I had the privilege of hiring Jack Roberts as a guide to climb the First Flatiron in Boulder. I had only been climbing for a year and at that point had only done short top rope climbs in Wisconsin, so pulling into the parking lot and seeing the Flatiron seemed incredible. I quickly was able to spot Jack. I cant tell you why. I had no idea what he looked like or even who he was, but when he pulled into the parking lot I thought ok there is our guide. Jack introduced himself; I got his name wrong. I think I called him Jeff Roberts. He politely corrected me. After about 10 minutes of talking and gathering gear, it just dawned on me that Jack maybe a famous climber. So I asked, are you one of the climbing legends? Jacks response was I have done a number of first ascents, most of them in Alaska. And I have climbed with a number of famous climbers. Now that got me interested. I did not know much about the history of climbing, and I always enjoy a good story. Before I started asking all of my questions, Jack noticed that I was staring at his climbing rack. As I remember it, Jack only had four cams and a set of nuts on his rack. That seemed mighty small to me for the Flatiron. Jack quickly responded that he been up the first Flatiron many times. It is a route that he often run to, climbs, and then runs home. I knew what he needed for every placement. Well to finish up this memory, it was a great day of climbing. Jack showed that he was a master of the Flatirons. I had a great day of climbing and I got to hear some great stories. Thanks Jack. I always thought about hire Jack again for an ice climbing trip but I never did. The sport is going to miss you.
Bobrunning From Madison, wi Joined Jan 30, 2010 1,813 points
I always thought about hire Jack again for an ice climbing trip but I never did. The sport is going to miss you.
I only knew of Jack on ice~ I was always in awe of his talent & exuberance for climbing, sharing & teaching others. He used to tell me that I didn't have to sign-up (at the Fest) to come climbing.. :)~ I always assumed there would be long line of partners & devotees. I'm grateful to have known Jack though ever so brief. I think he may have been a saint in m.goat clothing. Jack in full party mode in his purple wig I could never forget, I think I may have that photo somewhere..
my condolences to all~ jack's family, friends & fans