John Roskelley
Spokane, Washington

Edward Whymper made the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865, exactly 100-years before I tied into a hemp-like rope with the Spokane Mountaineers and rappelled using a neck-burning, body-crunching Dülfersitz. In those 100-years, very little had changed, at least when I took the basic course in Spokane; not technique or equipment or mindset. But within just a few years, there was an explosion of innovation and boldness in the Alps, in Yosemite, and in ranges throughout the world. I’ve been fortunate to experience and be a part of this revolution. But as I look back over my 57 years in the sport, it isn’t the equipment or techniques that changed mountaineering – it was the climbers. Horbein and Unsoeld; Messner and Habler; Hill and Destivelle; Hillary and Tenzing; Kauk and Bacher; and many others who refused to set limits on themselves. My advice: get out there and chase some rainbows - you just might catch one like they did.

Description about you:
I love: dogs and coyotes; the smells and sounds of pack horses heading up a trail on a frosty morning; the apprehension I feel approaching Class IV rapids knowing I’m going to take a bath; hunting chukars along the basalt breaks above the Snake River in early fall; paddling my sea kayak on long journeys alone; giving my wife a hug; planting our acreage with bee and butterfly habitat; the feel of my heart relaxing after descending a nasty and dangerous route safely; showing state legislators the error in their partisan pandering; and I’m relieved when I finish writing a book.

Fun fact about you:
I didn’t climb all those mountains by myself. It took a group of two or more individuals who functioned as a team.

What are you most looking forward to:
The publication of my novel, Fancy Dancer and the Seven Drums, in February, 2023.

Interesting trip/expedition/project where you’ve taken your LOWAs:
On my first expedition in 1973, I climbed Dhaulagiri (26,795’), the 7th highest mountain, in a pair of used Lowa triple boots I purchased in a Sherpa shop in Kathmandu before the trip. They originally belonged to Wolfgang Axt, who used them on the 1971 International Everest Expedition.

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