Born in Washington State
Raised on Bainbridge Island
Graduated class of 1988
Major Life events:
- Father died at 17, my best friend and hero
- Married at 20, divorced at 22
- Cancer at 21, given 6 months to live, learned to live for today, don't regret anything
- Met Nancy at 24
- Learned to climb, put my pashion of life towards really enjoying the great NW
So, why is this site about hiking?
Well, the fact of the matter is, I started hiking to get in shape for skiing. After the first year of climbing Mt. Si, I found I liked climbing in the winter better than skiing. I know it's hard to believe, but once I started snow shoeing, I just couldn't get back into skiing.
My first hikes were disasters. Everything went wrong; from having the wrong equipment to just flat out being way out of shape. I remember the first time I climbed Mt. Si with my climbing partner, Todd Baxter, and I felt like I could not make the top. That climb made me realize I needed to hike every weekend. I started climbing Mt. Si every Saturday throughout 2001.
2001 was the year the my boss, Brian Brueckman, asked me to climb Mt. Rainier. I thought, "Ok, I can give that a try." In 2002 I trained hard for Rainier. In April of that year, I met Mark Davis and started climbing with him. Mark was a strong climber, and also wanted to summit Rainier. Though the guiding outfit, RMI, the three of us signed up for Rainier . We climbed in August, we all summited, and it was great. Mark and Brian did well on the climb, but were pretty wiped out by the end. I felt ok, but more tired than normal. We also got the benefit of being guided by Dave Hahn, one of the best climbers in the world.
The action was set! Mark and I climbed every weekend thereafter, hiking every peak up the Snoqualmie valley. In 2003 Mark and I took another run at Rainier and this time we brought more climbers with us. Morris Wong started climbing and became our third climbing partner. This was also the year, that I was a moron, and felt training was not necessary. We did well up until spring, and then laid off on the regular hiking. In July, we went for the summit. Weather turned bad, and all hell broke loose. Mark, Morris, and Brian all summited. For the first time in my life, I had to turn around. I was broken, and let down.
It took me several weeks to start hiking again. I realized the mistake I had made, and would never slack off and be unprepared again. Mark and I signed up for a winter summit of Rainier right away. In 2004, Mark and I attended a winter training course that took us to the summit of Rainier. The weather was down right miserable! We trained every day and fought the weather as best we could.
We went for the summit and got to about 13,500 feet but avalanche conditions turned us back. The greatest part about this climb, was the physical shape Mark and I were in. I felt the best I had ever been. It was great! We didn't summit but we both knew we could handle the weather and we could climb without guides.
In 2005 we took the adventure to the next level and signed up to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali), the 2nd hardest of the Seven Summits
. We trained every weekend from April, 2004 to June, 2005 rarely taking any weekends off. We were both fit and we left for Denali. I'll let you read the details in the journal, but let's just say, "The other six summits are next!"
This site is to share what myself and my climbing partners have learned over the years. We are not experts, we don't pretend to be experts, but we do love
to hike and climb. I hope you find this information useful, and please feel free to contact me
at any time. I'm sure you, too, have stories that I can learn from.