Mountaineer

As a child on a family vacation I remember vividly sitting on a flat rock near the shore of Bear Lake. Towering above me, dominating the skyline were the steep and jagged cliffs of Hallet Peak. I stared totally mesmerized as I soaked my feet wondering what it must feel like to stand on its summit. 25 years later I knew that feeling first hand when my love affair with the mountains and climbing began.

I’ve been fortunate to summit many iconic peaks: The Matterhorn (14,692’), Mont Rainier (14,411’), Grand Teton (13,770’), Cathedral Peak (10,911’) in Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows, Canada’s Mount Sir Donald and Bugaboo Spire, and Mont Blanc (15,782’) the highest mountain in the Alps. I’ve climbed in the deserts of Zion National Park and Red Rocks Canyon, the snowy volcanoes and steep ridges of Washington’s remote North Cascades, 10 of Colorado’s famous 14ers, and the icy glaciers and snowy pinnacles of the Alps.

My love of mixed climbing has led me to the Alps 5 times, climbing classic routes like the Rochefort Ridge (13,126’), Aiguille d’Argentiere (12,802’), Aiguille du Chardonnet (12,540’), and the Cosmiques Arête of Aiguille du Midi (12,605’). I’m an Alpine climber who’s comfortable on rock, snow and ice, and most at home on an exposed airy ridge. I’m a moderate rock climber (meaning I can climb most anything up to 5.8) and have no trouble immediately falling from any grade above 5.9 with incredible consistency. I have enjoyed the occasional unplanned bivouac high on the mountain, know what lightning “feels” like, glissade with uncanny skill and speed, and once had a marmot eat most of my gear. But it is the remoteness of the landscape, great friendships, sense of accomplishment, solitude, grandeur, and beauty that brings me back each time.

“May Your trails be crooked, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.” Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Mountain Climbing

My love of mixed climbing has led me to the Alps 3 times, climbing classic routes like the Rochefort Ridge (13,126’), Aiguille d’Argentiere (12,802’), Aiguille du Chardonnet (12,540’), and the Cosmiques Arête of Aiguille du Midi (12,605’).

The narrow, spectacular summit ridge of the Matterhorn, Swiss Alps 2013
The narrow, spectacular summit ridge of the Matterhorn, Swiss Alps 2013
Jonathon Spitzer and Joseph on the 14,692 foot Matterhorn, Swiss Alps 2013
Jonathon Spitzer and Joseph on the 14,692 foot Matterhorn, Swiss Alps 2013
Nearing the summit of the Matterhorn, Swiss Alps 2013
Nearing the summit of the Matterhorn, Swiss Alps 2013
Training on the Riffelhorn above the Gorner Glacier, Swiss Alps 2013
Training on the Riffelhorn above the Gorner Glacier, Swiss Alps 2013
Celebrating Michelle’s 50th birthday on the summit of Mount Canigou in the French Pyrenees
Celebrating Michelle’s 50th birthday on the summit of Mount Canigou in the French Pyrenees
Courtesy of Lasting Impressions Photography
Courtesy of Lasting Impressions Photography
Climbing in the Alps above Chamonix, 2012
Climbing in the Alps above Chamonix, 2012
Sunrise on Aiguille du Chardonnet, French Alps 2009
Sunrise on Aiguille du Chardonnet, French Alps 2009
The Alpen playground above Vallee Blanche, French Alps, 2012
The Alpen playground above Vallee Blanche, French Alps, 2012
Summit of Mount Rainier at sunrise, Washington Cascades, 2007
Summit of Mount Rainier at sunrise, Washington Cascades, 2007
Early morning near the top of Grand Teton (13,770’)
Early morning near the top of Grand Teton (13,770’)
The Desert playground, Zion National Park, Utah, 2011
The Desert playground, Zion National Park, Utah, 2011
The classic Rochefort Ridge, Italian Alps, 2009
The classic Rochefort Ridge, Italian Alps, 2009
Mont Blanc Massif from the Italian side, climbed Mont Blanc (15,782 feet) in 2006
Mont Blanc Massif from the Italian side, climbed Mont Blanc (15,782 feet) in 2006
On the Sulphide Glacier of Mount Shuksan, Washington Cascades, 2007
On the Sulphide Glacier of Mount Shuksan, Washington Cascades, 2007
What goes up must come down. Rappelling, French Alps, 2009
What goes up must come down. Rappelling, French Alps, 2009