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Broad Peak 1996 Scott Fisher and Wes Krause

Our History

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.

scott fischer wes krause on mt. everest into thin air
Scott Fischer Mount Everest Summit
Wes Krause and Scott Fischer mountaineering guides

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.

Christine Boskoff mountaineer and climber
mountaineer Christine Boskoff rock climbing
Christine Boskoff mount elbrus climb

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!

Mountain Madness Mark Gunlogson
Entrepreneur Mark Gunlogson on Alki with climbing rope
Mark Gunlogson Mountain Madness expeditions