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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    2,211

    RIP Rob Coppolillo

    The news circulating around is that Rob died in a crevasse fall on the Icefall Traverse yesterday while guiding a group. Short on any other details now.

    I went on an Avy 2 hut trip with Rob just this January. He was a great guy and an awesome educator. I learned so much from him on that trip. Such a conservative decision maker and a super snow science nerd. I was really looking forward to getting to know him more with his recent move to Seattle. I didn't know him super well, but my good friend had been on a few trips with him.

    First person I've ever known personally to die in the mountains. It's tough. RIP Rob.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Last Best City in the Last Best Place
    Posts
    7,460
    Damn that hurts. I worked with Rob and Marc Chauvin on their book The Mountain Guide Manual in 2016 when I was an editor for Falcon Publishing. Not an easy book to put together, but Marc and Rob were a couple of the best, most professional authors I ever worked with. RIP Rob. Condolences to family and friends.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
    Posts
    22,128
    Yes that is what I heard this morning. Very very sad. Great guy. Huge loss to many and the community. I thought about him while biking today and had a nice scotch in his memory. Condolences to all who knew him.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Not in the PRB
    Posts
    33,273
    I didn't know him but have 10 mutual friends on Facebook. Sounds like he was an awesome guy. What a terrible loss, my condolences to all who knew him.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "everybody's got their hooks into you, fuck em....forge on motherfuckers, drag all those bitches across the goal line with you." - (not so) ill-advised strategy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    782
    Fuck I was supposed to do avy2 with him last January but got sick and had to drop out... Only got to meet him a little bit because of that but he seemed like such an awesome guy. I know he had some young-ish kids too this is devastating news

    Sent from my Pixel 8 Pro using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    6,448
    Bummer. Met him at a snow event in Denver. Nice guy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,667
    I bought some ski pants from Rob through Facebook last fall. In a retrospectively hilarious clusterfuck he wound up mailing me the pants that someone else bought and send my pants to that person. After a combined moment of "WTF happened?" Rob offered to cover shipping to make things right if I'd mail the pants I had to the guy who had my pants and vice versa. I agreed, he passed on the address and the other buyer turned out to be a buddy of mine who lived 2 miles from me so we were able to make things right on our own.

    It's a small insight into Rob's life but he handled that with humor and self deprecating exasperation. I really enjoyed following his writings online and like his book "The Ski Guide Manual".

    Thanks for the pants Rob, I'll make some turns in them for ya.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
    Posts
    5,853
    Took the sails out of me, and many of my coworkers this morning when we heard. The number of folks he made an impact on, from a random student of his like myself to leading educators, guides, forecasters in the mountains is immense.

    I was lucky enough to spend a week with Rob leading a hut based L2 a few years back (https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...k-again/page2). We stayed in touch after that. He had no reason to be so generous with his time and thoughts. But he always was. Whether in personal emails about his book, avalanche forecasting, or fatherhood or in public forums where he was always a patient voice of stoke and expertise.

    Thinking about his family tonight. Looking through his writings now, drinking a whiskey, with his old ice axe just in the edge of my vision in the gear closet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,834
    His name and face has been around in the climbing/outdoor industry as long as I can remember. I always enjoyed his writings. RIP

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    614
    I had never met Rob C, but I know two of the guys that were on the trip with him when the accident happened. I won't give any details since the information that I have is scant and 3rd hand, and comes from a group chat of mutual friends and acquaintances, but from the sounds of it it was a total fluke accident. It's the sort of thing that makes one think long and hard about the risks that we take, both big and small. I'm not quite sure how to process it but it's something I'm going to be giving a lot of thought to in the coming days/weeks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Golden B.C.
    Posts
    629
    Vibes… I was listening into the rescue at work last week but hadn’t seen any details published anywhere. Trip report from the 12th from same zone mentions the new sags and larger crevasses. Flying over to the Banff/Yoho/Kootenay NP glaciation for the better part of a decade in the summers, things are changing incredibly fast. Condolences on losing a good one.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    14,066
    We nerded out on maps a lot and sometimes also about gear. Rob was a nice guy. We always made plans to ski together and missed each other always figuring there was going to be next time.

    RiP Rob. Condolences to his family and friends

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Side WA
    Posts
    508
    I think I first heard about Rob from his posts on WildSnow. Sad to hear he's gone.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by kamtron View Post
    I think I first heard about Rob from his posts on WildSnow. Sad to hear he's gone.
    as an FYI a fund has been set up for his fam. I will miss Coppo greatly.

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-prov...becca-dom-luca

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Last Best City in the Last Best Place
    Posts
    7,460
    This came across the email this morning from Betsy Manero at Backcountry Magazine.



    In 2020, I made the switch from full time mountain guide to full time editor of Backcountry Magazine. It wasn’t an easy transition, especially when it came time to act as the lead editor on an issue—the 2021 Skills Guide—for the first time. This was around the same time that Rob Coppolillo—an IFMGA guide, author and BCM contributor—published The Ski Guide Manual. While working on a book review, Rob and I bonded over balancing guiding with writing and finding ways to tie the two professions together. I called him back to ask his opinions on the Skills Guide while outlining it, and he even contributed a section to it.

    Thursday, April 18, Rob Coppolillo passed away while guiding in British Columbia. It was a solemn reminder that the backcountry is a fickle place. Even when you’re doing everything by the book, things can still go sideways. And Rob always did things by the book. While working with him on an article we’d go back and forth until he deemed every word perfect. It wasn’t unusual for there to be 20-plus emails in a chain with him, discussing the best way to set a skintrack or how to address professionals versus recreationalists. But it was always clear that his feedback wasn’t to be a hard ass. Rob had a joy for bringing people into the mountains, and he was passionate about sharing his knowledge the right way. He instilled the responsibility of being the editor of a backcountry-focused magazine in me. People use what they learn from this publication to operate in a wicked learning environment. Bad information can be fatal.

    I’ll miss running story ideas by Rob and following along on his many adventures, but I’ll still think of his passion for educating every time I sit down to write a skills-based article. I’ll still ask myself, what would Rob say?

    Betsy Manero, Editor, Backcountry Magazine

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