Alumni Rock Weekend
I saw the Mountain Madness office for the first time in 15 years this past spring. As the daughter of the company’s late founder, Scott Fischer, the mountains have always been an important part of my past. However, I have grown up fairly disconnected from the company itself. As soon as I walked into the office and met Mark Gunlogson, I knew that I was not about to let this place slip away again. A week later I started working in the office and I have since come to call Mountain Madness my home.
The first weekend in September, I accompanied Mark and three of our guides on an Alumni Rock climbing event in Leavenworth, WA. We organized a complimentary weekend of rock climbing and invited some of our most dedicated clients. We ended up with a group of 12, some who had flown across the country to be there. The weather was pretty poor on Saturday morning so we all met at a small coffee shop and kicked the weekend off with a leisurely breakfast. As I listened to the clients exchange climbing stories and bond over the their experiences with MM, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. Unfortunately the rain refused to let up, but we all agreed to make it happen anyway- Mountain Madness style!
We spent the next few hours slipping around on wet rock. It was surprisingly awesome! Guide Tanner Joyce went over some climbing techniques while the other guides Marc Ripperger and Viviane deBros set up a Tyrolean traverse. Client’s Matthias S. and Joseph S. sped across the Tyrolean multiple times, as they were both using the weekend as training for their upcoming climbs. We were each able to take the day at our own pace and, although the weather was less than ideal, we all left the rock feeling good. We closed the evening with burgers and beer which gave way to some laughs and more great conversation.
Sunday welcomed us with clear skies which lead to a full day of climbing. The group split up and half of us top-roped on some awesome cracks while the other half climbed a multi pitch buttress. I had the pleasure of chatting with John C, a long time client of MM. John had great things to say about Madness and at age 69 he dominated the cracks! We wrapped up the evening as a group, exchanged stories from the day and said goodbye.
Though the climbing was incredible, the highlight of my weekend was the conversation. The event itself was an excellent testament to the true spirit of Mountain Madness. It is a spirit that started almost 30 years ago by my dad and his friends, just a few guys who found their passion and wanted to share it with as many people as possible. Mark, the guides and especially the clients gave me a perfect snapshot of how MM has continued to cultivate and spread that passion. I am proud to now call myself a part of the team and I look forward to many more adventures with Madness. Thanks to all who came, shared, and climbed!
~ Katie Rose Fischer-Price