John Rosholt, the Gambler / still missing!


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Russ Walling

Social climber
Upper Fupa, North Dakota
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 9, 2009 - 12:33am PT
coming up on 4 years now..... Where are you John!

From his sister:
By tracing John's credit card purchases and ATM withdrawals she knows that he did make it to Las Vegas in early January. His credit card and ATM usage stopped on 1/19/2005. The condition of his house here in Scottsdale and his personal effects inside would indicate that John was indeed planning on a making a relatively short trip and that he intended to return.

John Rosholt went missing in early January of 2005.

more info here:

and here:

Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
Jan 9, 2009 - 12:36am PT
Wow. Still?
It's been a WHILE, now.
hope for the best.

Jan 9, 2009 - 01:04am PT
Never met John, but have mutual friends that think highly of him. Sounds like he beat someone that couldn't handle losing.

The pain this family must be experiencing is so sad. May they find closure.

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Jan 9, 2009 - 01:19am PT
Russ thanks for the post. Remembering John R. now as the poker-guy who was also a skookum climber. While it would be great to think he's pullin' down hard somewhere in these four dimensions, I believe otherwise.
R.I.P. tho' I only knew him in passin' in the Valley a loooong time ago.

Seattle, WA
Jan 9, 2009 - 02:30am PT
I never met him either, it seems so impossible that someone could disappear that completely.

Clark county, NV participates in a program to try and provide information about "John Does" to provide closure to family and friends:

There are a few cases in there database from 2005 or later but little information about recent cases. This one is the only one that seems at all similar: (warning: linked page contains description of a crime scene, pencil rendering of an individual and pictures of decaying clothing)

Perhaps someone who knew him can check it and maybe check back once in a while.


Social climber
Jan 9, 2009 - 10:21am PT
Yeah, strange and sad tale. John is missed.

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Jan 9, 2009 - 10:39am PT
Johnny Rotten and I went back a long time as friends and climbing partners from Gunnison. I miss him all the time. Knowing his competence I find it hard to believe that he would have been jumped at unawares. An act of revenge for a big loss at a table would likely be messy and hard to hide. To make someone disappear without a trace of a clue is not easy to do. The desert is a big empty place and easy to lose things in. But the Gucci shoed goons of corporate Casinos aren't apt to hike off road far enough to dump a body where even buzzard don't fly. Other than some curious items not found in his truck there has been NO evidence. NO SIGHT OF HIM AT ALL.
I tend to want to believe he, for what ever reason, decided to start life over again. That at least is easier than picturing him suffering alone. If he is out there somewhere I wish him well and would mum-ly help him if I could. If he is gone from this plane I wish him God's speed. If that is the case then Reast in Peace buddy and say hello to all the other friends only you can talk to now.
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Jan 9, 2009 - 10:51am PT

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Jan 9, 2009 - 11:38am PT
It seems unlikely he went hiking if his truck was parked at the casino.

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Jan 9, 2009 - 11:44am PT
Other than him the only things unexpectedly missing from his truck were his new prescription glacier glasses and his fully packed crag bag. The last image of him was from an ATM security camera. It was night and he wasn't wearing sun glasses. Yeah creepy.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Jan 9, 2009 - 01:04pm PT
John is an old friend from Gunnison, we were both geology majors at Western State College at the same time. I belayed him many times working on the 5.12 "big roof" in Taylor Canyon.

One of my favorite memories of the Gambler is a time when he had come down with Rocky Mountain tick fever and had to pull a few days in the Gunnison Valley Hospital. Those of you who know John know that laying around in a hospital bed is not something that would blow his dress up. I walked into the hospital room to visit him and there he was, bouncing up and down on the bed, listening to, and singing in a loud out of tune voice "I wanna be sedated!" by the Ramones. Looking up, he smiled and offered me a bite of his half eaten Barb's Bun, his climbing staple du Jour. I declined and sat down to discuss what his next outrageous plans were to be.

I agree with Phil, he's probably pullin down hard in some Shangri La the rest of us haven't discovered yet.


Trad climber
boulder, co.
Jan 9, 2009 - 01:12pm PT
Moss the picture you paint of John romping and singingin his hospital room is hilarious and 100% believable. Specially the "off key" part.

John and I both contracted tick fever from bush whacking around the base of a Taylor Canyon FA that came to be known as Tick Fever. John was Lucky he went to the hospital. I got a concurrent case of Giardia from guzzling river water and went to my fiancee's house for holiday. The guest house was never the same.
Happy New Year Gambler!

Trad climber
New York, NY
Jan 9, 2009 - 01:57pm PT
I recall this story coming out in my first year climbing, and how very many people were sending their best wishes and energy out for his good welfare. And of course, his mention has come up on the climbing sites quite often since then, still with no trace.

With the anniversary of his going missing coming up, it must be an especially difficult time for his family and close friends. I wish them strength in this time, and that John may be with them in spirit, wherever he may be physically.

Big Wall climber
Jan 9, 2009 - 02:14pm PT
his car was at the casino but they have no footage? I didn't see either article mention security video but considering the location his vehicle was found I have an impossible time believing they can't trace him on camera from the time it was parked...unless he humbled someone with casino connections who could ensure the trail went cold.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 9, 2009 - 02:30pm PT
Definitely suspicious if there is no parking lot footage, but it sounds more like an angry mark than casino cleanup.

One thing we learn on this site again and again; adrenaline addiction can have a high price.

Pretty spooky to hear Pesci's line about all the holes in the desert.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Nov 13, 2010 - 03:56pm PT
John in happier days (Spring 1976)

Early Gunnison climber's picnic
Early Gunnison climber's picnic
Credit: ydpl8s
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Nov 13, 2010 - 04:14pm PT
Gambler where are you!!!
I had fun climbing with you years ago at the Drip, AZ.
There was that long 5.12 there that you were one move off of.

On another supertopo thread there is mention that a body was just recently found?

Russ Walling

Gym climber
Poofter's Froth, Wyoming
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2010 - 04:31pm PT
Completely unconfirmed just who or what was found. Stand down for bit.

the last bivy
Nov 14, 2010 - 12:17am PT
thank you and right on Russ, no real info there.
His sister Jill and I are long friends. She came out here and did her own searching, found her own answers, and has made peace with his disappearance.
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Nov 14, 2010 - 08:48am PT
I climbed with the Gambler for a couple of days in Red Rocks over a decade ago. He drove us to an "unknown" cliff a LLLLOOOOOONNNNGGGG way down a "road" as he put it that I thought was a dry streambed from hell. Good climbing, if I remember right. He told many stories of big bank accounts for his bankroll that fluctuated wildly. Tales of comped suites, weird characters, all that Vegas oddness.

I would like to think he is climbing some way out place we havn't found yet.
But I fear...........................................R.I.P.

-Paul H
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