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RIP Bob Dergay

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tbol · · CO · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 1,024

Please share your pictures and stories of Bob.  I'll start with a few.  I have more at home and will update later.  We will miss you Bob, you sexy bastard!

tbol · · CO · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 1,024

He was always a mile ahead of us in his damn sandals! Here we are running up the Regency. 

tbol · · CO · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 1,024

With Christ and I 

tbol · · CO · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 1,024
Greg Miller · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,876

Bob actually bouldering in eldo
Greg Miller · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,876
Greg Miller · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,876
Classic Bob always ready for a good time and a laugh
Redyns · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 60

Never met or heard of the fella, but RIP handsome prince.  

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 148

My sincere condolences to the friends and fam who have lost someone dear to them. May he climb now with the angels of his own faith.

abe r · · Boise, ID · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 55

"Look how big I am, you think you need to weigh me down with a rack and rope!"

Or the time he told me about lugging up a ton of hardwear on a tower for a solo ascent and half way thru he thought "f**k all this" and bailed.  So many funny quotes and memories with the him, stoked to hear some his Durango crew stories.

You the man big fellar.  RIP dude and enjoy listening to the Great Gig in the Sky up there.
abe r · · Boise, ID · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 55
Mut Adelman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 0

Here is a Bob story, one of many… It was 96' or 97', winter was over and summer was coming. I lived in Ophir and Bob lived in Durango. Early in May Bob called me up and told me we were headed to the Black Canyon. A week or so later, and after one or both of us quit our job(s), we met up at the North Rim campground. We did not have a plan but we had food for a week or so. Similar to most trips with Bob, we ate bagels for breakfast, bars for lunch and burritos for dinner.

It was spring as I had not been climbing any rock recently so I wanted to started slow. Bob was having none of it. We had limited food and limited cash. Bob wanted to log as much vertical as we could before we ran out of money, food or energy. I did get him to compromise by starting out easier with the Tourist Route and the Leisure Climb. Then it was on to Journey Home, Comic Relief, Escape Artist, Russian Arête, Scenic Cruise, Porcelain Arête and finally the Painted Wall. By the end of our trip we had climbed 9 out of 10 days with one rest day to go to town to get more burritos.
In the middle of our trip a pair of dudes rolled up with plans to put up some new route on the North Chasm View Wall. They were prepared with full wall gear. Ledges, Haul bags, hammers, pins… the works. They were older than us ( we were 23/24ish) and they had so much gear we just assumed they were hard men who knew what they were doing. We were in awe, and feeling very sorry for them, as they left camp the next morning to descend the Cruise Gully. Both of them were way overloaded with gear.

Bob and I headed off to the SOB gully and climbed Comic Relief or Escape Artist. We topped out early in the afternoon and went to the overlook to see the guys progress. By mid-afternoon the duo had only made it to the base of the wall. Their decent must have been hellish.

The next day we were off to the Russian Arête. Again we topped out early afternoon and went back to check on the duo. They were about 1/3 of the way up the wall. They were not moving fast but they were moving up.

The next day we climbed the Scenic Cruise. We had left early because the climb was pushing our known ability. We climbed scared that we would get stuck on the route and have to bivy. We climbed so scared that we actually were fast. Wee topped out by 1pm. We were pumped that we had cruised the Cruise. Bob was slightly annoyed that I had let him take a 30ft whipper at the crux because I had too much slack out. But other than that, it was smooth sailing.

We went back to check on the duo. They had made some more progress. Maybe they were half way up. That afternoon Bob and I lazed around camp, hung out at the edge of the N. Chasm and periodically checked on the aid team. They were creeping so slow. They may have made another pitch by 3 that afternoon.

Bob, being the nice guy that he was, decided to yell down to them to see how they were doing. "Yo!"… "Yo!"… "Yeah, up here"… "How you guys doing?", asked Bob. "We're lost and off route", they yelled. "I thought you were putting up a new route", yelled Bob. "We don’t know where we are", they yelled. At that Bob sat up and looked at me. He had a wise ass smile on his face and leaned back over the edge. "We know where you are" yelled Bob. "Where", they replied. Very clearly and very loud Bob shouted "You're in fucked-ville". Bwahahah, we thought that was too funny. They did not.
After some more back and forth it was obvious they were over it. We came to find out that they had some extra ropes in their truck. So Bob and I tied four of their ropes together, anchored them at the top and tried to lower them a life line. The rope was long enough and the wind strong enough that we were never going to get it to them. Bob went back to their truck and came back with a sack he had filled with rocks, and a cooler. We tied the sack to the end of the rope and were able to get it to dangle straight down. After a few attempts they were able to lasso the rope.
Over the next couple hours the duo jugged and hauled themselves to the safety of the rim. They were so thankful and so happy that we helped them, that is until they found out that Bob had found their cooler and we had drank all their beer.

Mut Adelman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 0

Mitch Friedeman · · Boulder, CO · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 40

I saw this bigger balding dude wearing sunglasses on his head run solo laps on Sunset Boulevard (11b) in eldo on a couple different occasions and every time I was like damn! I wanna be that rad when I'm older. I always wanted to meet that guy showing everyone else up with no one else around and I'm sad I never got to. He seemed like quite the fellow. My condolences.

