This past winter, TGR connected with ski filmmaker and long-time Matchstick Productions director, Scott Gaffney to bring to life the Palisades Tahoe segment in TGR's 28th Annual film, Legend Has It. Scott recently shared with the ski world that his brother, Robb Gaffney, a ski legend in his own right, was nearing the end of a 4+ year battle with acute myeloid leukemia. On Friday, September 22, 2023, the news of Robb's passing reverberated throughout the ski community.
Robb's impact on the ski world, and the community of Olympic Valley and North Lake Tahoe, lives on. He established his place amongst ski legends in the 1990s, when the ski scene in Squaw Valley exploded. Robb appeared in classic ski movies1999, Walls of Freedom, and Immersion, directed by Scott. Robb authored the ski bum cult book ‘Squallywood’ and co-created the game G.N.A.R. (Gaffney’s Numerical Assessment of Radness) with the late ski-great Shane McConkey.
Robb was the first person to take me backcountry skiing. He handed me a movie his brother made called Walls of Freedom. That changed my life. I probably wouldn’t be doing what I am today if it wasn’t for Robb. (JK, TGR Vice President of Production)
Post-ski film life, Robb transitioned to a medical career in psychiatry. He was also an avid community advocate, tackling topics such as navigating the outdoor and action sport culture for parents and kids and fighting irresponsible development in his beloved Olympic Valley with Keep Squaw True (now Tahoe Truckee True).
His message of positivity and fun rings truer than ever. Thank you for living the dream and sharing it with so many, Robb. RIP
You can support the Gaffney family via GoFundMe. Family and friends will be hosting a celebration of life on October 6th at the Olympic Valley Stables in Olympic Valley, CA.