Reading this thread and all the great things people have had to say about Rob has been incredible. As his roommate, friend, and frequent climbing partner, I knew Rob was an extremely friendly and lovable guy - but this thread has shown me that Rob made friends more easily than anyone I have ever known. I remember last June when Rob and I moved in together - we didn't know each other very well yet, but Rob was anxious to share his passion for the mountains. Being cocky and assuming my fitness would get me to the summit, I said yes, and we headed out for Castle and Conundrum, packs loaded down with skis and boots. Once we hit tree line I bonked under the altitude, but not Rob. He carried my pack ahead, came back for his, and at one point jokingly offered me a piggyback. He was encouraging and strong, and somehow got me up that mountain. After 18 more summits with Rob, not much has changed. He would do anything for either a climbing partner or a complete stranger, and no one could keep up.
After meeting Rob's father and hiking up Grays and Torreys with him and Rob last summer, it became apparent how Rob became the man he was. I watched Mr. Jansen help a lowlander with altitude sickness all the way down Grays, coaching her through a panic attack and back to the trailhead, without leaving her side for hours. It's been quoted, but this just sums up how incredibly close Rob's family was and how well his father understood how he lived his life:
MtnChick wrote: We asked the server to take a photo of all of us. Before he snapped the picture, he said, "What brought you all together today?" There was a slight silence...then Rob's Dad said, "We are here celebrating our friend's life."
I can honestly say Rob was the most passionate person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I asked him several times if he wanted to take a weekend off from climbing for a night on the town or if he wanted to spend the weekend doing something else. His answer was always the same - "now why would I do that?" Last weekend Greg and I were talking about what we thought everybody in our group would do when they were finished with the 14ers. Greg would head to the Centennials, I'd climb Longs a bunch, and we figured Rob would probably wind up skiing all the 14ers. Then we realized that would take him just 1-2 years, and that he would probably be climbing the big peaks sooner rather than later. The sheer talent and potential Rob had were stunning, and we were all lucky not only to have known him, but to have climbed with him.
Ten minutes before the accident Rob mentioned how happy he had been in Colorado and how much he loved climbing with his friends. I find at least some solace in knowing that he was the happiest he has ever been just shortly before he left us and that he died doing what he lovd. I hope we all keep climbing, both for ourselves, and for Rob.