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Tom Beck RIP

Original Post
BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

Its been posted on ST that Tom Beck has passed away today(last night)....if its true(trying to confirm) he will be missed. Tom was the first guy to take me trad climbing and to mentor me and I'll forever be grateful. Rest In Peace friend!

l oa · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 420

I had the pleasure of meeting Tom once, although on that particular day it might not have been a pleasure for him! In my short time here, though, he has provided me with a wealth of knowledge. He was the very first member of this community to welcome me and for that I will always be grateful. To his friends, family, and partners my  condolences. 

Big B · · Sin City, NV · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 1

Tom(second from left) a few years back in Red Rock, ....many of you on here(mp) have/had stayed with Tom through his airbnb deal when visiting Vegas for climbing.
BackAtItAgain · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 15

Sad news - 

We stayed with him a few years back. Very much enjoyed his company and stories. He made a point to contact me occasionally to see how we were doing, if he wanted to join him to climb at such and such place, etc. A good man!  ... that will be missed....

RIP Thomas - Godspeed on the great cliff in the sky !

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535

That's truly tragic. I never got a chance to meet Tom in person, but I always enjoyed chatting with him on this site and through email about bolting, new routes, etc. He struck me as a really good guy with a big heart and a love for the mountains. RIP, Tom. 

marc rosenthal · · Canyon Lake, TX · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 225

5-21-17:  Today we suffered a great loss. My best buddy and climbing partner in Las Vegas is gone. Happy trails Thomas Beck.

Tom was my climbing partner when we lived in Las Vegas from 1998 to 2014. He taught Mary and me how to climb long multiple pitch climbs and he and I climbed many great routes together. He found a willing partner in me on routes like Crimson Chrysalis, Refried Brains, Frogland, and Peyote Power, on which I often led several pitches, expanding my own limits as a climber and fine tuning my footwork. He taught me the fine ascetics of looking at a line and determining where the anchors were needed, how to drill and place bolts on lead, and of course hauling the"pig" because no one wanted to carry that bad boy up a wall. As my skills improved we began developing routes on sandstone, limestone, and quartz monzonite in remote areas around Las Vegas. Soft spoken with a wry sense of humor, he was one of the best friends I ever had. He will be missed by us both.  

Tom at one of the stations on Peyote Power, 10/2000 (marc rosenthal photo)

I've been reading some of the amazing and wonderful comments from our climbing community. Thanks to you all for your thoughts and memories. I definitely can identify with those who knew him, loved him, appreciated him, and on a few occasions, damned him. I have never climbed more routes, been "sand bagged" into more leads, farted more freely, picked wild raspberries, ripped my fingertips, bolted on lead hanging from a bird beak, drank his Gatorade blueberry, four wheeled it over boulders the size of a refrigerator, trundled limestone off a vertical wall, shit! I'm gonna miss that man.

. . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 10

I am really going to miss Tom.

Every interaction I had with him, he was consistently going out of his way to both be helpful and/or toss out an invite for next time.

He was more than happy to help me take out a new/beginning climber.  The whole day was fun, but I know he was specifically there to keep an eye on the belay during my first lead of the day.  Was the new belayer attentive?  were there any technique issues?  Of course, we were at one of his crags, on one of his lines.

Another time I held a session for intro/review of sport anchors (build/clean/rap.) at my house.  He volunteered to come be a second instructor, with the idea that doing so would allow us to both have one additional attendee and increase the 1 on 1 time with each person to answer questions, etc.

I simply can't get over how suddenly it seemed to happen.  I'd gotten into a rhythm of looking forward to him posting a new photo of his boat engine rebuild every week or so.  His last such post was less than two weeks ago.

John Hegyes · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2002 · Points: 5,008

I am sorry to hear of the passing of Tom Beck. His contributions to the Red Rock and Joshua Tree climbing communities are numerous and greatly appreciated. I have always found him to be knowledgeable, friendly and willing to give his time to make these climbing areas the best that they can be. His sudden passing is a reminder that our time here is limited and our final day is often unknown to us until the very end, so it is always the best policy to do as Tom has done; get out, climb hard, treat people with respect and make the most of every day. I will miss the part he has played here in Southern Nevada.

rockratrei · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2002 · Points: 370

RIP - Tom!  Go climb the big walls in the sky!

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

posted in another thread...

by "Douglas Dye"                                         ·                                                 

This following was posted by Joy Jones on Facebook:

We were unable to get the Blue Diamond Community Center for a Memorial for Tom- I would like to meet as a group at Mt. Charleston, Mary Jane Falls Trail parking lot under the Aspen Trees facing the Universal Wall at 10:30 on Saturday June 3rd. We can share for an hour or so and then hike up and climb all Tom's secret routes on the Universal Wall and all his posted routes on Sesame Street. Please join us for an hour at least of fun-filled memories. Bring your lawn chairs. 

Hope to see the climbing community support this memorial - I'm not sure how many appreciate the time and money Tom spent over the last 20 years developing routes enjoyed by many.  Learn about his posted routes on Sesame Street and his secret routes on the Universal wall, Dirty Little Secret and Griffith Ledges.

Joy Jones · · Boulder City, NV · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 60

I’ll always remember the first time Tom and I met and climbed together. Spring Break 2010, I was living in Houston and my climbing partner for Red Rock climbing trip canceled 10 days before the trip. I called everyone I knew and Marc Rosenthal suggested I look up Tom on MountainProject. I contacted Tom and he agreed to climb with me. The first day we went to Keyhole and did a route called Get Up, Stand Up. Such a stellar route, 3-pitch: crack, corner, friction, roof. I go out there all the time now and there is never anyone else there. Tom took me to several remote places and we constantly had fun; he just seemed to have that magnetic, kind, humble personality I wanted to be around. I loved spending time with Tom, always an adventure. Such an enthusiastic climber, positive mentor, and treasured friend. I will remember him with a smile- so many good times recalled.

Brian Bergrab · · Henderson,Nv · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

I met Tom a couple months ago and he was still climbing. He was a very nice man and you could tell he loved being outside. He was excited to see people enjoying climbing. He hardly knew me and was eager to give me advice on how to mend a split tip. Genuinely nice man. I'm sure he will be missed by many.

Big B · · Sin City, NV · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 1

To everyone that attended the memorial at Mt. Charleston for Tom ..... THANK YOU!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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