areas back then, Mission Gorge and Santee. As I got better I burned Bob every chance I got and he returned the favor. We both found it impossible to offend each other, so we began to try harder. Nothing was off limits. Insults and comments that would make most people blanch or get sick were routine, and when either of us scored a victory we would shamelessly gloat in the most demeaning way we could manage.

When Bob moved away we kept up a hilarious and sometimes disgusting stream of correspondence to continue our quest for the ultimate debasement of each other. Collages, drawings, photos, raves scrawled in crayon etc were exchanged and replies immediately sent. In this way we bonded, and when Bob and I saw each other again we were fast friends.

Bob and I started climbing together when we could, talking about everything from the absurd to the profundities of life, philosophy and religion. We confided in each other and used each other as a sounding board. In time we truly began to treasure our friendship and we said so. Bob filled a niche in my life that nobody else was capable of filling.

I was the last person to climb with Bob, at Santee. Both now old men, we sucked on the rock but really enjoyed each others company. Bob was fraill but we talked about making a comeback. We were going to start bouldering once a month and get strong. He unburdened himself about his struggles with alcohol (he had finally beaten it) and how that affected those around him. I just listened, grateful that i could provide the sympathetic ear he needed.

My tears fall as i write this, because that was the last favor i did for Bob and the last time that I saw him. Bob was a completely unique character. He was a gifted writer, great climber, family man and loyal friend. When he passed it left a hole in all of our lives that can never be filled.

Farewell ol buddy, Rest in Peace
Aeriq

Social climber
Location: It's a MisterE
Dec 4, 2018 - 07:08am PT
That is really a wonderful tribute, gonamok!

Just read through this whole thread - thanks for posting all the pictures and memories. My favorite quote:

"A belly full of scotch and a chest full of burl!"

Fly Free Bob - you are thought of often.

Erik.

Oh, I started a FB page for Bob after his passing:

https://tinyurl.com/y9ltrjms
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Dec 4, 2018 - 07:07pm PT
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 4, 2018 - 07:51pm PT
Nice little write up, Ron.
We both found it impossible to offend each other, so we began to try harder. Nothing was off limits. Insults and comments that would make most people blanch or get sick were routine, and when either of us scored a victory we would shamelessly gloat in the most demeaning way we could manage.

So you're talking about stuff like this, perhaps?
Some of the best damn sh#t talking action I've seen on the Taco!

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Amick-and-BVB-go-to-Joshua-Tree/t12683n.html

I think about Bob often. I stay in touch with Jocelyn. I call his mom. I send his parents cards on his birthday.

It's what it is to grow old: losing friends. I would much prefer to have another twenty years with him. He was one of those people that was almost indispensably clued in to what it is we are (and were) all about as climbers. Being with Bob was almost like seeing through and sharing the same set of eyes. I can still see the world without him, but not as well.
Aeriq

Social climber
Location: It's a MisterE
Dec 4, 2018 - 08:05pm PT
It's what it is to grow old: losing friends. I would much prefer to have another twenty years with him. He was one of those people that was almost indispensably clued in to what it is we are (and were) all about as climbers. Being with Bob was almost like seeing through, and sharing the same set of eyes. I can still see the world without him, but not as well.

This is what real climbing iconoclasts are like: The element of true, unabashed creativity that transcends selfish egoism and pours poetry and creativity into our sometimes shallow world.

Transmuting the weird play of brilliance and divine destruction into a celebration of all our spirits, the ultimate struggle of self.

