Roger Michael Reif | AspenTimes.com

Roger Michael Reif

The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Roger will always be remembered as a legend in our local community. A talented man that will be missed by so many, his contagious and positive energy was apparent to all in his demeanor, warmth, and smile.

Roger, a native of Pittsburgh, Penn., graduated from Fox Chapel High School in 1990. He then received degrees from the University of Vermont-Burlington in environmental studies, where he was an avid skier at Stowe, and also computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

The call of wilderness and open space eventually brought Roger to the West. He lived in Crested Butte, Colo., where he began to telemark ski, and then Moab, Utah, where he developed into a proficient climber and mountain biker while working as a wilderness instructor with at-risk youth in the remote high desert. Ultimately, Roger returned to Colorado and became a Snowmass Village icon. He worked at Pine Creek Cookhouse, Krabloonik, The Timber’s Club, Il Poggio, and as an EMT on Mountain Ambulance.

A true mountaineer in the Elk Range, he would compete in events such as The Grand Traverse, The Inferno and the Owl Creek Chase. “The Rog” was well known for his impressive feats of endurance. He would often walk or ride his bike from Snowmass to climb the numerous 14’ers in his backyard, still making it to work. Roger’s many talents and hobbies included climbing desert walls and the high peaks of Colorado, charging laps in the Highland’s Bowl, and rock climbing on Independence Pass.

He was a tenacious telemark skier, mountain biker, Aspen Highlands bootpacker, slackliner, a book lover, a skilled piano player, pool shark, a sushi chef, trail runner, and loved dancing to live music.

In his offseasons, he would travel to visit his family in Pittsburgh, Penn., and would often speak fondly about his time at the family cottage in northern Michigan enjoying boating, sunsets, and serenity on the open waters of the Great Lakes. He traveled to visit his younger brother and sister-in-law in Flagstaff, Ariz., where he and his brother would share adventures rock climbing and canyoneering in the Southwest.

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Most recently, Roger was in pursuit of a nursing degree at the University of Colorado-Denver starting this winter.

Roger is survived by his parents Eric and Donna Reif, his brother Brian Reif, sister-in-law Sarah, niece Eliza, grandmother Elizabeth Reif, and his extended family and friends throughout the West.

Please come to celebrate Roger’s life and share stories on Tuesday, Oct. 5, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Il Poggio Restaurant, 57 Elbert Lane in Snowmass Village, Colo.

Please bring a dish, your stories, and pictures to display for a slide show.

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