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Deeply Inspired: Remembering Kyle Roseborrough

Kyle Roseborrough, father, husband, son, friend and lifelong climber, was 45.

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Kyle climbing at his second home crag in Sella, Spain. Photo: Anja Smit.

Kyle Roseborrough regularly climbed 5.13s, sending 100 of them in 2016. On his last climbing trip he was close to sending 5.14; but on April 14 this beloved husband, father, son and friend died in a tragic accident in Leonidio, Greece while climbing at Crash of the Titans with his wife Aimee. The cause of the accident appears not to have been conclusively determined.

Kyle Joe Roseborrough of Bend, Oregon, was raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico and began climbing in the mid-1990s in the Organ Mountains of Las Cruces and Yosemite Valley, California, then exploring up-and-coming destinations like Hueco Tanks, Texas, and Kalymnos, Greece. Over time, he expanded his exploration to other climbing destinations around the world, including Germany, Turkey, Cuba, Mexico, France, Italy, and Monaco. He even had a Residencia for Spain that allowed him to explore numerous locations throughout the country.

On May 27, 2001, Kyle married the former Aimee Loewenstern. They have two daughters, ages 7 and 12. The pinnacle of his nurturing spirit was the love he had for his family, with whom he was traveling in Greece. He was always introducing the girls to new experiences and fostering their passions: Hazel learning wushu and taking Spanish immersion, and Ella skydiving in Greece and having a tesla coil for candles on her birthday cake. He even learned to cook “not because it was his passion but because he
wanted to show his girls that eating healthy can taste incredible,” says Aimee. And, as the girls got older and interested in climbing more, he noted “pretty soon they will be in the rotation.”

Kyle was deeply inspired by the outdoors, loved challenging himself, and thrived when encouraging others.

“I love sports,” he would say. “Some people rise to do the impossible while others crumble.”

Rich Breuner, Director of Operations at Bend Rock Gym, sent a message saying how integral the Roseborrough family was to the gym and to Central Oregon climbing communities. “Kyle fostered unique, meaningful relationships,“ Rich continued, “Kyle had a passion for learning and progressing himself both as a person and as a climber. He was constantly seeking new knowledge and insights into training…relish[ing] the
opportunity to share this information with anyone who had a desire to improve…He mentored numerous climbers in our community (including myself).”

The legendary climber Alan Watts reached out, saying, “Kyle had a unique capacity to take a genuine interest in those he met. It seems odd to describe someone 15 years my junior as a mentor, but he felt like that to me. At a time when I had been away from climbing for so long, he helped bring me back. I’ll never forget when I did my first gym 5.13- and he gave me a big spontaneous hug after I lowered off. He was as excited as I was.”

Another local and a youth competitor, Lukas Strauss-Wise, took on formal mentoring from Kyle and with Kyle’s help, Lukas placed well in competitions, making it to Bouldering Nationals in 2019.

Another friend, Jeremiah Gentry, says, “Kyle sought the best coaches and trainers and would glean their knowledge, and then share that expertise—complete with footnotes—when we would climb.” He remembers Kyle saying, “Jeremiah, you are palpably anxious as you climb higher up the wall. Let’s talk about your motivations.”

Kyle was also dedicated to expanding the rock-climbing field for those around him. He co-wrote, with Aimee, a December 2009 Climbing magazine feature article on Los Sueños Grandes, introducing a little-known climbing area in Mexico to a wider audience.

Kyle Roseborrough on Masiosare un Extrano Enemigo 5.13b, El Huevo, Jilotepec, Estado de Mexico. Photo: Andrew Burr.

He devoured information, including documentaries (without agendas) and brought fierce, informed views (with a forthright communication approach) that made conversations with him thought-provoking and memorable.

Kyle and I often talked about climbing training and the latest recovery apps and tools, or mused about which remedy would heal any injury I was facing at the time. He was also my first supporter for bringing Computer Science to rural Kentucky by offering to do a technology career talk with me at one of the schools before the program even took roots.

Kyle and Aimee were always inviting people to join them in family travels. No matter where they were going, I was welcome to come and stay and climb with them. I shared many meals, climbing trips, visits and adventures with them. I never wanted to impose, but Kyle and Aimee never made it feel like an imposition. It was like being an extension of their family.

Alan Watts said it best: “I regret that I will not be able to get to know Kyle better. I felt a connection with him that I rarely feel. He really mattered in my life. I can only imagine how much he must have impacted the lives of those who knew him well.”

Kyle is survived by Aimee, daughters Ella and Hazel, parents Jeri and Mike, siblings Cory and Kacee, and countless friends around the world.

Kyle was a private person and was enthusiastic about supporting the lives of people who experienced suffering, even those who had not been a part of his life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to organizations with one of two focus areas: 1) therapeutic recovery for trauma survivors; and 2) transition support for people who have been incarcerated. Donations for therapeutic support can be directed to OAASIS Oregon (Oregon Abuse Advocates & Survivors in Service) (http://oaasisoregon.org). Re-entry support for formerly incarcerated individuals can be directed to A New Way of Life Reentry Project (http://anewwayoflife.org), Refoundry (http://www.refoundry.org), or Center for Employment Opportunities (https://ceoworks.org).

On Sunday, April 28, at 4 p.m., a celebration of Kyle’s life will take place at Smith Rock, Terrebonne, OR. Details are available at Bend Rock Gym.


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