• Reinhold Messner: What I've Learned
  • Listening for the Echo: The Klem Loskot Profile
  • Layton Kor Dies
  • Climbers We Lost In 2012
  • Life on Hold: The Ian Powell Story
  • Rope Jumping with Dan Osman
  • Mike Foley: Never Enough
  • Hayden Kennedy: Superballistic
  • Naomi Guy: What I've Learned
  • Dave Macleod: What I've Learned
  • Thomas Bubendorfer: Eiger Legend Back in the Game
  • Q&A: V15 Maestro Nacho Sanchez Unleashed
  • Francesca Metcalf: Meant to Compete
  • Maurice Herzog Dies
  • Kurt Albert: Free Wheel
  • Mason Earle: Crack Ropegun
  • Mayan Smith-Gobat: Climber for all Seasons
  • John Long: What I've Learned
  • Nik Berry: Obsessive Crusher
  • TNB: Tony Scott, Climber, Movie Maker, Lived and Died Large
  • Who's Next?
  • Todd Skinner: The Renegade
  • Tom Patey: The Tiger of Yesterday
  • Patxi Usobiaga: The Bionic Man
  • Michael Reardon
  • Max Turgeon and Louis-Philippe Ménard: Alpinists and Ice Climbers
  • Kurt Albert: The Climber Who Invented Redpointing
  • Josh Wharton: The Alpinist
  • John Rosholt: Climber and Gambler Disappears in Las Vegas
  • The Stonemasters Climb at Pirates Cove
  • John Bachar's Last Interview
  • John Bachar Remembers Michael Reardon
  • John Bachar by Henry Barber
  • John Bachar Remembered by Duane Raleigh
  • John Bachar by Doug Robinson
  • John Bachar and the Bachar-Yerian First Ascent
  • Colin Kirkus: Climbing's Greatest Unknown
  • Alex Puccio
  • John Long: A Man for All Seasons
  • Galen Rowell: The Vertical World
  • The Prophet
  • The Guy Whose Nuts Revolutionized Climbing: R.P.
  • Randy Leavitt
  • Brian Kim Spotlight
  • Rob Raker
  • Ueli Steck
  • Kemple and Lindner Almost Free El Nino
  • Crack Attack
  • Climbing World Mourns Todd Skinner
  • Ammon McKneely
  • A Tour of Magic and Mystery
  • Tanja Grmovsek
  • Rob Miller
  • Climber Hugh Herr Honored by Esquire Magazine
  • Climber Eric Brand Dies
  • Chuck Fryberger, Climber and Filmmaker
  • Chris Schulte Profile
  • Beth Rodden
  • Joe Kinder
  • Hazel Findlay
  • To the BASE Layer
  • Pete Ward
  • Mad Max
  • Chris Boskoff
  • Bradford Washburn
  • Revenge of the Nerd
  • Chris Lindner
  • Renan Ozturk
  • One-Track Mind
  • Tim Clifford: Escaping the Quantum Hole
  • Traveling Light
  • Colette McInerney
  • The Banner Years
  • Pakistan: The Big and Free
  • MAD DASH
  • Kris Hampton
  • KEEPING THE FAITH
  • Jules Cho
  • Extreme Eleven and Beyond
  • Bob Bates, 96, Takes His Final Journey
  • Jody Hansen
  • Home Girl
  • An Encounter with Fred
  • The Average Hero Sir Edmund Hillary, 88
  • More Than One Trick
  • Dave Graham
  • Red River Sugar Mama
  • Phillip Schaal
  • An Advanced Beginner
  • The Last Samurai:
  • THE BERMANATOR
  • Sonnie in Scotland
  • Offwidth Hombre
  • Moonlight Solo-Nata
  • Jasmin Caton
  • Crag Clown
  • Unlikely Candidate
  • Lone Star
  • The Calculator: Alex Kordick
  • Rise of the Machines
  • Dave Waggoner 1955-2009
  • Blood Spider
  • The Original Desert Rat: Kyle Copeland | 51
  • J-Star
  • Italian Legend: Lino lacedelli | 83
  • Cold Justice Paul Cormier
  • The Suffer King
  • The Need for Speed
  • Nick Martino Gives All
  • G-Money
  • Climbing Out of Academic Trouble
  • Charles Houston, 96
  • Bobby Model, 36
  • "Open Bivy" Willy
  • To the Rescue
  • The Genius
  • The Gamer
  • Shock Rock
  • Ryan Triplett | 31
  • John Bachar and the Cosmic Surfboard
  • Hand Crafted
  • Return of the Verm
  • Amped
  • Regime Change
  • Man vs. Snake
  • Living Legend
  • Layton Kor honored by AAC
  • Cold Justice
  • Cowboy Anguish
  • The Rock Jester
  • Mixed Rehab
  • Laura Fletcher
  • Bill Stall
  • Benjamin Strohmeier
  • Joe Six-Pack
  • Freedom Path
  • Manboy
  • Up and Down
  • The Duelist
  • A for Achiever
  • Paul A. Duval
  • Kelly S. Bell
  • Close But No Cigar
  •  
    Video Spotlight
    Ascent. Bringing the Best Climbing Stories to Life.
    Ascent. Bringing the Best Climbing Stories to Life.

