Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell

Posted by: Steve C

Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 10/29/19 10:22 PM

Just noticed a post on Whitney Portal Store message board by Doug. He wrote that Bob Rockwell passed away this morning. Here's the link.

Bob was a great contributor to the message boards over the years. He authored a study that changed my outlook on the water quality of streams in the Sierra: "Giardia lamblia and Giardiasis, with Particular Attention to the Sierra Nevada". (I'm glad I got a copy of the document before it disappeared.) When I hiked with him, he always got a picture of people drinking directly from the streams.

He had several other great stories regarding Mt Whitney. One was the time when he was 15, that he hiked to the summit, spend a cold night in the hut, to watch the flash of an atomic bomb test in southern Nevada.

Another was his climbing Mt Whitney via his numerous shortcut routes, and repeatedly being passed by the same hiking group on the trail. I wish I had copies of those stories, but the site where he kept them was gone when his health failed.

I'll try to write more later.

Rest in Peace, Bob.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 10/29/19 10:23 PM

Sharing a picture by Richard P of Bob and Richard on the Whitney Summit:

Posted by: MikeH

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 10/30/19 07:00 AM

RIP Bob.
Posted by: Sierra Angler

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 10/30/19 07:24 AM

Bob was good American and friend . I am very sorry to hear about his end of days Trail Hiking in Gods Paradise .... " The Sierra Nevada Mountains " . Take care Bob and God Bless you ! Cheers ! Sierra Angler
Posted by: CMC2

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 10/30/19 09:10 AM

I only hiked once with Bob and that was the Mt Route up Whitney. I remember a remark that he made which pretty well sums up what Bob was all about. I don't have the remark written down so I will write it as close as I can remember it from a long time ago.

Bob Rockwell: " I don't want to go to Heaven unless there are mountains there"

Farewell my good friend, Ernie Cunliffe
Posted by: bobpickering

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 10/30/19 09:50 AM

I met Bob on the Whitney summit in 2010. It was a “WPS Senior Climb”. Bob was handing out $2 Baskin Robins gift certificates, with the “BR” logo enhanced to say “Bob Rockwell”. I still have mine, and I will never spend it. We all miss you, Bob.

Originally Posted By: Steve C
I wish I had copies of those stories.

Steve, I just emailed you the giardia article and the “Old Age and Trickery” story. Feel free to post them.
Posted by: Bob West

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 10/30/19 06:11 PM

We have lost a really good guy. I first met Rockwell when he was on China Lake MRG, and I was with Inyo SAR. He was always someone you could trust your life with during a SAR operation. He was one of the really strong mountaineers and enjoyable companion during and after each mission.

Here's a short bio of Bob from Stanford:

https://stanfordmag.org/contents/a-record-high

Bob was the one who showed me the secret descent route down the Whitney trail. Shhh! I won't tell them, Bob!

Here's a toast to you Bob: Cheers!
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 10/30/19 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: bobpickering
Steve, I just emailed you the giardia article and the “Old Age and Trickery” story. Feel free to post them.

Thanks Bob! I'll put them up on this site so they're available and accessible.

Bob West, I remember Bob Rockwell telling me on a hike up Whitney of several rescues he was on. I think his last climb of Whitney with Jay D. turned into a recovery, so Bob became the radio relay person.
Posted by: + @ti2d

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 10/31/19 06:27 PM

Our condolences to Sheila and the Rockwell family.

Journey well in heaven, Bob!

Maybe you can show God how to "filter water through your teeth."

Also, maybe rename Mt. Whitney to Mt. Rockwell. Doubt Josiah Whitney ever reached the summit.

I remember a photo of Bob with a caption below that read, "If there are no mountains in heaven, then I don't want to go there."

Well, Bob, I am pretty sure there are plenty of mountains in heaven.
Posted by: Clmbr

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 11/02/19 09:29 AM

This is a tremendous loss to the California mountaineering community (and of course the Mt. Whitney climbing community). He will be missed.

Most of you will have already seen this, but here's the story of Bob's first ascent of Mt. Whitney 67 years ago in May 1952. It is worth reading.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5...Spring+2013.pdf
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 11/02/19 12:37 PM

Another story of his 1952 climb:

https://stanfordmag.org/contents/a-recor...okJr3UOlQR4Lbsk
Posted by: Fran

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 11/02/19 12:46 PM

Thank You for the tribute to Bob and this very interesting article.
Posted by: Fran

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 11/02/19 12:48 PM

Thanks Steve for your article also. Very interesting.
Posted by: DUG

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 11/05/19 06:56 PM

Fair winds and following seas my friend.............................................DUG
Posted by: CaT

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 12/09/19 08:29 AM

I haven't been on this board in a long time, but in a slow moment and on a whim, I hopped on this morning to have a look around. The first thing I saw was this thread about Bob R.

I only met Bob in person briefly once - at the Portal Store following a hike here.

Bob was an amazing guy with a kind heart and a lot of stories to tell, and was always a wealth of information for those of us who were far less experienced than he was (which was most of us).

I know I'm a couple of months late to this, but the hiking/climbing/BP community has lost an icon, and Bob will be greatly missed.

CaT
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 01/05/20 01:41 PM

From Bob's wife, Sheila:

Bob requested a "gathering of family and friends" after he died. The "gathering" will be Saturday, January 11, 2 p.m., Kerr McGee Center in Ridgecrest. We look forward to wonderful stories, many laughs, and a few tears.

Thanks!


Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to make it. But I think everyone is welcome.
Posted by: + @ti2d

Re: Rest in Peace, Bob Rockwell - 01/21/20 01:40 PM

Hold on to Memories...

By Disturbed


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SCCqC-u-9o

Listen, everyone
The time will come when all of us say goodbye
Feel that aching in your heart
Leaving you broken inside
But we're never really gone
As long as there's a memory in your mind

So now go do the best things in life
Take a bite of this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life
Make a ride of this world while you can
Take the ones you love
And hold them close because there is little time
And don't let it break your heart
I know it feels hopeless sometimes
But they're never really gone
As long as there's a memory in your mind
So now go do the best things in life
Take a bite of this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life
Make a ride of this world while you can

And hold on to memories
Hold on to every moment
To keep them alive
The world's greatest tragedy
Souls who are not remembered
Cannot survive
So now go do the best things in life
Bring the fight to this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life
Shine your light on this world while you can

And hold on to memories
Hold on to every moment
To keep them alive
The world's greatest tragedy
Souls who are not remembered
Cannot survive
And hold on to memories (Hold on)
Hold on to every moment
To keep them alive (Keep them alive)
The world's greatest tragedy (Hold on)
Souls who are not remembered
Cannot survive