Rob left us on 29 July 2022 whilst climbing Observatory Ridge on Ben Nevis with a good friend. Past the crux, for which they were roped, they were moving independently when Rob fell. With Sue, Martin and sister Gail, Rob had always enjoyed the outdoors. Walking in the Lakes, undertaking adventure holidays, a family year in NZ; these were crucial formative experiences. The Leys was right for Rob; good friends, great teachers and activities like rugby, swimming, canoeing and the CCF, that he really enjoyed. His character shone through. Mark Slater, Headmaster 2004–13, reflected that “Robert was one of the most honest, decent, positive people one could meet”. Rob went on to Leeds, reading Sports Science. Later, at Ardentinny and Stramash Outdoor Centres, he gained many qualifications and the experience he needed. In Fort William he developed a reputation as a sound, careful mountain guide, kayaking and biking instructor. He got his equipment hire and paddleboarding businesses underway and they were starting to flourish. There he met his partner, Eilidh. They were perfect soulmates with a shared passion for the outdoors. Eilidh is expecting their baby and Rob was so looking forward to becoming a dad.
In a blog reflecting on a friend’s death, Rob wrote: “It never seems fair that the ones that shine so bright get taken so early but I like to think that they would like us to have even more adventures, and we can only manage the risks we take, not control them.” A fitting epitaph for a lovely man.
A fund has been set up by Rob’s sister, Gail, to help support his partner Eilidh and their baby. The family are so grateful for support already received and would welcome any more help people feel able to give. https://tinyurl.com/robs-legacy
Words by Martin and Sue Brown, Former Common Room