Joe Szot – GONE!

 Adirondack Climbing Legend Dies

Joe Szot at Mountainfest 2012

The Rollie Master, Joe Szot

Joe Szot, 51, died of a heart attack while rock climbing in the Shawangunks Mountains of NY,  March 14, 2012

Joe was climbing a route and started feeling poorly.  He asked to be lowered. Once on the ground he stopped breathing. His partner called 911 and preformed CPR till help arrived. They could not save him.

Joe Szot was bigger than life and a fixture in the Adirondack climbing community. He will be missed by many and Keene Valley will never be the same. Our best to his family, friends and all that knew him. Please respect their privacy during this difficult time.

More details as they become available.

– Doug Millen

Feature photo: New Years fire works at the “Bivy”. To you Joe!  RIP


10 replies
  1. Scott Grimes
    Scott Grimes says:

    So sorry to read about this. What a great guy. Only met him a couple of times (bunk house.) Best Wishes to friends and family.

  2. Steve & Cynthia Gagnier
    Steve & Cynthia Gagnier says:

    We have known Joe since 1984 and worked with him on the base all that time. He was a great friend and a really interesting and intelligent guy…truly one of a kind! Mere words cannot express our sorrow and shock over his passing, and we want to extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and climbing buddies.

  3. Chris Syp
    Chris Syp says:

    RIP dude…does anyone happen to know what route he was on at the time? I know it may seem meaningless, but I have a reason for the inquiry.

  4. Doug Allbright
    Doug Allbright says:

    Beyond your passion for climbing, you were a critical link in our 380th Civil Engineering Team, Star catcher on our Softball Team, Great workout motivator and partner, Interesting Golf Partner, Top notch drinking buddy, BEST party organizer ever, and MOST OF ALL ONE HELL OF A GOOD FRIEND. Trips home to NY will not be the same. Will miss you Greatly. My condolences to all of the Szot Family. The thoughts and prayers of my family go out to you all. Respectfully. Doug Allbright

  5. Brian Delaney
    Brian Delaney says:

    Our sincere condolennces to everyone in the family.
    Joe died doing what he loved…We could all be so lucky.
    Our prayers are with him.
    Kindest Regards,
    Karen & Brian Delaney

  6. Mark Anderau
    Mark Anderau says:

    Goodbye Joe. Bin outta touch the last couple of years, but still have many good memories dating back 2-3 years BC (Before Crapper was installed in bivy). The climbing was always great and good times in the bivy even better. My condolences to Family and Friends. Maybe some of you old guys can help me out, what was the name of the fictitious Frenchman? RIP
    Slow Learner,

  7. Ernie Wright
    Ernie Wright says:

    Joe and I went to Clarkson at the same time, but I really didn’t know him until he started working at Plattsburg AFB with me. I actually knew his dog (Fred, the Newfie, if my memory serves me right) better than I knew him. Fred was the ultimate frat/bar dog that was a friend to all and thoroughly enjoyed life – the perfect reflection of his owner!!

    Probably the best memory I have of Joe is the cross country ski trip up Whiteface Mtn one night. It was -35 deg at the bottom when we started, and we didn’t get finish the trip until about 3 a.m. When we got to the top, it was so crisp, quiet, and clear you’d swear you could see forever! The stars felt close enough to reach up and touch. It’s the closest I’ve felt to Heaven. Joe, I hope that’s the kind of Heaven you’re in now and all of your adventures are enjoyable!

    Rest in Peace, Joe.

  8. Geoff Conley
    Geoff Conley says:

    After two recent climbing trips with Joe–one to Valdez and the other to Cody: I’m sure of one thing. The mold that made him was a one of kind!

    His humor and energy were a joy to be around. No big ego crap either. I will always cherish the memory of those climbing trips.My heart feels the pain, chin-up Aya and
    Tommy–you know Joe would want it that way.

  9. Mark Hardie
    Mark Hardie says:

    I came across this by accident and was taken back. Joe you were an awesome climber, person and host. I am glad I got to clmb with you and I am so sorry. You were bigger than life and quite a character. You will be missed.


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