Forrest D L Barker - President and Founder
Born October 27, 1989 in Santa Fe, NM, Forrest grew up skiing the Rocky Mountains and climbing the basalt and sandstone cliffs that litter the southwest. In 2008 he moved to the Pacific Northwest, where glaciated volcanoes instantly drew his attention. It didn't take long for ski mountaineering in the cascades to consume most of the free weekends he had. Forrest completed a biology degree at the University of Washington and went on to do research in a Howard Hughes Medical Institute lab focused on how the brain coordinates hunger and metabolism. Forrest now works as a Medical Coordinator with Remote Medical International, and is in the process of applying to medical school. He has high hopes of soon being able to take care of the people and communities that have given him so much.
The concept behind Peaks of Life came to Forrest early in 2012. Frustrated with health care politics, and feeling that climbing was a slightly selfish pursuit, Forrest combined his passions. What was forged is an organization that will be enduring and successful in helping all children receive the highest quality of health care, and allow them to go on to live full and healthy lives.
Connor Chilcott - Climbing Coordinator
Connor was born July 2nd, 1993 in the warmth of Southern California. After spending years growing up around the ocean and rocks, Connor was first introduced to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. His love for mountains was realized following a winter ascent of Mt Whitney, and he found that challenging his physical and mental boundaries made him feel both alive and at home atop the majestic snow covered peaks. Having already been an avid rock climber, Connor fell in love with alpine and ice climbing. After years of guiding and climbing in California, Connor moved to Colorado to pursue a career guiding and ice climbing. His climbing resume spans from Big Walls in Yosemite Valley, to technical glacier routes in the Cascades, to first ascents of alpine ice routes in Norway and Sweden. Connors’s focus has now switched to big glaciated peaks and guiding people to summits around the world.
Throughout his climbing career, Connor has searched for ways that his passion can give back to the community and help to build a better world. Peaks of Life is that. Healthcare is something that is essential for every individual, and a sick child going untreated is a serious problem that we can come together as a community to fix. We need to help each other when times are tough. “When we climb, we climb for more than a summit. We climb for a better world, one child at a time.”
Brooke Jarvie - Secretary & Managing Director:
Brooke grew up in a cabin in the woods in the idyllic setting of Jackson, Wyoming, the gateway to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. She developed a passion for all things associated with the outdoors at a young age, and has spent much time hiking in the Rockies in both Wyoming and Colorado, and now the Cascades and volcanoes of Washington. She is pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Washington and has recently discovered the joys of mountaineering.
Research is essential to healthcare and medicine, but Brooke is excited to have found an additional way to contribute to the community and help families and children in their time of need. We are incredibly lucky to have these beautiful mountains to explore, and to have the ability to push and challenge ourselves; we are even luckier to be able to provide those same opportunities to our youth by giving them a chance at a healthy future.
Jane Chen - Treasurer
Jane was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and grew up spending summers (and winters) at the beach in sunny Southern California. She received an undergraduate degree in economics with a minor in neuroscience from University of California, Los Angeles. After spending many years roaming the LA concrete jungle, Jane moved to Seattle in pursuit of a Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Washington. She has been captivated by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and is looking forward to new adventures in the mountains.
Amber was raised in Texas and spent many of her summers roadtripping to national parks and winters skiing in Canada and New Mexico.
After a year in San Francisco, she moved to Portland then Seattle where she fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. She found the cure to beating the gray PNW winter blues to be spending time outside in the mountains, whether it be hiking, backpacking, skiing, or climbing. (If you can't beat em, join em!). By day, Amber works in tech, but on weekends you'll always find her outdoors.
Board of Directors
Brent Bishop, the son of the late legendary climber Barry Bishop, was the first American legacy to follow in his father's footsteps and summit Mt. Everest. Brent first reached the summit of Everest in 1994, climbed the mountain again in 2002, with the National Geographic Mt. Everest Expedition that marked the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of the mountain. National Geographic produced the documentary, Surviving Everest, based on this climb in 2002. He reached the summit a third time in 2016 as a guide and cinematographer, becoming the first person to film in a Virtual Reality format from the summit. Sports Illustrated and Endemol produced a virtual reality documentary based on the 2016 climb that will debut at the Sundance Film Festival this month. He was again back on Everest in 2017 filming and guiding. In 1994 Brent co-founded the Sagarmatha Environmental Expedition (SEE), an organization committed to cleaning trash off the slopes of Everest. Brent has run SEE since 1994, and since its inception, the organization has removed more than 25,000 pounds of trash from the mountain, as well as training over 500 Balti Porters on Leave No Trace Ethics.
Brent was born in Washington, D.C. in 1966 and began climbing as a child with his father on the East Coast and Rocky Mountains, and he has been climbing ever since. Brent’s climbing and work as a guide has taken him throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Antarctic. Brent received the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club, the international professional exploration society. The award recognizes explorers who have distinguished themselves in unique and distinct ways. Brent is also the recipient of the American Alpine Club’s, David Brower Award, presented for environmental achievement.
Bishop received an undergraduate degree in economics from Duke University in 1988, and an MBA from the University of Washington in 1993. Brent’s business experience ranges from consulting with fortune 500 companies to early stage start-up ventures.
Michele was born and raised in Michigan, developing a love for nature through Midwestern woods, streams, pastures, and lakes, evolving to mountains and the ocean here on the West coast. After moving to Seattle in 1998, she worked in various tech roles including managing teams of software engineers at Microsoft and working at REI headquarters in their online division. Switching gears from technology, she moved into non-profit work including leading a sustainable farming/education organization and starting a company teaching maker-skills to youth. Changing her focus again in response to her daughter’s passion for rock climbing, Island Rock Gym was born and opened its doors on Bainbridge Island in 2013.
Michele’s work has emphasized change management and growth, strategic planning, and leadership. She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Natural Resource Policy from Michigan State University, and a certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
While Peaks of Life’s mission is easy to rally around, Michele also has a long relationship with youth medical providers, particularly Seattle Children’s Hospital, in the ongoing care of her daughter’s medical condition and is happy to be involved in giving back to the pediatric medicine community.
Andy Gill cares deeply about the health and well-being of all children. He works at Seattle Children's Hospital as an interfaith bilingual chaplain. His primary responsibilities are the psychiatric unit and cardiac units. He is also passionate about wilderness education and the outdoors. When not working as a chaplain, Andy can be found guiding the biggest peaks in Washington State or teaching outdoor education in Utah and Washington. Andy has completed his Rock Instructor course through the American Mountain Guide Association and summited over 50 multi-pitch alpine rock routes throughout the US. He has enjoyed many amazing glacier summits over 18,000ft in Alaska, Peru, and Ecuador.
Andy is grateful for the health and well-being of his own two daughters who are growing quickly and learning climb!
Aleksandr S. Romanenko