    Bobby Model, 36

    02-Feb-2010
    By Steve Bechtel

    It was a normal day in South Africa when Bobby Model visited from his home in Kenya. Bobby and his sister Faith were driving to visit a friend when a chunk of concrete smashed against the hood of the truck and bounced through the windshield. Bobby was hit in the head.

    In a way, that's the whole story. It was the end of the road for the man most of us knew. But in reality, it was the beginning of a whole new story about Bobby Model. In the days that became months that became years after June 2007, the incredible circle of friends and family that Bobby had created came forth. He was treated first in South Africa, then in New York City, and then in a series of hospitals in Denver. After 18 months, he was well enough to move back home to Cody, Wyoming. He lived there in his own home, though under constant care, from December of 2008 until September 16. He was 36.

    In the small Wyoming climbing community, Bobby was well known, widely loved and always up for an adventure. I met him at the University of Wyoming in the early 1990s, and he, Tom Rangitsch and I climbed all the routes we could scrap our way up at Vedauwoo, and then spent the long, cold winter nights bouldering in a garage gym.

    Later, Bobby joined the motivated crew of Lander climbers such as Scott Milton, Will Hair, Todd Skinner, Skip Harper and dozens of others. He was a talented and balanced climber, as comfortable on 5.12 cracks as he was on pockets, and a solid ice climber and alpinist as well. In 1995 he joined Mike Lilygren, Todd Skinner, Bill Hatcher, my brother Jeff Bechtel and me on a trip to climb Trango Tower (Cowboy Direct, VII 5.13a, was the first Grade VII free climb in the world). It was here that Bobby first showcased his talent for photography.

    Slowly, his passion for capturing images took precedence over climbing. Featured on the cover of the April 1996 issue of National Geographic, Bobby later became a regular contributor to the magazine, as well as to other publicationsincluding Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Adventure and the New York Times. His assignments took him to Southeast Asia, Patagonia, Greenland, the Mideast, Eastern Europe andBolivia. Later, he moved his home base to Nairobi, Kenya. There he helped with relief work in the Sudan, tracked down a giant crocodile in Burundi, and climbed the snowy peaks of East Africa.

    Bobby was soft-spoken, kind and gentle. He was compulsively organized in his work, but relaxed in most other facets of his life. He saw each person as his equal and was generous with his time. He often tried to come across as crude, even insensitive, but Bobby was one of the most compassionate people I have ever known.

    Bobby suffered terribly in the last two years of his life. I continually come back to the question that begs why he had to go through so much pain only to die. What gift could life possibly bring him in those years? My answer, and I believe the only answer, is that these past two years were his gift to us; to give his friends the opportunity to grow together, to tell our friend how much we love him, and to know that somehow we'd be all right without him.

    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article:
    Hello