I will never forget this man.
gonamok

climber
dont make me come over there
Dec 5, 2018 - 12:48am PT
Exactly Roy, I went to alot of trouble to make lil Bob (he has a copper core with shoulder joints to make him poseable, and thumb screw clamps inside the gloves so he can hold onto things) just so I could f * # k with Bob. That blatant first-strike parody of ol bobo was also the final salvo in our mutual quest to humiliate, belittle and embarass each other. A good natured but earnest contest that spanned decades
Jim Clipper

climber
Dec 5, 2018 - 01:03am PT
That explains some things. I remember first seeing the thread and thinking, that was quite a lot of effort. #bvblove
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
Dec 5, 2018 - 09:09am PT
B.I.P. Bob, Boulder in peace . . .
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 5, 2018 - 09:26am PT
Ron,
I don't get around much anymore, but if you ever visit Colorado, please bring Lil' Bob with and we will party it up!
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Dec 5, 2018 - 09:41am PT
Great eulogy Ron. Grief isn't something you get over, it slowly transmutes from tormentor to companion, sort of like you and Bob. Just the other day I caught myself thinking of something I had to call him up and tell him. Here's a letter he wrote you that captures part of his essence as well as the back and forth between you guys.

WBraun

climber
Dec 5, 2018 - 09:46am PT
Way too funny .....^^^
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 5, 2018 - 09:49am PT
God loves a man who self-parodies. That is a verb, isnit?
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
Dec 5, 2018 - 09:53am PT
"I am God" . . . Bitches
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 5, 2018 - 10:18am PT
And there's actually a route in Tuolumne called Names in the Guidebook.
Jim Clipper

climber
Dec 5, 2018 - 10:20am PT
Can somebody print that letter and quietly hang it in the visitor's center, or the climbing museum. I'll pay for the framing. The Camp 4 bathroom? The ahem, private one. Only "knew" him here, but i would guess he could make good use of that bathroom. Thanks in advance.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Dec 5, 2018 - 02:13pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Dec 5, 2018 - 07:11pm PT
Need to make a tee shirt with this BVB Classic!

"Names in the guidebook."
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Dec 6, 2018 - 11:07am PT
Tarbuster wrote:
And there's actually a route in Tuolumne called Names in the Guidebook.

That rings a bell, is it one of those things way around the right side of Lembert that Alan Nelson did? That would just add to the depth of the parody, as Alan amd I started climbing on the same trip with Bob and the Sierra Club Rockclimbing section Thanksgiving back when you could have your choice of sites in Hidden Valley on any weekend.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 6, 2018 - 11:37am PT
It is in that location, Doug. Lembert Dome – East Wall.
Names in the Guidebook, 5.10d, FA Vern Clevenger and Doug Clyde, 8-71
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Dec 7, 2018 - 10:16am PT
Partly right anyway, older route too, we didn't even start climbing until 1972 and don't think we ventured to Tuolomne until '77. However, like a lot of newbs, we spent a lot of time on Lembert and I remember walking around that side of the dome looking at routes. I think we've found the root of Bob's epistle!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 7, 2018 - 10:53am PT
It's a really good bet that we have found it.
I always thought that name was quirky. Not surprising that Bob appropriated it!

Almost reminiscent of, if I'm correct, another route name: Great Moments in Baseball.
gonamok

climber
dont make me come over there
Dec 7, 2018 - 09:55pm PT
thanks for posting that doug, i am planning on posting some of me and bobs correspondence soon.

My reply to that one was "hey Bob lets show everybody who the kings of woodson are by publishing a list of our FA's there. With my 65 FA's and how many do you have? Zero? Oh gosh, i didnt realize that
YOU WERE SO F*#KING LAME! well maybe we can get you one this weekend big guy, tho probably not alot of unclimbed 5.6 lines left...

Your master, Rockron (God O Bob)

(had to transcribe because i dont have a scanner)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 7, 2018 - 10:06pm PT
thanks for posting that doug, i am planning on posting some of me and bobs correspondence soon.
BRING IT! You the man, Ron!

With your help, and Off White tweaking the controls and setting them for the heart of the sun: we'll all summon the bastard from on high!
That's right, Bisssshhhes ... Prepare thy bad-selves for the second coming!!!

He's still here, you know. Just really hard to see at the moment in a corporeal sense...
Sight is a crutch, we don't no stinking eyeballs to feel the BVB!

Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Dec 9, 2018 - 12:33pm PT
Here he is Roy, glowering at us all from the burned over chapparal.

Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
May 23, 2019 - 11:30am PT
end of days bump

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