Human remains found near Las Vegas earlier this month are those of John Rosholt, an Arizona climber and professional gambler who has been missing for the past five years, police say.
Rosholt, 54, came into prominence in the late 1990s with ascents of hard trad routes like Ruby's Cafe and Desert Gold (5.13a), and was described by acquaintances as a methodical, controlled gambler who enjoyed the adrenaline rush that he got from both climbing and playing poker. In January 2005, he disappeared at the Silverton Hotel and Casino during a trip to Las Vegas.
On November 11th, a group of hikers in the Red Rock National Conservation Area outside of Las Vegas reported finding a spine in the park's Black Velvet Canyon. After initially dismissing the bones as animal remains, the Clark County Coroner's Office ruled last week that they belonged to Rosholt.
The coroner has yet to determine the cause of Rosholt's death, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Police say it's unlikely that foul play was involved; it's unclear whether Rosholt might have fallen while climbing alone.
For more on the story of John Rosholt and his disappearance, check out Pete Takeda's excellent profile on Rock and Ice's blog.
Photo credit: Black Velvet Canyon; Stan Shebs