Honoring friends, helping Tibet
In 2013, I sold my Denver-based geophysical company, ECHO Geophysical Corp., after owning it for 26 years. Since then, I've spent my time fundraising for The Rowell Fund for Tibet to bring awareness of Tibetans …
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In 2013, I sold my Denver-based geophysical company, ECHO Geophysical Corp., after owning it for 26 years. Since then, I've spent my time fundraising for The Rowell Fund for Tibet to bring awareness of Tibetans being forced to flee their country because of Chinese occupation.
The fund honors my former climbing teammate, Galen Rowell, and his wife, Barbara, who died in a small airplane crash near their home in Bishop, California. Their fund provides grants to Tibetans involved in environmental, cultural and women's projects.
In 2016, I began the 50 For Tibet project. My wife Terri, her son David and my longtime climbing partner Steve Gardiner and I have since reached the top of the highest mountains in 48 states and 19 international highpoints. The project serves as a fundraiser for The Rowell Fund, and I wrote about the experience in the new book “Highpointing for Tibet.”
Acclimation and accomplishment
I began climbing in 1977 in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana and immediately fell in love with the challenge, the adventure and the almost spiritual nature of it. When I reach the summit of any mountain, I feel a sense of joy looking out over the beauty of the landscape below me. Mountaineering to me is a very personal thing and I am lucky to have combined my climbing with a cause I strongly believe in.
The true reflection of climbing successfully does not necessarily happen on the summit, or even when you've finished a trip. It can happen days or weeks later when you've had time to contemplate what you accomplished.
Another activity I really enjoy is sailing. I grew up sailing on Lake Michigan and do as much of it as I can when I am not climbing or traveling in general. There are several similarities between sailing and mountaineering: being out in nature, the quietness, the sense of freedom.
One thing my friends and family probably don't know about me is that I used to write a lot of songs on my guitar. I really admire and respect a variety of such singer-songwriters as Jackson Browne, Bono and John Denver.
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