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Alumni 3

Appreciating our Alumni with a Weekend of Rock

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 G, 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. 

John C. get­ting after it on Bruce’s Boul­der. MM collection

The first week­end in Sep­tem­ber I accom­pa­nied the com­pa­ny’s own­er Mark G 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! 

Rap­pel prac­tice for Matthias. MM collection

We spent the next few hours slip­ping around on wet rock. It was sur­pris­ing­ly awe­some! MM Guide Tan­ner Joyce went over some climb­ing tech­niques while the oth­er guides Marc Rip­perg­er and Viviane deBros set up a Tyrolean tra­verse. Matthias and Scot sped across the Tyrolean mul­ti­ple times, as they were both using the week­end as train­ing for their upcom­ing climbs, for Scot it was for Carsten­sz Pyra­mid. 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. 

Sun­ny rock on day 2. MM collection

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, at 69, dom­i­nat­ed the cracks! We wrapped up the evening as a group, exchanged sto­ries from the day and said goodbye.

The whole group hang­ing out at X‑Y Crag. MM collection

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 G, 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

Alum­ni Group. Mike Bau­man photo