May 2022 Introductions / Goals / Geographies

  • Creator
  • #67045
    Stephanie Stefanski

    Hey everyone!

    Creating this topic for everyone in the May 2022 mountaineering group to introduce themselves and share any goals / trips you are planning for, as well as where everyone is based.

    I’m Stephanie, a consultant based in Washington DC (I find 1’000+ ft elevation gains where I can) and I spend my time running, hiking, and climbing, all as part of my training for bigger adventures in the mountains. I recently summited Aconcagua in Feb 2022, and Mt. Rainier last July 2021, but want to continue to build my endurance and strength to tackle other mountains more comfortably (e.g., being able to carry more weight – I’m fairly petite so I’m always fighting against my height/size factor). Happy to talk about any of those experiences. I’ve also done some mountaineering in Ecuador, and backpacking / hiking all over Patagonia, where I used to do research on sustainable development and the intersection of conservation, tourism, and other industries.

    My current adventure plans/goals:
    May 21: Half marathon with 1,000′ elevation gain
    June 22-29: Yosemite hiking (and maybe climbing?) – looking for others to join on some full day hikes!
    July 30-Aug. 9: Kilimanjaro expedition, potential to tack on Mt. Kenya
    Oct. 30: Marine marathon – will be my first!
    Dec 2022 (TBD): Cotopaxi/Chimborazo or another Andean climb in Peru. Currently scoping out options and would love any suggestions.
    Jan. 1: Mt Washington, NH

    Let me know if anyone wants to join for some hikes in Yosemite, or out here on the East coast!

  • Participant
    keith brown on #67349

    Thank you for starting this conversation – great introductions! It’s great hearing about all the training and adventures.

    I’m Keith Brown, a flat-lander living in Huntsville, AL. I’ve taken considerable time off from any significant adventures and training. My work does get me traveling outside the US, but nothing mountain-related. I’ve been ramping up my fitness over the last year, preparing to hit my bucket list over the next five to six years. I’ve climbed Rainier several times, including a winter expedition seminar, leading to an incredible experience on Denali. I’ve also have some history with exciting mountain adventures – all in “another life.”
    I’m heading to Peru late June on a fundraising event with friends for a 75km trek ending at Machu Picchu. January I’ll head to Argentina for the trek to Aconcagua. Really looking forward to both trips.
    Some intermediate and long-term goals include:
    EBC trek (perhaps visiting a few of the other neighboring base camps),
    return with friends to Denali (I’ll need guides willing to go at a more “gentlemanly” pace!),
    leading up to some more challenging adventures in the Himalayas. You gotta have a vision!
    As life permits, I’d like to do a few long hikes in the US and Europe. Some of these trips will be made as fundraisers in the name of a fellow soldier.

    If you are thinking of or planning a trip and looking for travel/training buddies, I’m all ears!!

    I’ve reached out to a few folks I can find on Linkedin. It would be great to start a UA MTG Alumni group email chain or Facebook page to keep in touch with everyone, especially long term, to share adventures.

    Cheers, Keith

    Victor Grijalva on #67409


    For what it is worth, I have climbed Shuksan via Fishers Chimney route and would highly recommend it. Compact trip, great scenery with a little bit of everything, hiking, rock climbing, ice climbing (winnies slide), glacier climbing. Reasonable approach with moderate pack.

    Enjoy the training!


    Mclenna3 on #67449

    James McLennan

    Joined The group late, but am happy to be involved. Home base for me is Reno Nevada. Current age is 37, three kids, grew up backpacking, and enjoying the wilderness. Have been climbing for the last 10- 11 years, off and on, got introduced to bouldering a year before starting medical school and some how was able to make time for climbing, learning Trad,then ICE, then transition to the alpine country, my passion has always been for the big mountains, but have never done any major expeditions. I have played on some of the beautiful peaks in the Wind River range, and in the Big horn Mountian in Wyoming, where I did my Residency training. Have done some climbing in the eastern sierras, hoping to get in more in the next few years, would love to do Mount Rainer, Shasta, Mount Olympus, and one day Denali. Looking forwarding to connecting with like minded, people and Begin to build a better aerobic base. Beside my love for the Mountian’s, family, my other interest include Medicine: full spectrum family medicine, preventive medicine, sports medicine, regenerative medicine, and clinical teaching, Point of Care Ultrasound: specifically MSK imaging, and procedure based applications, along with my all time favorite cardiac and lung imaging.

