Steven Ross obituary (1954 – 2021) – Boulder, CO


Steven Ross – explorer, adventurer, individualist, son, brother and friend – died at his home in Silver City, New Mexico, on September 19. He was 67 years old and had courageously and defiantly battled cancer in recent years. Steve was interested and versed in a lot of things. His fascination with the natural world lasted his entire life. He loved Hendrix, Cream and Jethro Tull but was also moved by a symphony by Berlioz or Sibelius. He enjoyed the simplest bowl of daal from a remote mountain village as much as the snails from a French gourmet restaurant. Fashion might not be his thing, but outdoor gear certainly was. He studied and taught history, which appealed to his sense of progress. He had been a New York Yankees fan since his early days, when his maternal grandfather, Charlie, regaled Steve and his brother, Ken, with stories about Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle and Ford. The Colorado Buffaloes football team was important to him in the good and bad years. He had a sharp intellect, a dry mind, and a sharp wit until the very end. Within the Ross family and his closest childhood friends, Steve was known as the “Weaver”. He was born on June 8, 1954 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and was his own person from the start. One evening, at age 4 or 5, he disappeared from the family table in Huntington Station, NY, and wandered around the corner in a construction pit full of heavy equipment. With this seemingly small but nonetheless daring act, 60 years of insatiable curiosity for the world around him and a quest to discover the beauty of the most spectacular places on the planet have been set in motion. The mountains gave Steve a spiritual and even mystical allure. He started skiing at age 13 while in college in Long Island, NY. First in the northern state of the Catskill Mountains, then in larger areas including the luminous Stowe, VT, Steve was immediately and passionately absorbed in skiing. He grew into a confident and accomplished skier – later a ski coach – and honed his skills in alpine, Nordic and other skiing over the next 50 years. After graduating from high school in Wilmington, VT, where his family had moved from New York to open a restaurant, The Studio, in West Dover, VT, Steve enrolled at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1972. (For the rest of his life, of all the places he lived, Steve considered Boulder his home). In 1974 he transferred from Colorado to the University of Vermont, where he earned a degree in geography two years later. While at UVM, he was occasionally invited to train with the nationally ranked school ski team on Cochran’s Hill in Richmond, VT. He skied frequently at Stowe and exuberantly made his way down the legendary “Front Four” – Starr, National, Liftline and Goat – on Mount Mansfield. But the West still called him. As a volunteer with the United States Park Service and then as a Search and Rescue Ranger, Steve worked with dedication between 1976 and 1983 in some of America’s most famous national parks, including Mount Rainier. , Zion, the Great Smoky Mountains and the Grand Canyon. He was then employed by the City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks, and he eventually spent 20 years as a public school teacher in the Boulder Valley School District, including a major tenure at Centaurus High School in Lafayette, CO. For four decades. From the late 1970s Steve was passionate about the outdoors and mountaineering. He has traveled all over the world pushing personal boundaries to far and high places. Towards the end of his life, Steve was asked to recount his most memorable mountain experiences, and he carefully dictated a list that included the ascent of Mustagh Ata (elevation 24,700 feet) in China’s Xiang Xi Province. , Huascarán Norte (22,000 feet) in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru, and the south face of Huayna Potosi (20,000 feet) in the Bolivian Andes. He climbed the Nelion summit of Mount Kenya in central Kenya and made a first ascent of the southwestern Caliban Ridge in the Arrigetch Range in Alaska. Steve has always been drawn to the border, which is part of his later years reuniting around a favorite woodstove in a cozy 1800s home in Leadville, CO, and his senior year and up in Silver City, on the edge. from the vast Gila of New Mexico. National Forest. Steve is survived by his mother, Gloria, of Scottsdale, AZ; her brother, Ken, and sister-in-law, Nora Slattery, of Topanga, California; and two nephews, Kyle, from New York, and Nick, most recently from Hawaii and Topanga. Steve had good friends, new and old, many of whom said he was an inspiration to them. Steve’s father, Bill, passed away in 2011 and always said he would finally go to “a jovian moon”. It was never clear which of Jupiter Bill’s 79 known moons had in mind, but maybe Steve will join him there.

Posted by The Daily Camera on September 26, 2021.

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