Mountain Madness began with Scott Fischer’s dream to create a community of like-minded souls driven by a passion for mountain exploration. To connect people with adventure — and turn their dreams into reality.
In 1984, Mountain Madness founders Scott Fischer and Wes Krause became the world’s second team to stand atop Kilimanjaro’s famed Breach Icicle. Having successfully completed the first American ascent of this sheer, detached pillar of ice, they took pause — they had made it and they were hooked. Over the years, they continued seeking out wild experiences that satisfied their quest for something different. Mountain Madness emerged from this enthusiastic partnership built on one common passion: to share the spirit of adventure.
Though it started in Africa, our roots are in Asia, where Scott scaled the world’s highest and most challenging peaks, including K2 and Mount Everest (both without oxygen) and Lhotse, where he was the first American to summit. In May of 1996, as described in Jon Krakauer’s well-known book Into Thin Air, Scott lost his life during a brutal storm on Mt. Everest. He left behind a powerful legacy that still inspires others today, and a company, poised to share the joy of climbing, trekking, rock climbing, and skiing with those ready to join the adventure. Scott firmly believed that the discovery and challenge of the mountains could transform people’s lives.
Elite Climber Christine Boskoff Takes Over
In 1997, Christine Boskoff became the owner of Mountain Madness. Like Scott, she was among the world’s elite high-altitude climbers — being a female in an otherwise male-dominated sport made her all the more noteworthy. For many though, Chris’ decision to follow her dreams was every bit as inspiring as her climbing accomplishments. Chris left a promising career as an aeronautical engineer to pursue her passions in life: climbing and helping Mountain Madness clients connect with the joy and challenge of mountaineering. Her life is depicted in the book Edge of the Map.
With Chris at the helm, and Seattle native Mark Gunlogson involved with operations, the company renewed its commitment to instruction, offering classes dedicated to different areas of mountaineering, rock climbing, and backcountry skiing. As the company grew, so did Chris’ climbing resume, with additional ascents of 8000-meter peaks and a first ascent in the mountains of China’s Sichuan Province. Sadly, in the fall of 2006, Chris and well-known American climber Charlie Fowler died in an avalanche as they attempted to summit Mount Genyan in China.
Mark Gunlogson Carries On the Mountain Madness Legacy
In the wake of Christine’s death, Mark provided Mountain Madness with steadfast leadership, becoming its owner in 2008. Mark had originally joined the company in 1994, bringing with him an impressive climbing and guiding background, a degree in Environmental Science, and a knack for simplifying complex logistics and helping make great trips happen for clients and guides worldwide.
Like his predecessors, Mark is deeply passionate about climbing and introducing others to the transformative power of mountaineering and trekking. For Mark, the journey is the destination. He is engaged in the process of growing Mountain Madness and seeing the business emerge as one of the most experienced mountaineering companies in the world, with top notch teams in the field and behind the scenes. More than 35 years later, Mountain Madness has remained true to the mission Scott envisioned. The company has achieved worldwide acclaim for excellence in mountaineering and continues to offer a wide range of adventures — from trips for beginner trekkers to expeditions for those striving to ascend Mount Everest. The spirit of adventure lives on!