Lisa Madden · · New York · Joined Aug 2018 · Points: 15

I am sorry for your loss, family and friends of Bob. He seems like a lot of fun.

Maya L · · Chicago, IL · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 35

I didn't know him, but sounds like he was a kind, fun loving, stoked person and a total badass. RIP. My deepest condolences to Bob's friends and family. 

Erik Werner · · Boulder, CO · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 280

I also didn't know Bob, but now that I see pictures of him I definitely remember crossing paths with him over the years on routes around town. My condolences to those who knew and loved him.

Parachute Adams · · At the end of the line · Joined Mar 2019 · Points: 0

I met Bob once at East Animas in Durango. He was soloing some laps up there. The man personified what it means to be a climber. Pure beauty to watch him climb. That single meeting changed my perception of climbing in a positive light. For that I am eternally grateful.

John Wofford · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2019 · Points: 0

I knew Bob from back east. We were in college together before he moved to Colorado. He was one of the best people I ever knew. He was uncompromising. He was intense. He was a square peg in a round hole here but he found himself when he found climbing. The first time I saw him after he had been in Durango he was transformed. All the intensity in him found a perfect outlet in climbing. I am glad you cats knew him. I hope he was having a good time when it happened.

Fare thee well, fare thee well, Bob. I love you more than words can tell.

WinstonVoigt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 115
The last time I got to hang with one of my favorite people. Never had a bad attitude, infectious laugh and dirtiest humor that you couldn’t help but join in with.

Over the last few days I’ve just heard his laugh echo in my mind, I hope it’s something I don’t forget with time. I’ll never forget my last day living in Boulder Bob and I drove to eldo, hiked into the flatirons and soloed the Angels wing up to the top of bear peak, hiked out and walked to the Sun for a pint and hitched a ride back to his car. Probably one of the most memorable days I’ve ever had in the mountains and I owe it to you, Bob. Thank you.
Courtney Conway · · Southwest US · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

"Hey Man, you know what a running belay is?"

Bob and I made fast friends around '01 sometime. To set the stage a little, I came up climbing in the Prescott area in the mid '90s, I was in high school at the time and was mentored by an area hardman. The Prescott area has a rich climbing history with many notable characters. This community upheld a very strong ethic. Hard trad was where it was at, style mattered, you respected those who came before you, you climbed hard, pushed your own limits, and you didn't run your mouth about it. That was Bob and that was the climbing community I grew up with.

Side note, Bob may have had his own bolt chopping controversy going on right around the time we met.

Anyway, I have many epic memories of hanging with Bob, climbing the Watch Crystal, Sailing Hawks, The Falls Wall in Telluride, Ophir, the golf wall, ski touring in the San Juans. Skis were a little skinnier back then but this dude, he had these old Kazama's, things were like 250's, three pin bindings, and one of the skis had a broken tail. Classic! Cracks me up just thinking about it. Dude didn't give a rip, he was just super psyched to be out gettin some turns with the boys.

One weekend stands out though, more than anywhere else he and I spent a good bit of time together in the Creek. One weekend we decide to head out there, we roll out of Durango kind of late on a Friday night. This puts us driving through Southern Utah around 11:00 or 12:00. As soon as we cross the Utah border we totally start sketching each other out. We're driving his old 4WD Tercel Wagon, Colorado plates, rusted out, kinda shady looking couple of dudes. The Utah law loves to jam up these types. We spent the entire drive from the Utah border to Monticello talking about every conceivable way we were going to outsmart our friendly Southern Utah lawman should we get pulled over. We finally get to Monticello, "I know another way," instead of hanging the right and staying on the highway we head off through town, eventually we hit a dirt road, he turns off the headlights and proceeds to rally the dirt road over the Abajo's and into the Creek. The lights don't come back on until we hit Newspapaer Rock. The moon was bright but I was gripped! Radical! 

So we climb hard all weekend, it was your typical dirt bag climbers weekend. Good times, good people. Seems like the dude knew just about everyone we ran into to. As mentioned in another story, when you went climbing with Bob you didn't sit around much, these were typically highly motivated sessions. We both had a pretty ambitious and proud  list of objectives for the weekend. We spent the the weekend efficiently swapping leads. It was productive, I recall having both pushed through some personal limits and grades. Man it seems like back then even on a weekend in the prime seasons you'd have the whole area to yourself...

So the weekend is kinda wrapping up, its Sunday afternoon and we're both fried, I believe we're up at the Pistol Whipped Wall. He decides to jump on something, I don't remember what it was exactly, but thin and steep. He works his way up, he's probably 50-60 feet off the ground, his last piece is like 20-25 feet below him. He starts getting pretty serious, you can start to feel the tension in the air. He's got a decent stance, spends a bunch of time shaking out the pump, he climbs up a few moves, doesn't see it, climbs down a few moves, shakes out the pump, this pattern repeats a few times, he can't get gear, doesn't have the right piece. He’s definitely looking at a ground fall.  Finally he speaks up "hey man, you know what a running belay is?" "Nah, not sure what your talking about, you got this man, Cmon!" He takes a few more minutes shaking it out, breathing it out, getting his mind right. "Alright I'm climbing, if I start to peel, run down that hill as fast as you fucking can!". Needless to say, he strapped on the sack and sent it.

That was Bob as I knew him. Bold, Humble, Kind and a total Joker. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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