    Joshua Smilk on #67452

    Hey everyone!

    Thanks Stephanie for creating this to connect all of us! My name is Joshua Smilk and I live at the HIGH elevation of 39′ in Philadelphia, PA (technically higher because I am on the 3rd floor in my building). I am 4 years married and live with what my wife thinks is a child but most would say he’s a black Pug. I own a company which specializes in Snow Removal on commercial properties. I talk about snow every single day of my life. Most of my team thinks there is something wrong with me that in the summer I want to go freeze on a mountain after long winters….but everyone in this group understands! When entering into this a few years ago I started with a coach who resides in Colorado. He has guided me but not with the actual physical training. Anyone can go to the gym or do cardio, but is it actually helping your body prepare to summit a mountain? That’s what brings me to Uphill Athlete. After listening to Training for the New Alpinism I knew these coaches were the real deal and I wanted in! I have Summited Mt Washington, various 14ers in CO and made a summit attempt on Rainier last August but was unsuccessful after bad weather set in. I have a schedule for the next 5 years including a variety of peaks both domestic and international leading up to what I hope will be Everest in 2027. As most of you know life gets in the way to many of our dreams and ambitions! With the hopes to start a family (with actual children who don’t lick their butt) and a plan to sell my business in 5 years climbing may be more difficult than I imagined. I am so excited to be apart of this group and even more excited to see some fellow East Coast people also living at sea level! Please feel free to reach out to me for some weekend hiking plans! Let’s rock this!!!!!!

    Timothy Henr on #67499

    Hey Matt,

    great list of goals! By the “Teton Traverse” is this the same traverse?

    If so, that is a major goal of mine and curious what you have done/planning to do on the technical side to prep.

    wade.sahni on #67901

    Hey everyone,

    Great to connect, I’m based out of Toronto, Canada.

    Hoping to build on my training and connect with folks interested in expeditions in Nepal/Himalayas.

    Feel free to reach out if you want to connect,


    MarkPostle on #67912

    Timothy, Some folks will also do a traverse of the 3 Tetons (grand/middle/south) which is also commonly called the Teton traverse and is a fun outing with a bit less commitment factor than the whole grand traverse or the Cathedral (teewinot/Owen/Grand).

    Jean-Marc Dardier on #68254

    Hi there, this is Jean-Marc based in Switzerland.

    Happy to join such a diverse group.

    Mountaineering allrounder both winter and summer incl. tactical paragliding !
    Officer in the mountain troops in the early 90s when I started guide training and guided friends and family in the Alps on Hautes Routes in winter and summer climbs. Climbed around a third to half of the 4000ers of the Alps in the 90s, competed in the early days of SkiMo (90s, early 2000s) in the US, Canada and France. My training consisted essentially of training and racing triathlons in summer and XC Ski in the winter for the better part of the 80s and 90s.

    After a long hiatus, and a few accidents of life including corporate life, divorce and replaced limbs, became entrepreneur and now rent mountain and arctic expedition equipment at (translating to English this summer).

    Ambitions this year are a few alpine ascents of the 4000ers and a few climbs in Papua New Guinea in the fall before going back to Nepal and Sth America next year.

    Bought the book 3-4 years ago and trained with TP for close to 10y in different incarnations mostly alone.
    I now need the motivation and comfort the herd brings! along with the latest in sports physiology and nutrition.

    Love the honest questions, the diversity of training and the comprehensive programme with Yoga and Chamonix Fit course.

    advaitdreamon on #68257

    HI i am advait from India
    I have big dreams in the mountains.
    i have been quite a laggard: Missing workouts , injury .
    But i have kept at it, for eventually i will change and then i can perform well.
    look forward to being a part of this group

    Moiez K on #70980

    Great introductions! I’m Moiez, live in Atlanta, GA and am planning to climb in Peru next year, Bolivia the year after that and looking at Aconcagua. Glad to be here!

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