Sunday, December 21, 2014


The highest point in my home state of Illinois called Charles Mound – not mountain, mound. It towers 1,235 feet above sea level.  Closer to my home in central Illinois there is actually a prominent geographical landmark called Elkhart Hill, elevation 771 feet.  Aside from oddly being the highest point among miles of cornfields, the most activity Elkhart Hill has seen is drunken teenagers driving to the top, shifting their cars into neutral and reeling out of control into the cornfield below.  I guess you could compare it to glissading.  Needless to say, I didn't grow up in the mountains and my family still does not understand my desire to climb them.  I may as well be stepping onto the surface of the moon. 

So where did the allure to climb come from?  I've always enjoyed being active and exploring nature.  After moving to the Seattle area from the Midwest in 2004, Mt. Rainier started to taunt me.  Although it is only 75 miles from downtown, the mountain is elusive, only seen rare clear days and standing magnificently above everything else for miles.  I've always set goals for myself, so why not climb it?  How hard could it be to get up there?

After a successful summit in 2009, mountaineering had inched its way into my being.  I was drawn to the mental and physical challenge that climbing high peaks represented, I loved experiencing - really experiencing - parts of the world that few people were able to, I began making plans for the next summit attempt before I made it to the Paradise parking lot.

This site chronicles my meager climbing experience, including preparations for climbs and my experiences while on the mountain.