The author as a young man


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As some one famous once said, I was born at a very young age.

I grew up in the Forest Service, mostly in Oregon. Here I am at Toketee Falls Ranger Station on my first bike-- stylin'.

Hint of big things to come?

My father had been a cliimber in his youth, and he taught me to ski at Hoodoo Ski Bowl outside Sisters, Oregon in 1964.

I was a baby hippie in the late 60s and early 70s. I was also a Boy Scout (Eagle Scout, actually). That's just one example of my complex and conflicting influences.

I was an athlete through Junior High in Eugene, mostly a runner but also a wrestler and field events in track (shotput and discus, events not normally associated with distance running). In the spring of '69, I took a rock-climbing class from the local club. That fall I climbed my first 10k peak (South Sister, at right) with the Scouts.

Trip report

After junior high school, we moved to Boise. That summer of '69, we spent a month in Aspen. While there, I met a friend of the same age and the two of us (at 14, by ourselves) climbed Colorado's highest peak, Mt. Elbert. This picture is from that same time, only in the Maroon Bells. I don't know why, but my parents let me take my brother Tom (11, on the left) on a three-day backpack trip into the Maroon Bells Wilderness. Just the two of us. I don't think I would have let *MY* kids do that at 14!

I had developed a love of exercise and the out of doors. When I fell in with a band of similarly-minded youths in late in my sophomore year of high school, I was set.

I guess I was fairly enterprising; these are home-made gaitors I'm wearing, designed and sewn by me. Wool pants and shirt by my favorite clothier, the Salvation Army. I'm probably 15 here, making it 1971. I seem to be signing a summit register, and I have a rope on. But unless this is Mt. Regan, I have no idea where this was..... the 60's were barely over, LOL.


I guess by today's standards we were fairly intrepid. In the summer of '72 I put together a trip to the Tetons. I got shanghai'd into a family vacation while my "friends" did my trip without me.

The summit register archives for the Grand Teton are online these days, and here you can see Tom, Jerry, and Walt's signatures. In 1972, they were three 17-year-olds (Juniors in high school) on their own. I would have still been 16 at the time, which explains the family vacation thing.

In the Fall of 1972, at 16, I started classes at Boise State. That winter I also started nordic ski racing. And I still didn't have a driver's license, so I rode my bike everywhere, including in 1973 riding all the way to Stanley in a day.


I still climb and hike with some of the ol' high-school group, including Tom, pictured here on the beach in Washington on a trip to Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier. I think this is 1973, making me 17 years old. At the latest, it's 1974. Again, teenagers on the loose.

In our late teens and early 20s, we spent a lot of time in the Sawtooths. Most of it was rock climbing (initially with pitons, gold-line rope, and mountain boots!), but we also did some general mountaineering and straight-up backpacking. I think this is Alice Lake in about 1975, and by this time I was 20, on my own, and working real jobs like the Forest Service; so had graduated to store-bought gear. Anybody recognize the Chouinard Ultima Thule pack? Woolrich pants? How about the Black's anorak?


As I said, we were mostly interested in rock climbing of the more technical variety. So we were early adopters of hexcentrics, EBs, and hand chalk. We bought the EBs on a trip to Yosemite, and were subsequently accused of cheating when we got back to Boise.

Here I am, racking up for Slick Rock. That's my 1972 VW van. No, it did not have an 8-track tape deck. I was buying climbing gear (and repairing the van) so couldn't afford that. This is probably '74, because I lost that favorite shirt during a winter attempt of Borah in January '75.

From '76 through '81, I spent little time in the mountains, instead focusing on bike racing.


Trail map to Table Rock
In about '81 or so, though, I did sneak in a little skiing and climbing, including romping through the Oregon volcanoes with friend Chris (bike racing gets you in great shape for going up hill). Trail map to Table Rock
In 1982, my first daughter was born, which really changed my life. I focused more on hiking and cross-country skiing again so I could do things with her (yes, she IS wearing a Patagonia jacket). Carrying a kid in a backpack makes for good training.
Trail map to Table Rock
When my interest in bike racing waned a bit, I ended up moving back to Boise in 1984. This was about the start of mountain bikes, and I rode fat tires a lot (but the picture is from about '81 or '82).
Trail map to Table Rock
I also returned to serious nordic ski racing when skating came on the scene. This picture is from the 1988 Mt. Bachelor Marathon. Trail map to Table Rock

Over the next few years I moved around Oregon, and married Julie in 1989. We were supposed to go to Yosemite, but were too broke. This is from our honeymoon; we instead went to McCall and climbed Slick Rock.


Trail map to Table Rock

Julie and I pulled up roots and moved to Bend late in 1989, where I worked at Mt. Bachelor, first as a ski instructor and then as a manager in the nordic lodge.

On a nice spring day in '91, I skated from the nordic center most of the way up the South Sister, then hiked to the summit in my skating boots.


Trail map to Table Rock
Later in '90, we ended up in Wisconsin for a few years. Or at least that's where my mail went- I was on the road fixing bikes as entertainment. Trail map to Table Rock

In 1994 we moved back to Boise. By then I had a second daughter and was looking for ways to stay active with a young child (and again with the kid in the backpack). That's Mt. Heyburn. Getting back to Idaho brought me full-circle back to my love of the mountains.

Trail map to Table Rock

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